English Summer Produce at Vale House Kitchen

Summer is in the air – the weather is warming up, and although we’re never far from a rain shower in this part of the world, we know it’s what makes the English countryside so gorgeously lush and green. The hedgerows, woodlands and meadows are overflowing with edible goodies, so we’re really excited about our upcoming courses to celebrate summer – our Introduction to Foraging, Summer Jams, Jellies & Cordials, and Field to Fork Vegetarian Cookery are all about the lovely fresh ingredients available at this time of year.

As far as wild food is concerned, right now we’re gathering nettles and sorrel – our resident foraging expert Adrian Boots has a lovely quick recipe for wild sorrel tartlets, which are perfect for lunch in the garden on a sunny day. All you need is 100g washed wild sorrel, 100ml sour cream, 4 tsp of sugar and some ready-made pastry. Simply line greased tart cases with the pastry, prick with a fork and bake blind for 20-25 minutes at 180°C fan. Roughly chop the sorrel and boil down until you are left with a dark green paste, before mixing with the sour cream and the sugar. Leave to cool, fill the baked tart cases and serve cold. As well as greens, we’re also looking forward to foraging for elderflowers, to make all kinds of delicious sweet recipes, including elderflower cordial – the true taste of summer!

When it comes to our Summer Jams, Jellies and Cordials course, we’re thinking lovely English garden fruits like raspberries and redcurrants, but our expert tutor Vivien Lloyd also gets a little more creative with unusual flavours for cordial like geranium – just the thing for an ice-cold refresher on a hot day. And on our Field to Fork Vegetarian Cookery day, we celebrate great British veg, getting our hands dirty in the morning at the fabulous organic Community Farm, before getting stuck into seasonal vegetarian cookery in the afternoon with chef Tim Maddams.

Looking to brush up your summer cookery? Limited places are available on all of the above-mentioned courses, but we usually sell out fast so don’t wait too long – we’d love to welcome you for a day in the kitchen soon.

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