Spring is the season of new beginnings as April kickstarts Mother Nature’s many miracles. Blossom and green shoots abound as the world wakes up, throws off winter’s shackles and remembers how good it is to be alive. For me, this Spring has heralded a return to my professional roots as I rediscovered the sheer joy of cooking.
There is nothing more satisfying than entering an empty kitchen, lighting the ovens, selecting the pots and pans and then getting to work, creating dishes that are full of flavour, aromatic and nourishing. Cooking is such a creative act. Once you have learnt the basics, you can indulge your imagination and experiment to your heart’s content.
Personally, I find solace in cooking well-loved dishes that never fail to disappoint. Nothing beats hearing the sizzle of foaming butter waiting for a mountain of crisp chopped onions and creamy garlic to join it in the pan. Whilst these gradually soften, fresh herbs join the mix, preparing the way for whatever comes next: meat, fish, tomatoes, potatoes, whatever takes your fancy. Add some stock, perhaps a dash of wine, simmer, season, simmer again and soon the meal is ready to serve. Prepare a colourful salad with a home-made dressing a few hunks of crusty bread and you have a feast. It’s really as simple as that!
March and April allow us to indulge in Wye Valley asparagus, peppery watercress, tender radishes and the king of all potatoes, jersey royals. So, rather than a salad, you might consider this suggestion to accompany your main meal.