This month there are several changes to the menu all of which feature the great produce available in April..
On starters we are using line caught mackerel from Cornwall, a superb product that I count down the days to be able to get my hands on. The raw fish is thinly sliced on top of a tart fine of roasted peppers, confit tomato, olive tapenade with a balsamic reduction complete a dish that is high in ‘umami’. We also start to get English asparagus grown by our supplier Watts Farm in April. I have constructed a light dish with a truffle flavoured egg mayonnaise and a simple salad garnish so as not to over power the great asparagus flavour.
On mains Navarin of Lamb is back as it was extremely popular last year. New Season Lamb is braised down slowly until meltingly tender, glazed in a lamb sauce, accompanied by spring vegetables and a goats cheese fritter which adds a great texture to the dish. Supplier Fish for Thought in Cornwall also supply us fantastic Wild Black Bream from the south coast this month. We use crab and langoustines to add shellfish sweetness to the fish and a little Samphire for contrast for a spring seafood winner!
April is an odd month for fresh fruit to use on desserts as we wait for the berries and soft fruit to reach their peak in summer. Rhubarb is still great so I am using it to accompany a cake is made from crushed pistachios and polenta. Using polenta may sound unusual but it is really a way of keeping the cake very moist as flour can make this recipe dry. The cake is served with pistachio ice cream and the rhubarb is poached and sliced thinly to make a Carpaccio.