A sudden craving to be pottering around in the kitchen means – oh there it is – a new season has arrived, bringing with it fresh produce and inspiration renewed. I’m as ever predictably whimsy.
I had, not a small, obsession with flat white peaches last year and it sees no sign of abating this – I still can’t get enough of their gently persuasive aroma and sweetly juicy flesh and it still tickles me that varieties have names like UFO and Cake Pearl. Another herald of summer is the elderflower, whispering to passers by of meadows and hedgerows, turns out that intoxicating scent of summer I’ve been getting as I leave my flat, and it’s obvious now I’ve identified it, is a large elderflower bush now blossoming beneath our rickety metal staircase. Easily identified by the buttermilk hued cloud, that on closer inspection reveals a lacy detailed cluster of delicate flowers. Ripe for cordial or champagne I only had sights on a fritter version – how can you fail to feel like an otherworldly creature when chomping down on deep fried clusters of blossom faerie queen style?!
I went with Nigel Slater’s recipe, subbing sparkling water and sugar for sparkling pink wine, because, well mainly what doesn’t benefit from pink fizz in the sunshine? I also rather liked the notion of adding a sticky pink tinged sweetness to that orgy of lacy cream petals.
I served mine with another faint current obsession which is greek yoghurt whipped with a lacing of tahini and then a very simple peach jam made from a mix of equally wilting yellow and white fleshed peaches.
I often experiment with various and seasonal flavours in toastie form, with a Doughnut Peach and Nduja one being the winning combo from last year; it worked so well I decided to use the same flavours as a pizza. Yup, still works. As does ripe black fig with finocchiona and nduja. I loosely adhered to this adaptation of Peter Reinhart’s Neopolitan recipe
A mid morning breakfast of figs, with tahini and yoghurt again, is doing it for me too, served sliced over toasted and buttered sourdough and drizzled with tahini.
Best thing I ate this week though? A very, very simple Thing On Toast – flat peach grilled, sliced over sourdough and draped with melting slivers of lardo – sweet, juicy and salty bliss.
Heirloom tomato salads, burrata dressed with a smoky olive oil, course and crumbly Tuscan Finocciona; the simplest feasts made magical by the fading light of a summers day.
Prod me when it’s Autumn hey?