This is the first guest blog post from Jake Weatherill from Florentina Event Catering - a regular wedding caterer at West Lexham. Like all good caterers Jake is passionate about his ingredients. He works with great suppliers and likeminded Norfolk & UK producers whose focus is on quality and provenance. Here's his run down on the best of local produce in Norfolk....
We are reaching prime summer time shortly and there is an abundance of the best local seasonal Norfolk produce which is fantastic. It's a chefs dream to have all these at great price and the best quality in the whole of the UK.
There is of course lots of options available which, if you have the time you can go for your own little forage!
There is now a glut of wild Norfolk produce available.
From the hedgerows and wild meadow fields – Elderflower, Wild Fennel, Nettles, Hop Shoots, Bull Rush, Spruce Shoots, Mallow Leaves, Fat Hen, Dandelion Leaves & Wild Pea Flowers.
From the marshes in between Holkham & Wells Next The Sea – Marsh Samphire, Sea Aster, Sea Purselane, Sea Beet, Scurvy Grass, Arrow Root, and Sea Buckthorn Plantain, Sea Buckthorn Berries.
From the woodlands in Thetford forest : There should be Chicken of Woods, Girolles and Puffball mushrooms.
It’s been a good year for Asparagus which should continue until the beginning of July so make the most of it for the next 3 weeks. When the traditional Asparagus season draws to a close, I like to turn my recipes to summer produce such as Marsh Samphire which is now starting along the North Norfolk coastline.
Local Broccoli will be starting very soon & Cauliflowers continue to be relatively stable in supply.
Heygate Norfolk Peer potatoes are renown for being the best money can buy. They will commence from the middle of June, and this will feature heavily on our menu throughout the summer until October.
Outdoor Local Rhubarb is now in abundance and holding up a deep red colour.
Strawberries have been early to start this year, with fantastic flavour, taste and depth of colouration. We are fortunate to source them all from Norfolk. Raspberries will soon be starting locally also.
It won’t be long before we see Gooseberries back in season, but be patient as they are never ones for starting too early; it all depends on the sun!
> Boil in salted water a handful of heygate baby new potatoes for 15 mins then cool under cold water
> Blanch the asparagus tips in water for 1 min then cool under water
> Make the crème fraise by adding 1 lemon zested & half juiced with chopped chives, parsley, salt & pepper
> In a bowl serve by cutting in half & drizzle in olive oil over the baby potatoes, flake both salmon on top of the potatoes followed by the asparagus.
> Finish with a drizzle of crème fraishe, sliced radish & watercress leaves
> Make the pannacotta by bringing to the boil 250g cream 200g milk, 1 vanilla pod split & deseeded & 50g sugar.
> Separately add 3 leaves of gelatine to cold water to soften
> One brought to the boil add the soften gelatine to the milk & cream, stir to dissolve.
> Take off the boil & leave to cool to room temperature.
> Once cool add to individual lightly oiled moulds then set in the fridge for 4 hours.
> Dice up a selection of strawberries, raspberries & blueberries & add these to the bottom of a bowl
> Remove the pannacotta from the mould & place on top of the fruit & garnish with lemon balm & shortbread.
Guest post written by Jake Weatherill of Florentina Catering Norfolk. Looking for Norfolk Catering services? We provide catering for wedding and events throughout Norfolk. We can cater for any party, no matter how large or small.