What to cook this week?
Sat, 9 May, 2020
I shout about eating seasonal so much and now what? I completely forgot about asparagus and strawberries. I don’t go to the shops lucky enough to have weekly shopping delivery so that’s the reason – I don’t see what’s in. I can’t go to my fruit and vegetable market stall on Fridays, pick and browse and go ‘ooh, Jersey Royals are in; strawberries are getting cheaper; peas in their pods, tiny and new!’ I can’t go to the fish stall and have a chat with the fishmonger about flat fish summer, round fish winter (or is it the other way round? see – I already forgot!) and maybe snatch the one fat expensive turbot he has on sale, as a treat for Saturday dinner.
Helas! it’s supermarket fillets these days. On the plus side I’ve discovered frozen fish, mackerel fillets or organic salmon, cheaper than fresh and actually sometimes nicer. So often we buy fresh fish only to stick it in the freezer at home, while the frozen-on-trawler is a (lame pun alert) better catch.
Try to get some seasonality even if you supermarket shop, like me. Asparagus should be local, new and fat – which is a weird thing about asparagus, they get thinner and thinner later in the season. I have them simply pan roasted with a little Parmesan, alongside gorgeous lightly crushed new potatoes, Jersey Royals or your local potato royalty equivalent. That’s it – no need for meat or fish or tofu, just lots of butter on the side. If you want to celebrate the asparagus as a standalone snack or appetiser, wrap them in filo, that’s mighty good. And for a warm salad of seasonal goodness, make the potato, asparagus and pancetta salad. Swap pancetta for bacon, ham, salami or whatever else you have, obviously.
Spring lamb chops with herb crumbs will feel seasonal even if all you have is old season lamb. Crusty beet greens tart will be fine if you swap beet leaves for spring greens. And those with windowsill herb gardens can put their crop to good use making radish, cucumber and herb salad.
I’m so starved for fresh seasonal fruit I ate all my last week’s delivered strawberries au naturel but by all means make them into my Athens mess dessert. Or make the Victoria sponge filled with strawberries and fresh cream; or a bucket of strawberry fizz for the Zoom happy hour.
I’ve been fighting with a new recipe for biscuits so that will come along soon; in the meantime I suggest a batch of shortcrust gooey bars. And much more to find here chez Cuisine Fiend – stay safe and keep baking.