Saturday, May 10, 2008

Man for All Seasons but Food of the Season

Gordon Ramsey is on the warpath. Again.

This time he is railing about restaurants serving food out of season, how they should be fined for serving strawberries in December and how restaurants should take the lead in showcasing seasonal produce and frequently updating their menus.

And I agree with him wholeheartedly.

Now I know in Dubai every single thing we eat is imported and wears a UK Size 12 carbon footprint and so seasonal produce means rather little to us but should we not at least be aware of what the month has to offer and enjoy the food that mirrors the ebb and flow of the seasons?

May is a fantastic month for food as two of my favourite things make an appearance; asparagus and new spring lamb.

No country celebrates the arrival of asparagus like the Germans, and their particular favourite, the white asparagus or spargel, is consumed in staggering quantities. In Germany gently steamed white asparagus, all lined up in ranks on a long flat dish, will be served with plates of locally smoked ham and a dish of butterey new potatoes. Just heavenly.

Asparagus doesn’t need to be played around with, the taste should be left to shine through. Steamed asparagus with some melted butter, ground pepper and some parmesan shavings is divine or perhaps covered with a couple of little spoons of vinaigrette.

May is also the month for lemon sole, plaice, crab and, of course, yummy new potatoes.

And here are some recipes for you to try:

Asparagus with foaming hollandaise
Asparagus with tarragon vinaigrette and parma ham
Grilled asparagus with saffron aioli
Leg of lamb roasted with Spices
Slow Roast Lamb with pomegranate, mint and feta

Spring is sprung,
De grass is riz,
I wonder where dem birdies is?
De little birds is on de wing,
Ain’t dat absurd?
De little wing is on de bird!


nzm said...

Yup - can't wait to be back in Germany this summer visiting J's parents in Bad Karlshafen, when her mother will serve up lashings of spargel with ham and potatoes - just as you write and with white or cheese sauce!

the real nick said...

Let's not forget to mention the Post Spargel Stinky Pee!

But it's a small price to pay...

halfmanhalfbeer said...

Nzm: you lucky lucky soul you!

Nick: I wondered who would bring that up?! Apparently the interwebby tells me that only 40% of people have the stinky wee after eating asparagus, another foodie fact from those awfully nice Fat Expat people.