- Watercress, pistachio & orange blossom salad with buffalo mozzarella and black olive bread
- Pea blini, asparagus, poached egg and tarragon hollandaise
- Basil, lemon & goats cheese ravioli, roasted tomato sauce, chilli pangrattato
- Carrot and white chocolate fondant with dark chocolate sorbet
You may have noticed that the menu is entirely vegetarian. I have signed up to #MeatFreeMay, a campaign run by Friends of the Earth to highlight the damage that over-farming of fish and meat causes to the environment and to our health. I’m not sure I could ever give up meat & fish completely, but I think the key is to eat less, but better quality meat such as free range or organic. For anyone interested in the details, there is a useful document here. I can also thoroughly recommend the following books for interesting reading – Farmageddon by Philip Lymbery, Swallow This by Joanna Blythman and In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan. You will never look at a supermarket ready meal in the same way again!
If anyone is tempted to try something veggie but yummy, here is a recipe to get you started…
Caramelised red onion and goats cheese tart
220g plain flour
110g cold, diced butter
1 tsp fennel seeds, ground in a pestle and mortar
Onion and goats cheese fillling
1kg red onion
1tbsp olive oil
1 star anise
4tbsp brown sugar
200g goats cheese
300ml double cream
handful of chives, finely chopped
1. To make the pastry, rub the cold butter cubes in to the flour until breadcrumbs are formed. Stir in the ground fennel seeds and salt, then add a couple of tablespoons of water until just combined. Knead for 30 seconds then wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the red onion marmalade. Finely slice the onions, and gently fry in the butter and olive oil until really soft, but not browned. Add the star anise, balsamic and brown sugar, and continue to gently cook until all the liquid is absorbed and there is a jam consistency – this might take half an hour or so. Set aside to cool.
3. Roll out the dough and line a tart case. Prick the dough with a fork all over. Cover with clingfilm and rest in the fridge for another half an hour. Preheat the oven to 190 C (170 C fan).
4. It is now time to ‘blind bake’ the tart case. Rather than buy expensive baking beans, I do the following. Scrunch up a piece of greaseproof paper and place this over the pastry case. Pour in about a bag of uncooked rice to weigh down the paper. Bake like this for 25 minutes, then remove the paper and rice and bake for a final ten minutes.
5. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream until combined. Break the goats cheese into small pieces and stir into the mix, along with the chives and a good helping of salt and pepper.
6. Time to assemble the tart! Spread a good layer of onion maramalade onto the pastry base, then pour over the cream mixture. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until the tart is set, but with a very slight wobble in the middle.
And enjoy! I would leave it to cool in the case for a little bit, as it makes it easier to slice.
- Saturday 14th May
- Saturday 11th June
- Saturday 9th July