Having endured months of cold and rain, root vegetables and stews, we are back to spring with such an excitement! Whilst not a big fan of cold and rain, getting through them with a good beef stew and dumplings is still a comforting thought. But when the first of the wild garlic and asparagus start coming through, combined with the bright mornings and crisp air, it really brings a feeling of happiness.
My personal favourite is the aforementioned wild garlic. It goes so well with so many things, adding a wonderfully subtle nudge of flavour to many fabulous dishes.
At the restaurant we have it on the menu with spring lamb neck, gently roasted keeping it pink, with a potato puree smoked with peak, clams cooked in white wine with wild garlic thrown in at the last second, the juices enriched with a little butter and all spooned over and garnished with wild garlic flowers. This dish is actually creation of Ross McGrath, one of my chefs, who comes from Ireland. He told me a story of lambs feeding on the peat, the clams coming from the sea just over the hills, and the wild garlic grown on the next field. How wonderful!
Dan Doherty, Duck & Waffle (London, UK)