Delicious mixed with pasta, stirred into a plain risotto at the end of cooking, topping a bowl of summer minestrone soup, or layered inside a lasagne with ricotta. It keeps for a week in the fridge in a jar covered with a layer of olive oil. Or freeze it in little plastic tubs. I always have some ready to defrost quickly for an easy pasta ‘n’ pesto dinner – so much nicer than the pasteurised shop-bought jars.
Pork shoulder is suited to slow cooking and will be melt-in-the-mouth tender given time. The cider braising liquid, lightly pickled leeks and punchy horseradish make this a surprisingly clean and bright dish. Serve with potatoes or pearled rye or spelt.
Such a classic English drink – it has to stay in imperial measures! Make this in May or June when elderflowers are at their peak. Pick on a sunny day in the morning and be fussy – you only want pleasant-smelling and perfect sprays, without a whiff of decay.
Recipes vary when it comes to the temperature of the water – some infuse in cold water and others in boiled; some then take the strained cordial to a boil and others don’t. Clearly, the more you heat the cordial the better it will be preserved, but in my experience boiling the cordial also affects the flavour. So below is my compromise version. It should keep perfectly well for a few weeks if not months. To keep it longer, transfer to plastic bottles or tubs and freeze.
This cake is so easy – you can throw it together in ten minutes. It always goes down really well when we make it in cooking classes. Rhubarb, orange and yoghurt make a delicious combination. But you could omit the orange flower water, or substitute rose water, or just use vanilla. Enjoy the cake warm or cold, at tea time or for dessert. It pairs beautifully with a dollop of creamy yoghurt. The recipe is adapted from one by Leanne Kitchen.
If you can’t quite get round to the four-day process that is elderflower cordial or champagne, let alone deal with all those buckets and bottles, then this quick elderflower recipe might be for you. Elderflowers can be consumed whole, as they are, after a brief encounter with some batter and some hot oil.
This recipe is adapted from John Wright, the River Cottage forager. It seems like it must be difficult and prone to problems, and half-way through you won’t believe it’ll ever work, but have faith – the final product will come good and taste remarkably elderflowery.
This is a Moroccan recipe, which I first learnt while working as an intern at Alice Waters’ restaurant, Chez Panisse, in California. ‘Herb jam’ is Paula Wolfert’s name for this delicious, savoury salad-cum-relish. The recipe here is based on one of hers.
The key to success is patience. You must wash vast quantities of greens and herbs, steam the greens, pound together the herbs and garlic, fry the olives and spices and then cook everything down together slowly in a wide pan until it resembles jam. It’s a bit of a hassle, so I advise making a double batch (buy way more greens than you think it’s possible to cook) and freezing some.
But when you taste it, perhaps on crostini or with warm Moroccan bread, you’ll realise why this is such a special recipe. If you love greens, olives and lemony flavours, you’ll adore this. Everyone I have cooked it for has found it a revelation.
For the greens, use a mix of whatever you can find – spinach, chard, rocket, kale, sorrel, watercress, mustard greens, celery leaves, purslane