So, the decree has been passed! Come coronation day, this sceptred isle will collectively sit down to a slice or two of good old fashioned quiche.
Much has been made of the official dish: lifestyle columns and social media were quick to put it through the ringer and pundits have added lashings of meaning and subtext to the ingredient list. Amid the culinary white noise of fads, foams, fusions and ferments, perhaps quiche, something easily dismissed as middle of the road, is the only thing that could even hope to have something approaching universal appeal.
Whatever it may or may not signify, I’m just happy to see some green and pleasant veg at the heart of it.
Perhaps also, a little like people, a dish can be better judged by the company it keeps. Here are some ideas how to give your coronation quiche (find the recipe and ingredients here) an ideal entourage:
Roasted asparagus with spring onions and goat’s cheese
We are on the cusp of the UK asparagus season, so I suggest it be as abundant as bunting on the day. It will steam or boil in a matter of minutes, but this dish adds some extra depth by roasting. Serve it tumbled in an unruly heap or in rows as straight and regimented as a troop of soldiers lining the mall. Find the recipe here.
Our veggie twist on the iconic recipe from the 50s. If the full-blown dish seems like too much of a chore you can simply serve the roasted carrots thrown with the dressing and some soaked raisins. I’ve been known to just mix the dressing with some raw grated carrot and tuck it into a sandwich alongside some sharp salty cheddar – remove the crusts, cut them into triangles and serve on a tiered plate if it makes you feel more regal. Find the recipe here.
Potato, radish and bean salad
You must use Jersey Royal potatoes for this dish; it would seem treason not to. It is what a marketeer would call ‘synergy’. They are a seasonal delight and pair perfectly with the slight bite of the lightly cooked radishes and beans. Best served warm. Find the recipe here.
Wild garlic tarte soleil
If you just manage to catch the end of the wild garlic season, this tart would be the perfect tear-and-share dish to grace the trestle tables. Its very shape is an evocation for the spring sun to shine (we live in hope). Find the full recipe here.
Apple and Earl grey tea loaf
As much as I’d love to show some scones, or a pavlova, crowned with strawberries and soft fruits, they are a strictly seasonal treat in my book and best waited a few extra weeks for. Maybe try something a little more traditional and robust. A tea loaf that harks of elevenses, perfect with plenty of butter and a cup of loose-leaf char. Find the recipe here.
Roast rhubarb lemonade
It needn’t be all about the whizz and pop of champagne, prosecco and fizzy lager; you can raise a booze-free glass too. One of the first crops to burst forth in spring on farms and allotments across the land is rhubarb. The sharpness needs to be tempered with a little sugar and so makes it perfect for this lightly spiced beverage. Cheers! Find the recipe here.