Recipe recommendations

No-dig inspired

Each month I'll share one of my favourite recipes to this page, focusing on the ingredients that are ready to pick that month.

Be sure to share and tag your triumphs @homewoodbath

 

Darren Stephens, Chef-Gardener

April 2022

GRILLED SPRING CABBAGE, TAHINI CAESAR DRESSING & CRISPY GARLIC CHICKPEAS

A take on the traditional Caesar salad, without any of the traditional ingredients. Ideally cooked on the BBQ or chargrill, but a frying pan will do the job too.

TAHINI CAESAR DRESSING

1 clove of garlic, minced

3 tablespoons light tahini

2 tablespoons lemon juice

125ml light olive oil

2 tablespoons warm water

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon chopped capers and some of the juice

3 chopped anchovy fillets (optional)

CHICKPEAS

1 small tin chickpeas

1 large clove of garlic minced

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt

1 Spring cabbage

Chives and their flowers

To prepare the Garlic Roasted Chickpeas, toss the cooked chickpeas with olive oil, garlic, and salt then pour them onto a baking tray in a single layer. Bake at 200C until crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes, shaking the tray halfway through.

Boil a large pan of salted water. Cut the cabbage in quarters through the root so that it stays intact. Blanch the quarters for 45 seconds in boiling water and then lift them out to drain. Heat up the BBQ, grill or frying pan till very hot. Lightly brush the sides of the cabbage with oil and lay directly onto the hot surface. Turn the cabbage onto the other flat side once it has taken a dark caramel colour. Don’t be afraid of getting it too dark, the charred flavour works well with the sweetness of the cabbage.

Whisk the tahini, garlic, mustard, anchovy, capers, salt and oil together then add enough water to get the right consistency.

Dress the grilled cabbage quarters and top with the chickpeas and some chopped chives

March 2022

GARDEN RADISH, WILD GARLIC SALT AND BUTTER

Take 50g of the salt and all the wild garlic and blend to form a salty thick paste.

Mix this paste through the rest of the salt to turn it a vibrant green. Spread the mixture out on a baking tray and leave somewhere warm and dry to dry out overnight. An oven at 80C for 2 hours will also do the job.

Smear your radish with the butter and add a colourful pinch of salt and enjoy the spring sunshine.

Wild Garlic Salt

100g wild garlic chopped

400g flaky sea salt

Radish with tops

Good quality unsalted butter at room temperature

Mustard vinaigrette 

February 2022

A soup-perb recipe!

ROOT TO SHOOT CELERIAC SOUP

Like nose to tail, root to shoot involves using unloved ‘vegetable offal’ in a manner similar to animal offal: the entire plant is utilised and nothing is wasted. A stock is made with the roots and skin, a smooth soup from the white flesh, the stems are sautéed in butter and leaves chopped into a rough pesto
Our celeriac have been in the ground all winter and have only just become ready to pull. It's not easy to find celeriac with the stems and leaves attached but hopefully, this gives you an idea of what can be done with the whole of any vegetable.

The Soup
500g whole celeriac thoroughly washed
1 litre veg stock
1 onion thinly sliced
2 Bradley apples peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lemon
200ml double cream

The ‘pesto’
Celeriac leaves chopped
20g walnuts chopped
20g finely grated parmesan
20g good quality rapeseed or olive oil

Peel the celeriac and cut off any roots and reserve. Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer and add the peelings, then remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes with a lid on.
In a separate pan sweat the onion in oil with a pinch of salt till soft, then add the apples, lemon juice and diced celeriac. Strain in the infused stock and simmer for 10 minutes until the celeriac is tender. Add the double cream and boil once more. Now blend the soup until smooth and pass through a sieve and season.

For the garnish slice the washed stems and sauté with a little salt in butter till just tender, they will only take a minute.
To finish the pesto mix the nuts, oil and Parmesan and add the leaves to taste. They are very strong, the paler inner leaves are more palatable than the dark green outer ones.

January 2022

Dish on f-leek

BURNT LEEKS, HAZELNUT AND BROWN BUTTER

I grew a variety of leek called ‘Below Zero’ which as you could guess is extremely cold tolerant. Dark leaves are almost blue and with pure white stems. Picked fresh they are juicy and sweet. They are not very tall yet but still have some growing to come. The term burnt is used to describe the cooking technique rather than how they are eaten.

3 leeks trimmed, washed and dried
50g roasted hazelnuts, with the skin removed and slightly broken up
100g diced unsalted butter
20g capers, finely chopped
Juice of one lemon
10g parsley, finely chopped
Flaky sea salt

For best results place the leeks on a hot char-grill pan or simply roast in a very hot oven, turn as they cook until the outside has blackened/burnt all around. By this time the leeks will have cooked in their juices and become soft.

