The first new crops start to arrive around this time of year. Herbs have been available for a few weeks and salad leaves are now ready. The overwintering brassicas have almost gone although there is still the odd cauliflower around but, most exciting and a real indicator of summer around the corner is the asparagus coming to its peak of production. I took the first few spears at the end of April but am now taking 20 or so a week. I like to cook them in as little water as possible and one of my favourite ways is on a griddle wrapped in good Parma ham. You make picturesque little parcels with the ham around the spears.
One or two parcels per person. Then simply griddle with your meat. Here is mine with a rump steak.
Just a couple of minutes cooking, turning to all sides, will soften and warm the asparagus and crisp the ham. Then back to the board to rest the food for a few minutes. I do think resting food improves its eating qualities.
Here it is served with a chickpea and pumpkin side dish. More about this delicious vegetarian stew in a later post.
Growing your own vegetables might not be strictly “hunter-gatherer” but it gives me a huge sense of well-being.