Spring. Teasing us with a promise of summer. Unpredictable. Snow in the hills (and on the flats!). Rain. Shivers down the spine. Poor baby lambs.
BUT tighten our belts we must if we are to disrobe once it is warm. Salad. Lighter food. Seafood. Cut the calories …
Warm weather will come and the desire to eat rich creamy potato dishes, or cheesy-topped baked vegetables, will wane (I tell myself).
I’m not being premature with asparagus … my friend Molly had spears popping up in her patch a month ago, and bunches are selling at a good price. I started with chorizo crumble, using sourdough crumbs, to go with scallops which are plump and sweet and begging to be eaten, and had some left over, and thought I’d put it with the asparagus and soft-cooked eggs, basil and a good drizzle of extra virgin. It was dinner for two, but, yep, you guessed it, I ate the lot. Asparagus with Eggs & Chorizo Crumb
Avocados are large and luscious at the moment so I made a base of avo purée for char-grilled scallops and scattered chorizo crumb on top. Nice. Scallops with Chorizo Crumb
Next I whipped up guacamole and topped it with char-grilled scallops. Fast and impressive. Tasty, too.
There’s a lot to learn about scallops, mind, don’t be overcooking them or you’ll turn them into rubber bullets. And, my USA friends, I know you don’t eat the coral (the roe), but we do in New Zealand. It’s easily nipped off before cooking though if that’s your preference. Scallops & Guacamole
Serving scallops in scallop shells makes sense. They are plentiful on the beaches here on Waiheke, but you can buy them from kitchen stores if you don’t have access to what nature provides. The shells have a rather nice story behind them. You can read about that and how to cook scallops, what scallops like to be teamed up with on the plate, and other scallop stuff here. Scallops
Keeping with lighter fare, a big plate of salad leaves, baby herbs and edible flower petals is good any time. Try it for lunch with char-grilled sourdough or bruschetta. Or with grilled chicken or fish for dinner. You’ll feel healthy just looking at it! Fresh Herb & Edible Flower Salad
If you grow herbs, you might have a few feathery fronds of chervil poking up through the soil. It’s delicious, though delicate, and is best used as a garnish as it wilts and loses flavour when cooked. Here I’ve used it on Bruschetta with Crushed Peas & Feta. Scrumptious.
I can’t finish without giving a nod to the fact that 125 years ago today women won the right to vote in New Zealand. It was a giant step forward towards equality, and a step ahead of the rest of the world at that. It’s in our DNA, women, to stand up for what we believe in. We did this and although we have done so much more since, we need to move forward and treat each other as equals on all levels.
And, also, as our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today, it’s also time to reflect on the extraordinary women in our own lives. I’m going to do just that. Although my mother died 36 years ago, her influence in my life has been huge, my love for her undying, my respect for her enormous.
Have a great week