Monday 29 April 2019

The Hungry Gap is Over

The hungry gap is over! Organic spring veg has appeared in abundance at the market -- kohlrabi, carrots, leeks, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, rhubarb, chard, spinach, spring onions...

Photograph Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Here are some of my favourite recipes to use these ingredients:

Kohlrabi with Smoked Fish (a flavour and texture combo made in heaven).

Carottes Rapées (this recipe has raw beetroot as well, but you can substitute more carrots or baby turnips in the spring time. I recommend julienning the vegetables rather than grating, for more crunch).

Pommes de terre à la boulangère (leeks and potatoes is a great combo, especially as you'll be wanting to use up all those old potatoes before the new ones are ready).

Kimchi (using pointed spring cabbage, carrots, radishes and onions. Finely shred the cabbage but don't chop the vegetables into such little bits as this recipe suggests. Keep it on the shelf or in the fridge for 18 months before eating).

Cauliflower Cheese (season the cheese sauce with a teaspoon of dry mustard and a pinch of cayenne. Under no circumstances use your lovely spring cauliflower for making a pretend pizza base or pretend rice. By all means make Aloo Gobi Saag though.)

Pickled Radishes (neither of us are fans of fresh raw radishes, but pickling them is a great way to make Simon happy, and our French friends, especially the car club guys, love them).

For the turnips -- use them in the Kimchi or pickle them like the radishes, or julienne and add to the carottes rapées. All much nicer than cooked.

Rhubarb Crumble and Custard (both nuts and rolled oats are a good addition to the crumble, apples or strawberries work well with the rhubarb).

Green Goddess Soup (either spinach or chard will work well for this surprisingly good and rich soup).

Thinly sliced spring onions, both the white and the green, are an ideal addition to chopped salads.

The other two seasonal delights that have appeared at the farmers markets are asparagus and strawberries.

Oh, and congratulations to Sylvain (my local organic market gardener) on the birth of his baby. Her name is Marie-Lou and according to her father she is an agreeable companion at the moment (although she did make him wait a whole day while she was being born).


For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

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Ken Broadhurst said...

Eat your raw radishes with bread, butter, and salt. Very good that way.

chm said...

The French way!

Sheila said...

I wish we could find lovely slender leeks as shown in your photo. My mother used to cook them whole and serve them at room temperature with a vinaigrette...poor man's asparagus we called them.
What we find locally in the market are enormous, bulbous, and almost entirely green.

Susan said...

I know that's how you are supposed to eat them, and French people to a man/woman love them that way. I'm afraid I don't.

Susan said...

I've never seen leeks like you describe anywhere (France, Australia, England). I personally wouldn't have described the ones above as particularly slender. I sort through them to get the small ones.

Rhodesia said...

I use lots of spices but very little salt in cooking or eating so I will not be eating radishes the French way! I am just making rhubarb and ginger crumble very tasty. Have a good week, Diane

Ken Broadhurst said...

Resistance is futile. Your French improves with every bite of salty radish, butter, and bread you enjoy.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I understand the virtues of reducing salt intake, but fresh French radishes with salt, bread, and unsalted French butter are l'exception qui confirme la règle. If you don't have a weight problem... and I know you don't.

Susan said...

We eat very little processed food so feel free to use salt as we wish. I made a rhubarb and ginger cobbler the other day. We'll finish it today for dessert.

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