Secret Kitchen menu, 28th May 2011
Goat’s cheese crostini with rhubarb & anise chutney
Ricotta crostini with nettle & wild garlic pesto
Spinach soup with crème fraîche
Poached Loch Duart salmon with watercress and minted cucumber yoghurt,
spring greens with wet garlic & Puy lentils,
Cornish new potatoes with wild garlic butter, poached asparagus with boiled eggs
Rhubarb fool and elderflower fritters
Coffee, biscotti and liqueurs
About tonight’s menu
March to June is considered Britain’s ‘Hungry Gap’. The winter roots and greens have finished and things like potatoes, carrots and apples in cold storage are past their best. The summer growing season doesn’t really get going until July, so this is the hardest time of year to stick to truly seasonal eating.
However, those things that are around now are very special – asparagus and rhubarb of course, but also bright spring greens, spinach and watercress, wet garlic in the fields and wild garlic in the woods, new potatoes, the first peas and sprays of creamy elderflower everywhere.
We picked the nettles, wild garlic and elderflowers ourselves, mostly on Walthamstow and Hackney Marshes. Almost all the rest of tonight’s produce comes from Riverford, who deliver organic fruit and veg boxes from their sister farms around the country. Riverford’s produce is always really fresh and tasty, and includes the more interesting seasonal specimens, like wet garlic, that are hard to find in the shops. Do check out their new cookbook – Everyday & Sunday – it has five of my recipes in it!
Loch Duart produces low-volume, high-quality farmed salmon, renowned for its similarity to wild Atlantic salmon (which is now endangered). Loch Duart salmon are fed from sustainable sources, with no antibiotics, and the farm is RSPCA – freedom food certified. Our two big fish tonight were supplied by Fin & Flounder in Hackney.