An unbelievable treat last week: I went to buy fresh fish as the fishmonger only just returned to my local market. I splashed like mad: Dover soles, fresh sea bass, trout and samphire. And even though I’d been signalling virtues of frozen fish here, the truth is brutal: no supermarket frozen fillets compare to fresh, sparkly-eyed fish off a fishing boat or at least Billingsgate market that very morning. Plus samphire which is a must fish side for me during summer – a generous bunch too instead of a pathetic plastic tray with ten woody stalks from a supermarket.
So if you’re as lucky as I was – and I’m going back; goodbye Big Fish and Picard! – treat yourself to a grilled Dover sole or a whole roast lemon sole; and a grilled sea bream on another day. That will be good with the last asparagus of the season or the first green beans, with almonds perhaps. Buy smoked fish as well if you get a chance for a smoked fish and turnip salad.
If you’re starting to suffer from courgette overload – I am, there’s a plant in my patio growbag that’s about to take possession of the house – try the spelt salad with courgette ribbons. Or bake a loaf of courgette bread – it’s better than it sounds.
You must have some new season lamb: neck fillets are the cheapest and the nicest lamb cut at this time of year. Grill them, heavily marinated, to serve with maple and balsamic shallots and a green salad. Pick up a couple of bags of fresh spinach for a spinach empanada – my fruit and veg market is re-assuming its presence next week, yay!
For dessert, there could be burnt chocolate blondie or peaches with blue cheese crumble if you fancy something different. The weather is supposed to pick up again in a week or so, so now may be the time to churn a large tub of vanilla ice cream, or honey yoghurt ice for when the sun comes out. And don’t go mad going out – we’re not out of the woods yet – so keep cooking and stay safe!