There are tonnes of reasons why we should eat seasonal food. Eating food which is specific to the season reduces the energy and associated emissions needed to grow and transport out of season food. Also, by eating seasonal food you avoid paying a premium for food which is scarce or has travelled a longer distance. It also supports the local economy, and is fresher, tastier and often more nutritious than food which is grown out of season. Finally, it’s a great way for you to vary your diet and try new things, rather than choosing your favourites from the supermarket.
In the months of May and June there’s a huge range of fruit, vegetables, meat and fish which are in season. Including gooseberries, strawberries, asparagus, morels, crab and lamb. Another seasonal food is nettle. A lot of people are unsure of how to cook nettle, but our chef Bevan has a delicious recipe which is great to enjoy this season. Young nettle leaves are a good source of calcium phosphate, iron, various vitamins and minerals and are also believed to cleanse the blood.
Bevan’s Parmesan Gnocchi & Nettle Pesto
The high starch content of the potatoes makes gnocchi quite difficult to make; it’s important to work with the potato whilst it’s still warm and not to overwork the dough.
1kg dry mash
250g ’00’ Pasta Flour
250g Grated Parmesan
3 egg yolks
Bake the potatoes in the oven, cut them in half and scrape out the centre to mash
Using a dough scraper, combine the flour, parmesan, eggs and mash using chopping motions to avoid activating the starch
Once the dough comes together, tip onto the work surface and use your hands to work the dough until firm
Roll bits of dough into long sausage shapes, using a knife to cut them into your desired size
Drop the gnocchi into a pan of salted, boiling water and wait until they float to the surface
Place onto an oiled tray to avoid the gnocchi sticking together
To reheat, simply drop back into boiling water until hot
Blanched Nettles (this can take 1-3 minutes depending on size of leaves and time of year)
Toasted Pine Nuts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Blend all the ingredients together to a desired consistency
Warm in a pan with some whole pine nuts, lemon juice, salt and pepper
Serve sprinkled with grated parmesan