Spring is here!

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Spring. Oh, how I love thee. If I feel tired and gloomy during the cold and dark winter months, I now feel awake again. It’s easier to get out of bed in the morning and being outside, even if it’s just walking to the tube, is a pleasure not torture. On Saturday I just walked around town for two hours because the sun was out and it was spring in the air.

Lots of the spring flowers are in full bloom, and the first British asparagus has arrived in some shops together with the wild garlic. This, my dear readers, is my favourite time of year. I love summer and warmer temperatures, but now before summer is here, we have it all in front of us and it feels like the best present ever. Then we blink and it’s September, but I really want to try and enjoy the little things every day between now and then. The taste of all the fresh produce; the asparagus, the jersey royals, the first British strawberries and so on. Sitting in the sun having a coffee or an ice cream, walking to work and hearing the birds chirping. All of that makes me so very happy.

And one of my favourite dishes this time of year, is a real celebration of spring. It’s fresh and simple but full of spring flavours. I’m talking about fresh local asparagus, homemade wild garlic mayonnaise that’s just divine and to top it all off, a drizzle of a nice olive or rapeseed oil and a scattering of parmesan shavings. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Happy SPRING!!

Globe artichoke – the perfect nibble?

Sometimes I really admire the ability the Mediterranean countries have to dress up vegetables in the most simplest way and make it taste delicious.

When Maria & Daniel were here in April we had artichokes the simple French way and it was both good fun to pick it apart and fabulous to eat. I served it with melted butter, wild garlic mayo and baguette. Amazing!

Whole artichoke

Depending on the size, use approx 1/2 artichoke per person as a nibble/small starter.

Trim the leaves with scissors all around the artichoke and rub with lemon over the cuts so they won’t go brown. Place the artichoke in salted boiling water and cook until soft (20-45 minutes depending on size). Start to eat it by picking the leaves from the bottom and up, outside and in. Dip in butter or mayo and scrape off the ‘meaty’ part with your teeth. Once the leaves are picked the heart remains. Trim away all the fluff and cut it up, serve with a knife and fork.