Spring has sprung!

Spring Recipes By Head Chef Guy Day of Weston Park & The Granary Grill

I love the arrival of Spring and all its fresh and zingy flavours. There is an abundance of ingredients to be enjoyed including lamb, asparagus, shellfish and spring vegetables.

The following recipes are taken from my recent Spring Hints and Tips cookery workshop and I hope they will give inspiration to help prepare delicious dishes at home.

 

RECIPES

BEETROOT RELISH

  • 350g raw beetroot
  • 50g onion
  • 30g raisins
  • 100m red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 100ml light brown sugar
  • 1tsp powdered gelatine

Wash the beets and wrap in foil, roast in an oven for 180c for roughly 2 hours – depending on size – but they need to be tender to the point of a knife.

Leave them to cool, peel the skin off and grate – you may want to wear a pair of plastic gloves!

Thinly slice the onion

Place all the ingredients, except for the gelatine in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time, simmer uncovered for 2 minutes and then remove from the heat and leave to cool.  Strain through a fine sieve.

Sprinkle the gelatine over the cold vinegar, stir in and allow to go spongy, then place over the heat and melt gently without stirring.  When it’s completely melted, pour over the vegetables and refrigerate.

 

MEDITERRANEAN TUMBET

A really simple vegetable dish that just needs a crisp green salad and crusty bread

  • 2 large red peppers
  • 2 large green peppers
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 10 new potatoes, boiled to just tender
  • 1 courgette
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped very small
  • Olive oil
  • About a pint of pasata
  • Good melting cheese – manchego, fontina and mozzarella are all good

First, slice up all the vegetables:

De-seed the peppers and then slice lengthways – about ½ inch thick

Slice the potatoes in rounds, just over an eighth of an inch thick

Slice the aubergine and courgettes into rounds, again just over an eighth of an inch

Heat a large heavy based saucepan and cover the bottom with olive oil, add the aubergine and some of the garlic and cook until it starts to soften and remove.  Repeat with the courgettes and peppers.

Take an oven proof pot and place a layer of potato at the bottom, arrange a layer of aubergine on this followed by the courgettes and lastly the peppers – seasoning lightly as you go.  Now pour over the pasata and place in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes.  Remove and generously sprinkle with the cheese of your choice and pop back in the oven until its golden brown and bubbling.

Remove and serve with a crisp green salad and crusty bread for mopping up the juices.

 

PEA AND COCONUT SOUP

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200g onions
  • 75g celery, chopped
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 500g peas
  • 150g green leek chopped

Sauté the onion and celery in butter without colouring.  Add the stock and the coconut milk, simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the peas and leek and cook for 5 minutes, liquidise, pass through a fine sieve and season to taste.

 

BROAD BEAN AND ROAST GARLIC PUREE

  • 1lb broad beans, shelled
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2oz grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp chopped tarragon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1oz butter
  • Large pinch of sugar

Blanch the garlic in salted boiling water for 1 minute

Place garlic onto a piece of silver foil with the butter, sugar and half the tarragon, season, cover and roast in the oven until tender.

Bring a pan of slightly salted water to the boil and add the broad beans.  Bring back to the boil and cook until tender and refresh in cold water.

Blitz the beans and the roasted garlic and pass through a fine sieve, add the parmesan and the chopped tarragon, season to taste.  Put to one side until needed.

Makes an ideal accompaniment to roast lamb or as a filling for ravioli

 

PROVENCAL VEGETABLES

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 courgette
  • 4 plum tomatoes, skinned, cut in ¼ seed removed, place into marinade
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil

For the marinade for the Provencal vegetables:

  • 290ml / ¼ pint extra virgin olive oil
  • 100ml / 3 fl oz balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 10 basil leaves

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.

Toss peppers in oil and season and roast them in the oven, remove from the oven and cover with cling film, allow to cool, peel and remove the seeds.

Cut into large, but even triangles and place into the marinade.

Slice the courgettes and aubergines into 5mm / ¼ inch thick rounds

Using a hot griddle pan, grill the courgettes and aubergines with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cook both sides and then place into the marinade with the peppers.

To re-heat, place the portions in a pan, season lightly and place in the oven.  Heat and drain off the remaining oil.  Serve with grilled meats or fish.

 

PASTA

  • 500g ‘00’ Flour
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 8-10 yolks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Cold water
  • Pinch of salt

You can make this by hand by pouring the flour onto a work surface and make a well in the middle.  Mix the whole eggs with 8 yolks and the salt and oil together and pour into the well, work into the flour with your hands.  Once it has all come together it shouldn’t be wet.  Flour your hands and knead until its soft smooth and elastic but not sticky or wet.

Cover and place in the fridge to rest for one hour.

 

CHAR-GRILLED VEGETABLE LASAGNE

  • 1 oven proof dish – 20cm square by 5cm deep
  • 2 courgettes sliced – char-grilled or pan fried
  • 1 aubergine – char-grilled or pan fried
  • 1 red pepper roasted, peeled and de-seeded
  • 1 yellow pepper, roasted, peeled and de-seeded
  • 20 black olives, stoned and cut in half
  • 10 basil leaves, ripped up
  • 500ml tomato or pasata sauce
  • 300ml double cream, reduced until starting to thicken with a crushed garlic clove, some chopped thyme and salt and pepper
  • 90g parmesan, grated
  • Freshly rolled pasta sheets, cut to size at 10cm square. Hang and dry for 1 hour and then blanch in boiling salted water for two minutes and then put into ice water.

Mix all the vegetables together with the olives and the basil and season lightly.

Cover the bottom of the dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce or pasata then cover with a layer of pasta.  Top this layer with some vegetables and a sprinkle of parmesan, more tomato sauce and add another layer of pasta.  Add the rest of the vegetables, tomato sauce and parmesan and top with the final layer of pasta, the cream sauce and sprinkle more parmesan over.

Bake in a medium oven for 20 minutes and serve.

 

WILD MUSHROOM OPEN RAVIOLI WITH TRUFFLE OIL

Hang the pasta sheets to dry for one hour and then blanch in boiling salted water for 2 minutes and then place into iced water.

  • 300g wild mushrooms prepped and cut
  • 300ml double cream with one crushed garlic clove, chopped thyme, salt and pepper reduced until starting to thicken, remove from the heat and cool
  • 2 tbsp Madeira
  • ½ tsp chopped thyme
  • ¼ tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • Truffle oil
  • Parmesan

Fry the shallot in a little olive oil until soft and add the garlic and herbs. Cook for a further minute and then pour the contents into a mixing bowl.

Reheat the pan and add a little olive oil and fry off the mushrooms in a couple of batches over a high heat and when they start to soften add the Madeira and cook out.

Once they are all cooked add the mushrooms to the shallots and then add enough cream to bind the mixture together.  Mix and season, keep warm while you re-heat your pasta sheets in hot water.

Place a sheet of pasta in the bottom of four bowls and divide the mushroom mix between the four plates.  Now place another sheet on top to cover the mushrooms.  Drizzle over a little truffle oil, finish with parmesan shavings and a twist of black pepper.