Thursday 15 December 2011

A seasonal feast

This week I spent a hugely enjoyable evening at Anna Colquhoun’s Cooking Club, sampling some very moreish Swedish Glögg (or was it Danish Gløgg?) and looking at some creative ways to cook seasonal veg, supplied by Riverford, the organic box people. It was comforting to hear that Riverford have the exact same problem purple sprouting broccoli issue as i do – that the PSB is mature and ready for eating NOW rather than in March/April as normal. I loved the purple sprouting briefly blanched with dollops of Hollandaise sauce, but the standout dish for me was Anna’s butternut squash and sage risotto.

The risotto was a revelation, very sweet with onions cooked very slowly to melting tenderness and the squash roasted first in the oven. It has made me realise that although I think I make risotto in the classical manner, I actually rush it. I will definitely take my time with risottos in the future. Anna also used industrial quantities of butter, which I may only emulate for special treats rather than everyday suppers. I’ll certainly adopt her finishing touch though: a drizzle of sage leaves and squash seeds fried in brown butter.

The Cooking Club takes place on the second Tuesday or Wednesday of each month. Apart from the delicious food and drink, it also seems to be attended exclusively by friendly and engaging people. I’ll be back.

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