The beginning of the year as the bulbs begin to give colour we are blessed with so much hope and food is the best indicator of brighter times to come…
Keep an eye out for the first of the season wild garlic (which like daffodils and tulips is also a bulb) that you may find growing out and about. A quick rub between your fingers will be enough reassurance that you have hit the jackpot!
Blood Oranges and Forced Rhubarb
My absolute ingredient highlights for this time of year are blood oranges and forced rhubarb. The deep red oranges have a unique balance of acidity and sweetness and pair brilliantly with rhubarb. The last of the winter bitter leaves such as Castelfranco and Tardivo make for a fine addition to any salad. In fact, I love the natural link between the food of the seasons and their obvious plate partners. As we move into March, little new potatoes marry so well with salmon, a light herby mayonnaise and some tender asparagus spears. White asparagus arrives slightly earlier than its chlorophyll-filled cousin simply because, as with forced rhubarb, it is deprived of light and ‘forced’ to grow quicker. Slightly bitter but with a unique crunch, white asparagus is happiest when grilled or charred.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day cooking, just keep things simple – light whole fish from Moxon’s in Clapham South, gently grilled with some lemon and olive oil and an indulgent chocolate pudding to share!
Below is a great recipe for blood orange granita and also my chocolate hot pot for Valentine’s Day.