Eating Seasonally with Emily Few Brown

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Eating seasonally means eating foods that are naturally ready to harvest at the same time of year that you are eating them. As a society, we have grown used to having whatever food we want and at any time of the year. Think courgettes in January and strawberries in October.

The problem with eating out-of-season produce is that often it needs to be flown into the UK from overseas, or grown using intensive farming methods such as using pesticides or heated greenhouses to force crop growth all year-round. Food that travels far is often wrapped in a lot of plastic packaging to avoid it being damaged in transit and therefore has a much larger CO2 footprint.

Eating locally produced seasonal food is not only more tasty and healthy due to the nutrients and flavours fully developing but it is also better for our environment and UK farmers too. We’ve also often found local seasonal eating to be more affordable, as it hasn’t had to be imported, and is more readily available during that month.

We’ve asked our founder, Emily Few Brown for her take on seasonal eating.

What made you decide to shape Spook London around seasonal eating?
I grew up in the countryside and seasonal eating has always been a way of life for me – I wouldn’t have it any other way. The simplicity of connecting with food, how it is grown is so important to me. It’s my escape being in the garden, planting and harvesting the food I have grown. There is nothing more satisfying. 

What is your favourite time of year for seasonal produce?
I don’t think I could choose. I love watching produce grow all the way from Spring to Autumn – I love the way you start with wild garlic, purple sprouting broccoli in the spring, moving through to Elderflower and summer vegetables and ending with autumnal fruits and quince. It is such a ritual.

What is your go-to seasonal recipe for the Spring?
This year I have been cooking a lot of purple sprouting broccoli and I have it with a really delicious tahini dressing. Full recipe below

                          

You will need: (Serves 4)

550g purple-sprouting broccoli
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
40g tahini
1 tsp honey
Half a lemon
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2tsp sesame seeds

How to make:

  1. Trim any big leaves off the broccoli and cut off the woody base of the stems. Blanch for three minutes in boiling, salted water until al dente, drain and leave to dry.
  2. Toss the broccoli in the oil, a teaspoon of salt and a large pinch of pepper, then cook on a very hot ridged griddle pan for two minutes on each side, until slightly charred and smoky. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk the tahini, honey, lemon juice, garlic and a pinch of salt, and slowly start to add water half a tablespoon at a time. At first, the sauce will look as if it has split, but it will soon come back together. Add just enough water to make the sauce the consistency of honey – around three tablespoons in total. Arrange the broccoli on a platter, drizzle with sauce and scatter with sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature.

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