This is spring on a board! This recipe uses edible weeds, refer back to our little edible weeds guide here.
The asparagus has started popping up, carrots are sitting ready in the ground, the fennel is beginning to "bulb up" and the herbs are ready to pick. Yep, spring is finally here – and with this recipe it’s tasting delicious. We are strong believers in good, well produced ingredients – vegetables that are grown in nutrient rich soil and dairy from cows raised on healthy pasture. I promise you, these ingredients taste so much better. And if you start with the best ingredients, you will always end up with delicious tasting food. That is what this spring tasting plate focuses on, taking a few good ingredients and doing just the minimum to them to bring them together without losing what makes each one so special.
Spring is such a weird time, there is this misconception that spring is a bountiful time, where vegetables are endless, flowers are popping and bees are buzzing. The flower and bee part is true, but towards the end of spring, there is a "spring scarcity", where there is a gap in the garden - all the vegetables hanging on from winter and the early spring shoots are all gone and the new crop of early summer vegetables aren't happening yet. Plus the rain stops so everything in the wild dies.
So we are making the most of early spring while it's here, celebrating it's beautiful abundance. If you are in the northern hemisphere, you can probably also enjoy this dish without the asparagus as it can be made in Autumn too!
Enjoy it, celebrate it and share it. Let us know how you shared this dish!
Serves 6 as tasting plate // Time 45 mins
Lemon & wood sorrel marinated feta
1 flat tablespoon lemon zest
10 stems of wood sorrel (flowers, stems and all), finely chopped
good olive oil
10-15 cubes of feta
Combine all ingredients into a jar and just cover with olive oil. Gently turn the jar upside down to marinate and cover the feta.
Serve immediately, or for best results leave in the fridge for a few days.
Fennel top, dill & parsley pesto
¼ cup finely chopped dill (stems and all)
¼ cup finely chopped fennel tops (stems and all – you should have fennel tops left over from your fennel, which is used below)
½ cup finely chopped parsley (stems and all)
1 garlic clove or garlic shoot, finely chopped
1 dried chilli
¾ cup good olive oil
Slowly add herbs and oil, little by little into mortar and pestle until you have combined all the ingredients.
Grind into a paste and serve.
Grilled asparagus, carrots, leeks & fennel
5 carrots (tops on)
1 fennel bulb
6 asparagus spears
a few sprigs of thyme
Get a big pot of salt water boiling (and when we say salty, we mean salty like the sea).
Cut the carrots and leeks into halves, the fennel into quarters and keep the asparagus whole.
Put the vegetables into boiling water for 3-5 minutes, until just soft. Drain.
Oil your grill and get it hot (you could also use the BBQ for this). Place the vegetables and thyme on the grill, leave each side without turning for 5 minutes or until “charcoal” lines appear.
Place on wooden board and serve.
Serve all together on a big wooden board, with warm sourdough bread, butter and spring edible flowers!
Spring edible flowers used in this shoot were violas, radish flowers and wombok flowers