Pendeen Farmers' Market
Choose young, quite small leeks for this easy, quick recipe, which is good eaten on its own or as an accompaniment to simple grilled meat or fish; or you could serve it with rice. Make sure you wash the leeks thoroughly. Dry sherry makes a nice alternative to soy sauce.
- 450g/1lb young leeks, trimmed
- 1 tbsp olive oil or sesame oil
- 30g/1 oz fresh root ginger
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and chopped
- sea salt, optional
- light soy sauce, optional
- Cut the leeks into large chunks about 7.5 cm/3 in long and grate the ginger (you don’t need to peel it).
- Heat the oil in a large pan or a wok over high heat and add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Stir-fry for about half a minute and then add the leeks. Reduce the heat slightly and stir-fry again for about 3 minutes by which time the leeks should be tender but still al dente in the middle.
- Add a pinch each of sugar and salt and a dash of soy sauce, if you like. Serve at once.
You could sprinkle over some lightly toasted sesame seeds just before serving.
Creamy Sorrel Soup
Sorrel is free if you live in the country and is abundant in the hedgerows from early spring. Pick the young leaves. Sorrel has a pleasant but quite sour taste; it can also be used to make a delicious, bright green sauce to go with simply cooked fish or in omelettes. You’ll need a couple of good handfuls of sorrel for this dish. If you have some in the garden or in pots, chervil makes a good alternative to parsley, and plain yogurt can be used instead of crème fraiche.
- 30g/1 oz butter
- 450g/1 lb floury potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 170g/6 oz sorrel leaves, washed
- 1.75 litres/3 pints light chicken or vegetable
- stock (a good quality cube is fine)
- salt, optional
- freshly ground black pepper, optional
- 300 ml/1/2 pint single cream
- FOR THE GARNISH
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 3 tbsp crème fraiche
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the potatoes and onion. Stir them around the pan for a minute or two then reduce the heat, cover the pan with a lid and allow the vegetables to sweat gently for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the sorrel leaves and the stock, bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes and onion are tender.
- Allow to cool and then liquidize until smooth. Correct the seasoning, if you wish.
- Reheat the soup gently and add the cream; stir well (do not allow the soup to boil) then ladle into soup bowls and serve hot, sprinkled with herbs and garnished with the crème fraiche.