I wanted a pudding. I wanted something sharp rather than sweet – but then other people become involved and they want sweet over sharp, and so it goes on. There is a balance to be struck and it’s with a lovely tarte au citron. My local farmers shop has some wonderfully large, ripe and juicy lemons that were crying out for use and so they came to the rescue. Here it is, a tart for the close of summer; one to use before the darker night and heavier puddings of autumn arrive.
This is a real festive treat. I was never one for thick cuts of ham, it just didn’t seem right. Then I discovered a Christmas-time recipe that I now make every year; and every year it is the one thing people want more of and never tire of eating. A boneless mild cure gammon, soaked in the flavours of fennel, anise, coriander and cloves. The whole lot is then glazed in cinnamon and smoked paprika. Not only does it taste wonderful, but the house smells even more of the Christmas cheer. I have put this on now so that you can do it if you want. When mine is done, a picture will follow.
This is only a guide to seasonal fruit and vegetables generally available.
Of course, many are available all the time because of imports, and some are now grown for most of the year and they are included on these lists. Supporting local farmers and producers is by far the best way of eating good food, and helping local agriculture or fishermen; but the best person to ask what is in season is your greengrocer, fishmonger or butcher.
Summer, and in England at least crab comes into its own. I have used it elsewhere on this blog but sometimes with the heat of some chili and silky smooth pasta it can make a lovely, but light dish. If you want to serve it as a starter then add some cream, which makes the whole thing very rich – I think too rich for a main course. Victoria Moore in her terrific book on wine suggests a Burgundian chardonnay or Chablis goes well with this – as ever she is spot on.
I refuse to call this Quiche. Not because I don’t bake Quiche, but because this is not one! It is a tart, good and proper, or if you are feeling a little more up market a flan. It is also a tart so I dont have to tidy up the edges – and it makes it look less shop-bought. It is also a case of take a look in the larder and see what you have left. The only reason that this is cheese, ham and onion is because they were available. You could take your pick on what is on offer, or you could follow this recipe. Either way, you could do a lot worse for supper on a blustery saturday evening.
We fancied having a sort of Spanish-style afternoon meal. Any excuse of some nice white Spanish wine. Anyway, choice was limited at the fishmonger, we got there late, so the result has been some Spanish cheese (manchego) and some battered and deep-fried squid. There is a choice of dip, mayonnaise in both but then one with lemon and garlic and the other with lime and curry. Both are really easy and the whole meal takes only minutes to make. If only we had the weather to go with it all.