Ingredients: 2 shallots, 2 garlic cloves, 150g broad beans, 100g peas, 1 courgette, a few stems of mint, 2 stems of basil, 50g bunch of rocket.
From the larder: 2 knobs of butter, 170g Arborio rice, 600-700ml stock, 30g Parmesan, (Optional: grilled fish or chicken, exchange 100ml stock for white wine).
- Peel and chop the shallots and peel and dice the garlic.
- Gently sauté in a knob of butter for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the Arborio rice, cook for a minute or so while you prepare the stock.
- Add the stock ladle-by-ladle to the rice. Stir and cook for a few minutes between each ladle allowing stock to absorb between each one.
Pull the spoon through the risotto and count to 10. If it holds for 10 seconds, it’s time for more stock.
- While risotto is cooking, shell the peas and broad beans, and thinly slice the courgette. If using, grill meat/fish.
- Bring a small pot of water to the boil and boil the broad beans for a 1-2 minutes. Drain and run them under cold water and then pierce the skin of the beans with your finger nail and pop the beans out their skin casing. You can skip this step and put them straight into the risotto if you want to, but the skin casing can be a little bitter.
- When you’ve used just over ¾ of the stock, stir in the broad beans, courgette and peas.
- When risotto is creamy and al denté (soft but still with a little bite), take off the heat, add a knob of butter and cover until butter has melted.
- Mix in grated Parmesan and chopped mint and basil leaves. Serve immediately with rocket on the side.
This is a delicious and light mid-week meal: a yummy roasted sweet potato rosti is beautifully topped off with swiss chard, peas, mint and a poached egg.
Ingredients: Sweet potato, potatoes, swiss chard, peas and mint.
From the larder: 80-100g feta cheese, 3 eggs, oil, salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
- In a bowl, grate all the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and mix in 1 egg.
- Heat a glug of oil in an ovenproof frying pan or casserole dish. Pour the rösti mixture into the pan, spread out and push down gently so that it fills the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes, check the underside and when browning, place the pan in the oven to roast for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop the mint, chard and shell the peas. When the rösti is almost ready, in another frying pan, add a glug of oil and then sauté the greens, starting with the stems and peas for a minute followed by chard leaves. Sauté until stems soft and leaves wilted.
- While the veggies are sautéing, poach 2 eggs.
- When the rösti is browning and crispy, remove from the oven. Serve half the rösti per person with a poached egg, greens, mint leaves and crumbled feta piled on top.
A frittata is a brilliant mid week meal and a great way to pack lots of veg from your fridge into supper. This frittata is full of spring greens and accompanied by crushed potatoes and crunchy radishes.
Ingredients: 1 shallot, 100g purple sprouting broccoli, 100g fresh peas, 150g purple potatoes, 5-6 breakfast radishes, small bunch of parsley, 2 stems of basil, 1 spring onion.
From the Larder: butter or oil, 4-5 eggs, salt and pepper, 50g goats cheese or feta.
- Roughly chop the potatoes into chunks, and boil from cold for about 10 mins.
- Finely chop the shallot, the broccoli into 2-3cm lengths. Shell the peas and chop the basil.
- In a frying pan, sauté the shallot for a few minutes and then add the broccoli. Sauté for 5 mins.
- In a bowl beat the eggs, mix in the peas, basil, a pinch of salt and pepper, goats cheese or feta and pour into the frying pan. Leave to cook on the bottom and after about 5 mins place under the grill to set the top of the frittata.
- While the frittata is cooking, drain the potatoes and in a bowl crush with a fork, slice the radishes, finely slice the spring onion and chop the parsley. Mix all together, drizzle with oil and season.
- Enjoy the crushed potatoes with the spring frittata.
When wild garlic is in season we find it hard to move far away from it. So while this short season lasts, we’ve created a yummy wild garlic risotto using wild garlic leaves and wet garlic bulbs along with other spring veg.
Ingredients: 2 shallots, 20g wet garlic cloves, 35g wild garlic leaf(large handful or two), 50-100g peas, 1 courgette, sprig of mint, 2 stems of basil, 50-100g cherry tomatoes.
From the larder: knob of butter, 200g Arborio rice, 900ml stock, 30g Parmesan, and (optional: 40g almonds, grilled salmon).
- Chop the shallots, wet garlic and basil stems. The wet garlic is young and so you don’t need to remove the skin. Gently sweat in butter until soft and then add the Arborio rice and cook for a few minutes until rice looks slightly translucent.
- Prepare the stock and slowly add ladle-by-ladle to the rice, stirring and leaving to cook for a few minutes, allowing stock to absorb between each ladle.
- Quarter the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and tear over a few basil leaves, set aside separately.
- If using, chop and toast the almonds and set aside.
- Thinly slice the courgette, shell peas and roughly chop wild garlic. When you have used about 2/3 of the stock in the risotto, mix all the veg into the risotto.
- When risotto is al denté (soft, but still with a tiny bite) take off the heat, season, add a knob of butter, chopped mint leaves and the grated Parmesan. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Serve risotto with almonds sprinkled on top and tomatoes on the side.