Asparagus with Soft Egg & Anchovy Dressing

Jubilee menu

25th May 2012

Nothing could be nicer than a fresh British produce-themed meal for the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

Whether you’re celebrating with friends and family, or enjoying a quiet few days with your doors closed and the television firmly off, the great flavours of seasonal fruit and vegetables will bring your tastebuds to life.

Relax beforehand with a Strawberry, Prosecco, Campari, Elderflower and Mint Cocktail, and then enjoy a starter of Asparagus with Soft Egg & Anchovy Dressing; follow that with Salmon en Croute with a Runner Bean and Broad Bean Remoulade, and perhaps a few new potatoes, and then conclude with more Sweet Eve Strawberries (too good not to indulge while you can) in Strawberry and Lavender Eton Mess. All delicious, and all very patriotic.

Sweet Eve Strawberry, Prosecco, Campari, Elderflower and Mint Cocktail

This cocktail is a delicious and beautiful drink to get the party started. The flavours of summer - strawberry, elderflower and mint - add sweetness and colour to fizzy, dry Prosecco and the slight bitterness of Campari. Serve in chilled champagne flutes, with fresh strawberries to decorate, and a bowl of fresh olives and oven warm bread: it’s the perfect way to greet guests.

Serves 6 • Preparation: 10 minutes

300g Sweet Eve strawberries • 6 sugar cubes (optional) • 3 shots of elderflower cordial • 3 shots of Campari • 1 bottle of Prosecco

Take 6 large champagne flutes and chill in the refrigerator. Hull all the strawberries and chop and blend half of them. Strain the strawberry puree into a jug through a sieve, to eliminate the seeds.

When you are ready to serve the cocktail place a cube of sugar at the bottom of each glass, (if you prefer your cocktails less sweet then you can leave the sugar out). Pour half a shot of elderflower into each glass, followed by half a shot of Campari and half a shot of strained strawberry puree.

Open the Prosecco bottle and top each flute with fizzy wine. Mix with a cocktail stirrer and serve with the remaining Sweet Eve strawberries.

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Valentine Warner’s British Asparagus with Soft Egg & Anchovy Dressing

This would make a perfect starter for dinner – or a very respectable summer lunch when the weather is hot and you don’t want to sit down to anything more substantial.

Serves 6 • Cooking time: 6-8 minutes • Preparation time: 10 minutes

1 clove of good garlic (no green shoots) • 1 small spring rosemary • 1 egg yolk • 70g white anchovies (vinegared in oil, not the brown salted ones) • 50ml whole milk • 60ml olive oil • A splash of double cream (optional) • 3 whole eggs • 4 bundles of British asparagus, washed & trimmed • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Finely chop the garlic, the sprig of rosemary and put in a small bowl with the egg yolk and anchovies.

In a small pan warm the milk, taking it off just before it simmers. Pour over the anchovies and blitz with a stick blender. Pour in the olive oil very slowly until you have a nice creamy dressing. This can be finished with a little double cream (50mls)

Place eggs in pan of cold water. Bring water up to the boil and then boil for 4 ½ minutes, drain and cool quickly in cold water.

In a separate pan put the asparagus in enough boiling water to cover it bring back up to boil and cook for no more than 1 ½ minutes, drain the run under cold water, dry thoroughly.

Side by side arrange 5 stems of asparagus on each plate, swiftly cut the eggs in half so not to let the middle run out and place each half on the asparagus, season the egg with salt & pepper before drizzling over some of the dressing.

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Salmon en Croute with a Runner Bean and Broad Bean Remoulade

A delicious light main course with all the flavours of summer

Serves 4 • Preparation: 20 minutes • Cooking: 25 minutes

Plain flour for dusting • 500g ready made puff pastry • 1kg salmon loin • 2tbsp olive oil • Small bunch of rosemary, chopped • salt and pepper • 1 free range egg, lightly beaten • A knob of butter for greasing

200g broad beans, podded (approx. 400g unpodded) • 200g runner beans, cut into diamonds • 2tbsp mayonnaise • 1tsp Dijon mustard • 200g celeriac, cut into matchsticks

,Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.

Lightly dust a work surface with the flour, then roll out the puff pastry until it is slightly longer than the salmon and 3 times the width.

Lay the salmon in the middle of the pastry and brush it with the olive oil, sprinkle over the rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Diagonally cut the pastry from the salmon to the edge of the pastry in 2cm slices on both sides. Brush the pastry with the egg wash, then fold over the slices from left to right to form a lattice. Trim off the pastry from either end of the salmon, then brush with the egg wash

Place the salmon on a buttered non stick baking tray, then place in the oven on the middle shelf and cook for 25 minutes, or until golden. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.

While you are waiting for the salmon to cook, bring a medium sized pan of salted water to the boil, then cook the broad beans and runner beans for 2 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water, then squeeze the broad beans out of their shells.

To make the remoulade, mix together the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard in a medium sized bowl, add the celeriac, broad and runner beans, season and mix well.

Once the salmon is cooked, serve warm with the remoulade.

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Sweet Eve Strawberry and Lavender Eton Mess

The addition of aromatic, fresh lavender flower heads to Sweet Eve strawberries and fresh cream, mixed with meringues, is the perfect taste of summer. Once you’ve made the meringues, this pudding is so quick to assemble, and children can join in too. You can create the pudding hours before your guests arrive, then whip them out of the fridge just before serving.

Serves 4 • Preparation: 15 minutes • Cooking: 1 hour (for the meringue)

3 egg whites • 175g caster sugar • 500 ml double cream • 2 tbsp icing sugar • 4 lavender flower heads, and a few extra for decoration • 400g Sweet Eve strawberries

Pre-heat the oven to 140°C. Grease and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Whisk the egg whites in a very clean bowl till stiff. Add the sugar, very slowly, until it is fully mixed in.

Pipe the meringue mixture either in a large circle or two heart shapes on the baking tray. Bake in the oven for approximately one hour, then switch the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven till cool.

In a bowl whisk the cream till stiff and fold in the icing sugar. Finely chop the lavender flower heads and fold into the cream. Chill the mixture in the fridge.

Hull and finely chop all the strawberries and place half of them in a blender. Blend until completely pureed and pass through a sieve in order to remove the seeds.

Break the meringues into small pieces and place in a bowl. Add all the other elements and mix together. Spoon into bowls or vintage tea cups to serve, decorated with extra lavender flowers.

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