Growing up in France and spending most of my holidays at the family farm, I have always welcome Spring as the season when natures awakes, some exciting months leading to Summer, my most favourite time to be at the farm.
I was recently cooking fresh peas in my London kitchen and the simple fact of removing them from the pods took me back to dear memories of my childhood years. In late afternoon in Spring and Summer, when weather would allow, it was a tradition for the family to sit down at the garden table and start preparing fresh vegetables we would cook for dinner. When on holiday at the farm it would be a ritual to join my grandmother asking her “Je peux te m’aider Mamie?” (“Can me help you”). This sentence, despite being in essence grammatically wrong, has remained for the both of us a connexion to these dear moments spent together. In my adult days, my grandmother would often ask me if I remembered those countless occasions when I was asking “Je peux te m’aider”.
This moment in my kitchen, down memory lane, is for me a reminder that food is more than something you eat. There is a story behind how fruits and vegetables are grown, harvested, prepared or cooked. Being from a family of farmers, I have plenty of stories related to food.
I started this blog post mentioning how much I love Spring and the awakening of nature. It is the season when more and more local fruits and vegetables become available on my local farmer’s market stalls, that I can then use in my kitchen. I have prepared a list of the vegetables currently in season with some examples of how those are prepared in Marie et Marcelle’s kitchen:
AsparagusI incorporate them in a salad, add them to a risotto or simply serve them as antipasti on top of grilled bread with olive oil, prosciutto and parmesan.
CarrotsThis is probably one of the vegetable I use the most throughout the year: glazed, grated, prepared in a sweet and sour sauce, used in vegetable stock… I find it easy to use every part of this vegetable in my kitchen, even carrots tops that can be incorporated into a pesto recipe.
New potatoesWe love them and grow our own at the farm. My aunt, MC, makes the best sauteed potatoes. I have to confess that to this day (and to my despair) I have not managed to prepare sauteed as perfect as hers are.
Peas make a perfect side dish when cooked “a la francaise”. This season I will add them to risotto or in the Navarin d’agneau on the menu this coming week.
I personally love them raw with salted butter and freshly baked bread. I also prepare them roasted, pickled or in salad with sesame oil.
Have you tried my rhubarb and almond tart yet? Another way to prepare it is in compote with a coconut and chia pudding and granola; perfect for breakfast, snack or dessert.
You will often find that I prepare them sauteed with garlic and pepper, although I would on occasions include them in a curry or prepare them with double cream.
I love spring onions simply grilled on the barbecue then sprinkled with a herb and garlic oil and chopped nuts.
These ingredients are incorporated in the Marie et Marcelle’s recipes, providing London individuals and businesses with fresh, tasty and well-balanced meals. Whether it is for a team lunch, board meeting or simply as a lunch alternative for your employees, I am convinced you will love Marie et Marcelle’s recipes.