Eat the Seasons – May

We just love Brighton coming into the summer months. There’s the best local produce to be found right on our doorstep.

Foraging in Brighton and the surrounding area is one of the joys of being a chef in Sussex. There is an abundance of produce on the South East coast and our chefs love nothing better than having a wander to see what is on offer throughout the seasons.

We’ve been foraging recently for seabeets, sea kale and marsh samphire. As you can see, the stunning red of the English marsh samphire is starting to show through, but this patch was only just forming. So other than a passing nibble to sample this fresh salty delight, we left well alone to let it grow for a few more weeks.  We’ll be sure to go back and show you how much it’s come on and what beautiful dishes we can create with it.

samphire

But we were in luck with the sea beets and sea kale, as there was copious amounts of both. Have a look at what myself and our windswept chef Toria found!

Please note: when foraging you must be certain of what you are picking and eating. Remember some plants look very similar, so please go with someone who knows what they’re doing. It’s also important to only take what you need, only ever take for yourself, so there’s enough left for everyone.

English Shrimp with foraged Sea Beets and Sea Kale

When using such fresh local ingredients, the best cooking advice is…Keep it simple!

  • We’ve used the tops/baby leaves, dont use the older harder leaves as these will be woody and not as easy, quick for you to use.
  • Take your foraged sea beets and sea kale and rinse under cold water to remove any grit.
  • On a medium heat, pop a knob of butter and a clove or two of crushed garlic, depending on your taste into the pan until the garlic just starts to go a golden colour. We’ve used our wild garlic puree (recipe coming soon!) but crushed garlic will work just as well. Now put the leaves in the saucepan.
  • The water that you’ve rinsed the leaves in will be enough cooking liquor with the butter, to allow these beautiful seaside leaves to braise with a lid on for 3-5 minutes. Have a little try after the cooking time and if it’s too al dente for your liking, leave in a little longer.
  • English brown shrimp can be found in the rockpools off Brighton and further along the coast heading out towards Peacehaven. If cooking from fresh, have a pan of boiling water on the go, place all the shrimp in the water and when it’s back up to the boil the shrimp will be almost ready to take out. You’ll see the shells go pink. Now run under cold water and peel.
  • For ease you can find cooked shrimp at your local shop, where possible use your fishmonger, so you can eat local and support your local business’.
  • Take the leaves off the stove and drain any excess water, mix the shrimp through the leaves and season well.
  • Transfer to a warmed plate and squeeze a large wedge of fresh lemon juice over your sea foraged feast.
  • Serve with freshly baked bread and lashings of real butter!

 

So when you’re planning your next team event or celebratory party, why not get in touch and see what we’ve got cooking and come and join us to ‘LEARN, COOK, EAT’, with you as the chef and diner!

Contact us for more info at info@brightoncookeryschool.com or give us a call on 01273 674911.

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