This Season… With Adam Byatt
Foodie tips and a Valentine’s recipe
Straight from his Michelin-star restaurant, Trinity, and sister restaurant Bistro Union on Abbeville Road, T&L’s new food columnist serves up spring’s foodie tips…
As spring begins, keep an eye out for the first of the season wild garlic that you may find growing out and about. A quick rub between your fingers will be enough reassurance that you have hit the jackpot!
My top ingredient highlights for this time of year are blood oranges and forced rhubarb. The deep red oranges have a unique balance of acidity and sweetness and pair brilliantly with rhubarb. The last of the winter bitter leaves such as Castelfranco and Tardivo make for a fine addition to any salad as well.
As we move into March, little new potatoes marry so well with salmon, a light herby mayonnaise and some tender asparagus spears. White asparagus arrives slightly earlier than its chlorophyll-filled cousin simply because, as with forced rhubarb, it is deprived of light and ‘forced’ to grow quicker. Slightly bitter but with a unique crunch, white asparagus is happiest when grilled or charred.
My go-to place this month is Tierra Verde, located in Webbs Road. My wife Vicki and I use this place weekly for a quick lunch – the soups and hams are fantastic. It’s out of the main drag of Northcote Road, but the cooking is delightful.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day cooking, just keep things simple – light whole fish from Moxon’s in Clapham South, gently grilled with some lemon and olive oil and an indulgent chocolate pudding to share! Below is a great recipe for my chocolate hot pot for Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Chocolate Hot Pot
• 125g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
• 125g butter
• 2 eggs
• 2 egg yolks
• 75g caster sugar
1. Roughly chop the chocolate and butter and place the pieces in a bowl. Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure they do not get too hot. Remove the bowl from the pan, and stir the chocolate and butter together well with a spatula. Allow to cool slightly, but keep warm.
2. Put the eggs and egg yolks into a separate bowl and whisk slowly with an electric mixer. Add the sugar gradually, a few spoonfuls at a time and continue whisking until the mixture turns pale yellow and holds a ribbon trail when the mixer is lifted.
3. Using the spatula, gently fold the melted chocolate and butter into the egg mixture (taking care not to collapse the aerated eggs). Transfer to a container, cover and leave to relax in the fridge for an hour (or up to 3 days).
4. When you are ready to bake the hot pots, preheat oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas 61/2.
5. Spoon the mixture into four large individual ramekin moulds or six smaller ones (I have used coffee mugs for this in the past) place on a baking tray. Bake for 6 minutes until the centres are warm.