The menus were a big hit with our cycling guests last week.
May is an exciting month at the markets as all the fresh new spring produce starts to appear – such as the rosy pink rhubarb I found and roasted gently in the oven with a little brown sugar, ginger and star anise to give a warmly spiced compote which went beautifully with a fresh, chilled creme brulee.
Sweet red Gariguette strawberries abound now and were gorgeous piled in a crisp golden meringue atop a wicked mix of creme fraiche and white chocolate with a swirl of some of the crushed fruits spiked with a dash of ‘creme de framboises‘ – lush!
Asparagus is everywhere and absolutely delicious, especially fresh steamed with a topping of just frizzled jambon cru and one of our own hen’s eggs lightly boiled.
Also newly arrived are the beautiful mauve clumps of new season’s garlic just waiting to be finely sliced onto tomatoes with an olive oil and balsamic dressing for a gutsy salad to be enjoyed with some crusty pain de campagne or simmer them together with some fat leeks and new white spring onions in full cream milk and light stock to make a delicious creamy soup – finish with a sprinkle of chopped chives for a real allium feast!
The menus also included a Roquefort, walnut, lardons and fresh pear salad – similar to the one Jamie made on his Jamie Does France show this week, but with a walnut oil dressing and a few slices of just-ripe pears added; a sticky caramelised Tarte Tatin and a rich, crumbly walnut tart with fig ice cream – both made from last autumn’s harvest of our own trees.
And that’s just the starters and puddings – bon appetit!