Place the butter in a pan. Turn the heat onto medium and simmer the butter until it starts to foam slightly and smell slightly nutty. Take it to 160°C if you have a thermometer. Whisk it and strain it through a fine sieve into another pot and add the lemon juice to stop it from cooking further. You want it to be golden brown.

Discard the outer black part of the leeks and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Season each with the flaky salt.

Mix the capers, hazelnuts and parsley into the brown butter and pour over the leeks.

 

December 2021

Here’s my number, so Kale me maybe?

KALE, ROAST GARLIC & PUMPKIN SEED PESTO

Shop brought pesto is not a patch on homemade and when it’s too cold to get good basil, frost hardy kale will save the day! This nut-free, dairy free pesto is a real crowd pleaser, great served with pasta or drizzled over your garden vegetables. I used red kale for this batch but any kind will work, even cavolo nero.

100g kale

100g pumpkin seeds

1 bulb of garlic

25ml sherry vinegar

250ml rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

Take the bulb of garlic and roast at 160 oc for 30mins until soft to touch and some of the golden garlic juices are leaching out. Leave to cool then slice off the top or bottom and squeeze out the contents. Put the garlic pulp and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles pesto, making sure all the ingredients have combined and blended well. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

October 2021

Not as intimidating as a regular soufflé, but no less show-stopping

Twice-baked winter squash soufflé, Taleggio cheese sauce  

This recipe will fill two large 180ml ceramic or foil ramekins.

What you'll need: 20g butter, 20g plain flour, 200ml of hot milk, 2 egg whites, 2 egg yolks, 100g cooked squash, 20g of grated Taleggio cheese

For the sauce: 60g grated Taleggio cheese, 20g grated Parmesan, sea salt and pepper, 20ml double cream

Method: Cook the squash by roasting it in a tin foil parcel until soft. Scrape the flesh from the skin and mash to a fine puree and cool.

Melt the butter and add the flour. Cook for 2 minutes then add the hot milk. Stir with a whisk so there are no lumps. Add the cooked squash, cheese and season with salt and pepper. Take off the heat and add the egg yolks. Place mixture in a clean large bowl. Whisk the egg whites and fold them into the large bowl with the Delica squash mix.

Take your ramekins that have been buttered and floured and fill up to the top with the mixture.

Get a metal tray and add boiling water so that it reaches half the height of the moulds, add the moulds making sure no water goes into them. Cook at 180c for 20 mins until the mixture rises and gets a light golden colour. Remove and cool down.

Remove the soufflé from the mould and place on a small greased gratin dish. Add the grated cheeses and double cream to this dish. Season and bake in a preheated oven at 180c for 10 mins.

September 2021

Some people hate tomatoes.. I relish them!

A single tomato plant can produce a lot of fruit this time of year… more than you can eat perhaps. If you don’t have space in the freezer for tomato sauce then this is the recipe you need. It's also the first recipe I ever wrote down, from Baths very own two-star chef Martin Blunos - Great with just about anything!

Tomato & Chilli Relish

What you'll need: 5 mild red chillies roughly chopped, 4 large cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped, 50g fresh ginger (peeled weight) roughly chopped, 3 star anise, 80ml fish sauce (nam-pla), 250g castor sugar, 150ml red wine vinegar, 2kg tomatoes chopped

Method: Add all ingredients to a large solid-based pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook gently stirring from time to time for about 1 ½ hour, or until the mixture has reduced and is thick and pulpy. Take the pan from the heat, fish out the star anise and set them aside – using a stick blender blitz the pulpy mass till smooth.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed (you may not need any due to the salty nature of the fish sauce). Put jam into a sealable tub along with the reserved star aniseed. Allow to cool completely then seal and store in the fridge.

August 2021

If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff

The polytunnel is abundant with crops at their peak right now so, I’ve put together a recipe using as many ingredients from there as I could. While this is not a true ratatouille, it's inspired by the flavour combinations of the traditional Mediterranean stew and of course the film.

Ratatouille Tart

What you'll need:120g ricotta, 60g grated parmesan, 3 cloves garlic minced, 1/2 aubergine thinly sliced and lightly salted, 2 courgettes, handful of tomatoes

For the pastry: 1 sprig fresh rosemary chopped to a dust, 190g plain flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 110g cold diced butter, 60g yoghurt, 2 teaspoon lemon juice, 60g cold water, 1 egg yolk

Method: Combine the flour, salt and rosemary dust. Mix in the butter using your hands until incorporated. Add the yoghurt and lemon. Continue to combine adding the cold water until the mixture forms a ball. Place this wrapped in the fridge for an hour. Mix the cheeses and garlic.

Remove the pastry from the fridge. Roll out into a circle on a lined baking sheet. Fill the centre of the pastry with the cheese mixture allotting space around the edge for the crust. Working from the outside lay the vegetables alternately over each other. Fold over the excess dough onto some of the vegetables. Brush the exposed crust with egg wash.

