I was driving in Kent this weekend and dotted along the lanes and roads are little stools selling local produce from cucumbers, tomatoes, runner beans and broad beans, all seasonal from the green house and allotments. I stopped and bought my favourite of July’s treasures, some lovely Kent cherries.
I paid £5 for a truckload of about 1 kilogram. While eating quite a few on the way home, I made cherry pancakes, cherry compote, cherry ice cream and cherry steamed puddings over the weekend. There’s always a difference between the cherries I had as a kid and the ones that are in the supermarket, British cherries are smaller but more flavoursome than the north African varieties that are sold out of season, the good ones make there way to the cities at market level but are often overlooked for bigger and brighter varieties sold for a ridiculous price. Next time you here a loud market trader shouting about his lovely cherries, take the opportunity to grab some. Bang in season and just beautiful!
I had one of the greatest salads the other evening quite by chance, I got home very late after an evening function and didn’t feel like cooking a great deal so I opted for a salad, I have had a glut of cucumbers in the green house over the last week so wondering what to do with all these cucumbers I decided to peel and soak in a little salt and lime juice, peel and dice and avocado. I grated some ginger and a little garlic, to add to some sesame oils, soy and sesame seeds for the dressing.
I had some dried wakami (seaweed) in the cupboard which takes seconds to rehydrate, I squeezed the excess liquid from the cucumber removing any bitterness from the skin and layered in to a salad with the dressing.
It was one of the best salads I have had in ages cleansing, nutritious and all from the fridge and larder. The lime and ginger really give it a zing and background flavours of sesame and the seaweed give it its depth. Try for yourselves. I had it on its own but with a nice piece of salmon or Piri Piri chicken this would make a great side dish.
While we enjoy an afternoon sugar fix, this week we are trialing some trail mix in the Café, toasted seeds and dried fruits, while not an instant fix to your afternoon energy levels these release a slow and nutritious energy over a few hours with lower calories and far less fat.
Here’s a great cherry dessert to try, it’s called a Clafoutis nowadays, my Gran called it cherry tart.
For the cherries
Try it yourself!
Until next time,
Executive Head Chef, Simon