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The Sun Will Come Out...

An informal poll of friends and customers suggests: many of us are fed up with cooking. For some this means the desire to cook less often, for others, it’s ZERO tolerance. Wherever you are on this spectrum, it's understandable. Cooking can be a chore. But we’re here to offer a silver lining or two.

Ruby red rhubarb stalks have arrived. Personally, I am not cuckoo for rhubarb per se. It’s what this tart and lightly sweet vegetable masquerading as a fruit represents: the start of grazing season.

Very soon, the endless cycle of winter meals revolving around stewed lentils will come to a triumphant close. My Spring/Summer meal plan is simply this: I pick up whatever produce looks good and do as little as possible to it. While I sometimes resent cooking too, I never dread buying fresh food. Loading up on colourful and crisp fruits and veg is as life-affirming as it gets.

Soon I’ll haphazardly slice fennel to dip into thick labneh, maybe with a sprinkle of sumac. When the fiddleheads appear, they’ll get blanched and showered with Maldon salt. The Queen of Spring, asparagus will incite a happy dance followed by a quick sear and blast of lemon. The trend will continue with snap peas, baby lettuces, fistfuls of herbs, new potatoes, cherries, cherry tomatoes, watermelon...

And when I run out of ideas, there are people and books to consult. David Tanis (Market Cooking), Abra Berens (Ruffage), beloved Nigel Slater (A Cook’s Book): all minimalist recipe writers with a passion for produce, plus the expertise, skills and creativity that I sometimes lack. And if the mood to REALLY cook strikes, I’ll up the ante with How to Eat a Peach, Six Seasons or Summer Kitchens for more complex ideas and fully rounded meals.


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