June is the start of The Veg New Year. The Hungry Gap has ended and our fields are suddenly bountiful with all sorts of greenery and vibrant veg; new potatoes, spinach, British asparagus, broad beans and more are in abundance.
Make the most of them in these gorgeous summer dishes, picked by legendary Riverford cook Kirsty.
WARM POTATO, RADISH & BEAN SALAD
When new potatoes and radishes are in full swing, how better to celebrate than with this superlative salad. The herbs and capers create a salsa verde – a perfect match for the beans and eggs too. Just be careful with your seasoning, as the capers and olives both lend a saltiness to the finished dish.
FRYING-PAN SPINACH SOUFFLÉ
The word soufflé seems to strike fear into the hearts of even competent cooks, but this version is simple and accommodating. All you’re looking for is to get the eggs to rise slightly, then crisp a little on top, like a puffy omelette. The two things to get right with any form of soufflé are to whisk your egg whites until you can tip the bowl over your head without them falling out (really!) and to fold them in gently to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
GNOCCHI WITH COURGETTES, BROAD BEANS & PEAS
The gnocchi and courgettes cook fast, leaving you plenty of time to pod your peas and beans. Podding has a meditative quality to it (for anything less than a kilo!). If it’s speed rather than enlightenment you’re after, split the pile in half and race someone. You can use the broad beans with their skins on, but if you have time it’s worth slipping them from their skins to reveal the bright green bean inside.
ASIAN RAW GREEN BEAN SALAD
Raw beans can add a great crunch to a salad, but they don’t hold a dressing well when kept whole. Slicing them finely creates more nooks, crannies and surface area for all the flavour to cling to. Here we’ve dressed them with an Asian dressing and added radish and peanuts for a satisfying crunch.
ASPARAGUS & PORTOBELLO NOODLES
Seasonal asparagus is brought to life in this quick, simple stir-fry dish, with Asian flavours from ginger, sesame oil, hoisin sauce and chilli. The cooking for this dish is done at such a pace that it is vital to have all your ingredients prepared and to hand before you start, preferably in the order they are to be used. Peanuts finish the noodles with a salty hit and satisfying bite.