Monthly Archives: May 2020

Rose Geranium Leaf Panna Cotta

The secret of a good panna cotta is to use as little gelatine as possible so that it has that lovely, voluptuous wobble and is lovely and silky to eat.   I’ve flavoured panna cotta with many things over the years from vanilla to fig leaf.  I’ve used lemon balm, lemon verbena, black currant leaves and actually tarragon or fennel are surprisingly good too.  Not that keen on lavender in a creamy dessert but it goes very well in shortbread if you want to serve that alongside – though make sure you don’t add too much if you want to avoid a soapy taste. For the shortbread recipe go to Traybake Shortbread and Variations for further details. Continue reading

Asparagus, Pea and Herb Risotto

Risotto is a really adaptable dish that you can make with whatever you have to hand.   In my case this meant asparagus, a few frozen peas  and left over chicken from this weeks roast.  What really makes a risotto though is the stock you use to flavour the rice and the herbs at the end to bring out the flavours.  You can, of course, use butter and parmesan at the end to add richness, but I chose not to wanting this risotto to be clean tasting and for the parsley and tarragon that I added at the end to shine and enhance the asparagus.  In fact this whole dish is layered through with herbs and that is what I wanted to highlight.  I like the texture of my risotto to be soup-y but if you prefer a more solid texture then just add less liquid. Continue reading

Asparagus Tart

This recipe is a bit of a cheat. It uses 6 ingredients – if you don’t count salt and pepper – is incredibly easy and I think looks quite impressive.   Also, from my point of view, it uses, and showcases, asparagus and when you’ve got a glut of it growing in the garden you need ideas as to how to use it!  Do be warned a big fat bunch of asparagus recipes will be coming your way.  You can scale this up or down quite easily.  Just bake more or less.  I like it in two person sized tarts aesthetically, and so that’s the recipe I’ve given here,  but it’s up to you. Continue reading

Parmesan and Herb Shortbread Nibbles

Every so often it is good to look at a loved recipe with new eyes and adapt it to suit you.   I had been looking at a clump of lovage that was growing happily away in my garden and wondering what I could do with it.   You may feel the same about those chives, parsley, dill, fennel etc you have in your fridge or growing in your garden.  All would work in this recipe.

I decided to try lovage in these light, cheesy, herby, buttery little biscuits that are ever so moor-ish and perfect with a glass of wine or whatever before you eat your meal.   I often serve them with radishes dipped in butter and salt and marinated olives (the list is endless) and don’t bother with a starter, but the truth is I could eat them at anytime and, because you keep the dough rolled and in the fridge ready for slicing and baking, I often do! 
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