Place in the oven at 190 C and set a timer for 30mins, checking to make sure vegetables are soft and crust golden. Remove from the baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes straight on the oven shelf to ensure the base is cooked. Serve right away or cooled. I’ve added fresh chilli and basil, also from our polytunnel.

July 2021

Homegrown glory

Courgettes. An endlessly versatile vegetable and in abundance in our no-dig garden and many others right now. So often over cooked in a poor excuse for ratatouille, when fresh and tender they are amazing raw, like many other home-grown veggies.

Courgettes, English mustard dressing, rosemary and garlic sourdough croutons

What you'll need: 4 courgettes thinly sliced length ways on a mandolin (watch your fingers!) or just into rounds, sourdough, clove of garlic, sprig of rosemary, knob of butter

For the dressing: 1 teaspoon English mustard, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 6 teaspoon virgin rapeseed oil, salt and pepper

Method: Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing vigorously to emulsify. Slice the sourdough into neat cubes and sauté in a little rapeseed oil until toasted on the outside. With the pan hot, add the butter along with the whole clove of garlic and chopped rosemary. Let the butter foam until the croutons are golden and drain them off. In a bowl, gently mix the dressing with the courgettes, it should be thick enough to coat them. Assemble into a bowl and top with the crotons and some basil and oregano tips.

June 2021

Turnip up the vibe

Turnip, the most humble of all vegetables, underrated, under used and one of my favourites. We’ve grown three varieties, two with creamy coloured skin and a purple crown (where the turnip grew above the surface of the ground and was exposed to sunlight) and ‘Tokyo’ turnips that are pure white. They have a rounded flavour - sweet and slightly peppery - the tops are delicious too!

Turnip and Gruyere gratin

What you'll need: 6 medium turnips with tops, 1 small onion thinly sliced, 150g double cream, 150g milk, 20g grated parmesan, 20g grated Gruyere, salt and pepper

Method: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Begin by gently frying the onion in a little oil until soft without colour. Peel the turnips and using a mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the turnips into discs roughly 3mm thick. Place the turnips into a small saucepan with the cream, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, and set aside. Pour the liquid back into the pan and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened. Neatly layer the turnip discs into a 20cm ovenproof dish. Pour over the milk and cream, then cover with the grated cheese Bake in the oven for 25–35 minutes until golden and bubbling and serve with the turnip tops briefly blanched in salted water.

May 2021

The heavyweight champion

A serious contender for the heavyweight champion of best British seasonal veg is asparagus. It has a tantalisingly brief season but frequently exceptional quality. It deteriorates relatively quickly after picking, which is why freshly picked English asparagus does not compare to the jet-lagged imported spears.

Here’s an alternative to the traditional accompaniment of a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.

British asparagus, goats curd and yuzu

Serves four

Yuzu is a citrus fruit grown mainly in east Asia, with a distinctly fragrant taste that sets it apart from lemons and limes. Its juice can be found bottled in most good supermarkets.

It pairs exceptionally well with a smooth fresh goat’s curd and crisp asparagus.

What you'll need: 1 bunch British asparagus, 120g goats curd, mixed baby leaves

For the dressing: 20ml yuzu juice, 20ml rice vinegar, 20ml mirin, 100ml olive oil, 2g salt, pinch of black pepper

Method: Whisk all ingredients for the dressing until emulsified. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and drop into boiling heavily salted water for no more than 1 minute and refresh under cold water. In a bowl, dress the spears with the yuzu dressing, leaves, curd and a pinch of flaky salt.

Serve in a large sharing bowl or individually.

April 2021

You've got to pick a petal or two

As I only have hundreds of seedlings so far, I've looked to the rest of the hotel grounds for inspiration. Coming into bloom right now is a magnificent Magnolia tree that reminds me of a slightly unusual recipe and one of my favourite things to pickle.

Pickled Magnolia Flowers

The Magnolia is a beautiful tree and all varieties have edible flowers that can be eaten raw. They have a mild ginger flavour so they work great with Indian dishes or can be used as a replacement for the pink pickled ginger you get with sushi. Use the raw petals to decorate desserts or dress them in a salad. I love them pickled and sliced on toasted sourdough with soft goat's cheese... because everything is great on sourdough. You can use the young buds whole or pick the petals from the open flowers.

What you'll need: 150g magnolia petals or buds, 250g rice wine vinegar, 80g sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, chilli flakes or peppercorns (optional)

Method: Wash the flowers removing any furry sepals and pat dry, trying not to bruise them. Add them to a sterilised Kilner jar. Bring the vinegar, sugar chilli or peppercorns (if using) and salt to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot liquid directly over the flowers, use a utensil to push them under the liquid as they will float up. Leave to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate.

You can eat the flowers straight away or, if you can resist them for a few months, I find the flavour continues to improve. Chilli flakes or pink peppercorns work well in the pickling liquor and also look very cool!

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