Having fresh produce at my finger tips in the backyard when I was growing up in France, was something I didn’t consider a luxury until now. We had eighty pear, three cherry, one fig, one hazelnut, one raspberry and two apple trees. Tomatoes, artichokes, zucchinis and green beans were also a staple in our garden and my two brothers and I had the job of picking the ripe fruit and vegetables for mum to preserve and store in the garage to get us through the unforgiving winter months.
It is considered trendy now to make your own pickles, preserves and jams but for us it was a means of survival in tough times. These days, it’s common for many people to live without a private garden but we are lucky to be living in an area that is big on promoting the small growers who are dedicated to fresh, organic produce. I like to update the Bitton menus with the change of seasons to maximize the flavour of vegetables and fruit when they are at their peak.
Fresh, crisp, green peas and asparagus are amongst my favourite green vegetables and perfectly compliment spring lamb and succulent seafood. You can’t beat dipping crunchy asparagus spears into the vibrant yellow yoke of an organic free range egg and mopping up the rest with a slice of wood fired bread smothered in French butter. So simple yet so perfect.
Another unassuming dish that reminds me of Spring days, gathered around a wooden table on the grass, is mum’s cheese tart and I love serving this with a salad of roasted pear, walnut and rocket. One of the reasons it is so popular is because it is homemade and takes people back to the food their mother or grandmother cooked during their childhood.
The cheese tart is on our new dinner menu which starts today along with the new breakfast, lunch, dessert and kid’s menu. Visit our website to view the latest dishes and we look forward to seeing you at Bitton soon.