Saturday, 29 April 2017

Harvest Cookbook Review

The best fruit and vegetables are those eaten in season as they are often at their juiciest and tastiest.  Lamb and game meat are also associated with seasons throughout the year and also taste their best when eaten in season.The British fruit and vegetable seasons offer a range of wonderful seasonal fare which is great for those who want to eat ingredients that taste great and also at it's cheapest.

 This cookery book, Harvest by Parisian Emilie Guelpa showcases a range of seasonal recipes based on the 4 seasons: Summer, Autumn, Spring and Winter. The concept of this book is that one featured ingredient, which is cultivated in a particular season, such as: Plums, Peach, Pears, Lamb and rhubarb, is followed by a number of recipes showing the versatility of the featured ingredient. The result is a cookery book containing 180 recipes. Harvest, published by Hardie Grant is currently on sale via Amazon for £13.49, which I think is good value for money given the number of recipes, easy to follow recipes and that most of the recipes are family friendly. 

As stated the recipes are split into 4 seasons, standout recipes include:
  • Summer - recipes to try include: Almond, Marzipan and Blueberry Slice, Sticky Lemon Roast Chicken with Sweet Tomatoes, Linguine with Broad Beans, Pancetta and Spicy Tomato and Cauliflower, Mint and Chickpea Salad.
  • Autumn - standout recipes include: Pear and Almond Tart, Five-Spiced Duck and Pomegranate Salad and Maple and Cranberry Chicken Drumsticks.
  • Winter - recipes to try include: Lentil and Cauliflower Curry, Thai Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry, Salad of Fennel, Pomegranate and Candied Walnuts and Chipotle-Braised Beef Ribs with Spicy Baked Pumpkin.
  • Spring - stand out recipes include: Herb-Roasted Leg of Lamb with Hot Broad Bean and Feta Dressing, Ginger-Lime Glazed Chicken, Coriander Salmon Tacos, Rhubarb and Cinnamon Muffins and Pineapple and Cinnamon Relish. 

There are a number of tantalising recipes featured in this book, but the recipe which I made was the Herb-roasted leg of lamb. I omitted the suggested serving of the hot broad bean and feta dressing. However, will include this in case you want to recreate the recipe in full.

Recipe for Herb-Roasted Leg of Lamb wit Hot Broad Bean and Feta Dressing.
Serves 6
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons chopped oregano
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped basil
zest of 2 lemons
125ml olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.5kg lamb leg
1.5kg fava beans
80g pitted kalamata olives
1 handful flat leaf parsley
1 small handful of mint
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
100g crushed feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Grind the garlic using a mortar and pestle. Add the herbs and lemon zest and grind to a rough paste. Add the olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix until combined.
Rub the herb-and-garlic paste all over the lamb. Place in a deep roasting tin and roast for 1- 1 1/2 hours. To check if the lamb is done, insert a small knife into the centre of the roast. Count to five. If the knife feels warm (tepid), the meat is rare. If it feels bearably hot, the meat is medium. You're aiming for medium to medium-rare. If necessary, cook for a further for 5 minutes and test again. Cover and rest for 20 minutes in a warm place before carving.
Meanwhile, remove the broad beans from their pods and bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the beans for 1 minute, then drain and refresh under cold water. Remove the pale green skins by creating a slit in the skin and pushing beans through it. Discard the skins.
Toss the broad beans, olives, parsley and mint together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard and extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour into a large frying pan over medium-low heat, add the feta and the broad bean mixture and cook gently until just warmed through. Pour the lamb roasting-pan juices into the dressing and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.

To serve, carve the lamb and top with the hot broad bean and feta dressing.

Many thanks to Hardie Grant for sending me a review copy.

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