Embrace the crisp freshness of spring with these three recipes put together by chef Jacques Erasmus of Hemelhuijs fame. In a celebration of greenery, Jacques explores the use of daikon, edamame, lime leaves and celery heart.
Shaved daikon and apple salad with fish roe
For the salad
1 large daikon radish, julienned or shaved
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cut into matchsticks
100g edamame beans
A handful of fresh mint, roughly torn
2T finely chopped chives
For the dressing
45ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
5ml fresh ginger, minced
5ml soy sauce
45ml light vegetable oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 quail eggs, boiled and peeled
50g trout or salmon roe
In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients and toss lightly.
To make the dressing, whisk the lemon juice with the ginger, soy sauce and vegetable oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad with the dressing and place into bowls. Top with the quail eggs and fish roe and serve immediately.
SERVES 6 as a starter
Spring grilled oysters
18 medium oysters, opened
50g baby spinach
2T finely chopped celery heart
1T finely chopped fresh parsley
Zest of half a lemon
10 drops Tabasco sauce
200g butter, softened
50g water biscuits, crushed
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Coarse sea salt and fresh
lemon slices, to serve
Preheat the oven grill. Clean the oysters to remove any grit, loosen each with a paring knife and place them on an oven tray (or use a muffin pan to keep the shells upright).
Blend the spinach, celery heart, parsley, lemon zest, Tabasco, butter, biscuits and seasoning into a smooth paste. Spoon over the oysters and place under the grill for 5-7 minutes until they begin to brown. Serve warm immediately on a bed of coarse sea salt with fresh lemon slices.
Spring vegetable and coconut broth with litchis and scallops
For the broth
125ml vegetable oil
A handful of fresh coriander
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger
1 Thai lime leaf
1 mild green chilli, to taste
3 curry leaves
2.5cm-long lemongrass stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove
3×410g tins coconut cream
25ml fish sauce
25ml soy sauce
12 fresh litchis, pitted and juice reserved
300g spring vegetables (such as mange tout, tender-stem broccoli, fine beans and exotic mushrooms), shaved or finely sliced
For the scallops
25ml vegetable oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 large or 12 medium scallops
Fresh lime juice, to serve
To make the broth, blend the vegetable oil, coriander, ginger, lime leaf, chilli, curry leaves, lemongrass and garlic with a dash of water until it forms a paste. Pour into a saucepan and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut cream, fish and soy sauces, litchis and shaved vegetables, bring to the boil and remove from the stovetop.
Heat a frying pan until hot and add 25ml vegetable oil. Season the scallops and sear for a few seconds on each side. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Spoon the vegetable broth, litchis and shaved vegetables into serving bowls and place the scallops on top of the broth. Squeeze fresh lime juice over each bowl and serve immediately.
Pair your meal with a refreshing aperitif of frozen grape and fennel frappé with sparkling wine. Get the recipe here.