Bread and Butter

I know that the title doesn’t necessarily inspire but stick with me and all will become clear, honest!

I’ve been away this weekend enjoying my Easter bank holiday and whilst I was away Norfolk suddenly flickered into life and on my return the beautiful blackthorn blossom had been joined by elegant fluttering petals on the plum trees and the lovely soft young leaves on the hawthorn which had all unfurled. When the leaves are this young they have almost a glow to them, their green is so vivid and they look good enough to eat… and of course why would I be writing about them if they weren’t edible?

Hawthorn leaves are known rurally as “bread and butter” and you can pick them from the tree and eat them fresh as they are. If you don’t fancy being quite so rustic you can pick them and throw them straight into a lovely spring salad. Other leaves are coming ready now as well. Although I’m not usually one to recommend the supermarket to you, of late they have started selling “living salads” or as I prefer to term them “cut and come again” salads because you can cut some off, and they will grow back again – hurrah!

Another fabulous leaf that you can rely on now is chives which are currently poking their way out through the cracks in my terrace. I put them in a lot of things, their delicate onion-y flavour is so addictive and I eat little handfuls of them on my way past. I’ve started to sprinkle them into my tabbouleh too, which I enjoyed tonight with some home made pitta breads.

Other greenery that will be poking its nose out soon is Jack-by-the-Hedge which is really lovely with a soft garlic-y taste and utterly divine in sandwiches. You can also keep your eyes open for Sheep’s Sorrel which when it arrives is lovely and zesty and has a delicious springtime flavour that refreshes your palate after a wintertime of heavy root veg.

Over the next few weeks I want to start putting some more bread tutorials on here as I know its an area that people are frightened to try, so to whet your appetite here is so easy peasy focaccia, or as I prefer to call it “flat bread”. Because it’s bread, it’s flat, and I’m not at all Italian!

And whilst I’m typing up recipes, what do you need to look for next? St George’s day mushrooms of course!

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