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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sun, 19 March, 2017

A hint of spring has been wafting about in the air those last two weeks. Warmer days make you feel less like stodgy pasta or warming soups or full roasts - and more like salad-ish type of food - a bite of meat/fish/chickpeas on a pile of veg. It makes us feel like the barbecue days are just around the corner.

Of course in the UK they mostly stay right round that corner - we have an allocation of about seven gorgeous days a year. Sometimes they fall in April (remember that Easter a few years back with the proper outdoor chocolate egg hunt?); sometimes in October (the other year when we were all sitting outside in the pub beer garden just before Bonfire Night). And if we're REALLY lucky, one or two of those come in July, obviously when I'm out of the country.

So: salad type food, not full-on, just-leaves, since it's not salad days yet - but 'not too much, mainly plants', as Michael Pollan famously advised. And I'll say stir fries tick the box - even more so if, like me, you manage to go without rice or noodles with them.

Sizzling beef - great stuff and ready in about 5 minutes, especially if you can get someone to chop up the veg (or be naughty and buy ready-chopped mix). Don't stop at beef - that recipe really is 'sizzling everything' and I've tried pork and chicken. Your turn to do fish. And yes, stir fried salmon is delishhh and doesn't flake to oblivion in the wok if you're careful.

More of that: sweet and sour duck, and again the buck doesn't stop at duck. Or the other way round. Did I mention meat perched on a pile of veg? Blue cheese steak does just that and the veg are ad lib, as long as green. And if you don't eat meat, just toss some chickpeas with grilled peppers and bake - or leave it at the salad stage (there's bacon in this one which is to be ignored for a veggie version).

Days and kitchens will be getting warmer - good conditions to put on a sourdough starter for the fantastic San Francisco sourdough loaf - or sourdough bread rolls if you prefer. I called them Golden Gate rolls for obvious reasons. Give the sourdough a try - and happy baking!

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