Cuisine Fiend

Green things to eat and more salad than soups

Sat, 23 March, 2019

Magnolias are in full bloom, daffodils all but finished, there is the lovely green hue around the trees in the distance – I guess it’s spring! There will be green things to eat, longer days with better lighting for food photography and salad days replacing soup days.

If you go down to the woods today, or some wet land by a riverside, you might spot wild garlic. It’s my favourite springtime forager’s booty: shred it into salads, add to leeks or buttered spinach; or turn it into pesto using it instead of basil.

I’ve seen Jersey Royals in the market, shockingly pricey but as a treat you could cook them simply and have them lightly crushed or cook them ingeniously, poached in oil with garlic and lemon. They will go well with a roast lamb rack – even if it’s not yet new season. And they will make a complete dinner if used in the warm salad with spicy bacon and cucumber.

I’ve also seen new beetroot with fresh unblemished leaves. Whatever you do, don’t toss them away: they are no worse than spinach or chard and can be cooked in the same way. Check out the beet leaf tart too: it uses pizza dough made from scratch but there will be nothing wrong if you buy frozen pizza dough and zing it up like in the recipe.

Vibrant new season spring cabbage is the best side dish material now, instead of limpy lettuce. Turn it into very lightly fermented cabbage salad or try the crunchy salad with mustard dressing.

What’s for dessert? Why, rhubarb fool of course. And if you are in need of a cake, this week’s carrot and ginger with or without cream cheese frosting (with! with!) might do nicely.

Asparagus and strawberries are coming soon, so is Easter with its hot cross buns, dove-shaped colomba and other treats, so you’d better subscribe to my newsletter not to miss any new ideas!