What a lovely Garden Day we had. Here are the recipes for the lunch I made for the Virtual Garden Party today. Everything is plant based and seasonal, most things picked from my garden this morning. I also had a bottle of rosé wine, which influenced the meal. If you prefer not to use alcohol substitute with a diluted cordial, such as elderflower, rhubarb or rose.
The video is available to view on You Tube here.
Pea, Broadbean and mint pate
I used fresh peas and broadbeans from the garden, but it is fine to use frozen veg too – let it defrost first. This light pate tastes of spring. It’s lovely on toast, sandwiches, or stirred into cous cous, pasta or rice.
- 500g peas and broadbeans (after podding)
- 2 tbsp light oil (olive, sunflower)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp chopped mint – I used apple mint
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley or French tarragon
- salt and pepper
Boil the beans and peas until tender and drain. Leave to cool.
Place in a food processor with the other ingredients and whizz until blended. Scrape into a dish and sprinkle with sumac or paprika, or more chopped herbs.
Roasted lettuce with rosé poached rhubarb
Roasted lettuce is so delicious, so I always grow some hearting lettuce as well as the lettuce for mixed salad. It’s simple to prepare. Cut into quarters (check for slugs) and place in a roasting tin. Drizzle with olive or sunflower oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, poach the rhubarb. Cut 4 stems of rhubarb into 5cm pieces. Place in a pan with:
- 200 ml rosé wine
- 2 tbsp chopped sweet cicely (alternatives: fennel, 1 tbsp ginger, French tarragon)
Simmer until the rhubarb is tender. Drain and leave to cool, reserving the cooking liquor to make a salad dressing.
Rosé wine salad dressing
- 125 ml rosé wine (or the reserved liquor from poached rhubarb
- 125ml light oil (olive, sunflower)
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup, honey or agave
- juice 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
Whisk the ingredients together. Taste and season to your preference.
Quick pickled vegetables
I made this today with radish, spring onions and kohl rabi. Use whatever crunchy fresh veg and fruit that is in season eg: apple, cabbage, celery, cucumber, summer squash. This fresh pickle lasts for about a week in the fridge.
I my garden I leave some radish to go to flower, which provides beautiful edible flowers and crisp spicy green pods, so I added these to the pickle.
- 500 ml heatproof jar – I use a preserving jar
- selection of vegetables, sliced thinly if appropriate (I didn’t slice the flowers or pods) – enough to fill the jar to about 4/5 full
- 200 ml vinegar – cider or wine vinegar, any kind
- 200 ml water
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional, this makes it spicier)
Place the vinegar, water and salt in a pan. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Place the vegetables in the jar and carefully pour the hot vinegar liquid over the top. Leave to cool.
Quick pickled rhubarb
- 3 rhubarb stalks, sliced (I slice them diagonally because it looks nice)
- 250 ml red wine vinegar
- 100g sugar*
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1-2 tbsp herbs – French tarragon, thyme or sweet cicely (*if using sweet cicely you can reduce the sugar by 1/2)
- A heatproof jar
Heat the vinegar, salt and sugar in a pan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Add the herbs if using
Place the rhubarb in the jar and pour the liquid over the top. Leave to cool. This lasts for a week or so in the fridge.
Skin on new potato salad with herb dressing
I love new potatoes, they are so delicious and a real treat in the spring. These were growing in sacks in my greenhouse for an early crop.
- 500g new potatoes, washed and boiled until tender. Drain.
- 125 ml olive oil
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard (or wholegrain if you prefer)
- juice 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp finely chopped mint
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
Whisk the salad ingredients together, taste and adjust the seasoning as you desire.
Pour over the potatoes and gently coat to stir.
Roast asparagus, radish and spring onion
This is so simple and so delicious. Nice with baby carrots too. Cook as much veg as you fancy. Leftovers are superb made into risotto (especially if you add leftover chopped roasted lettuce), or stirred into pasta sauce. Or just eaten cold for lunch the next day too.
Cut the spring onions and radish in half lengthways. Arrange on a roasting tin with the asparagus, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes until cooked.