At Harvest | 11 May 2024

It’s Mother’s Day Weekend! Plus, Castelfranco radicchio, roast fennel, and parsley salad; and roast beetroot with caraway, chives and mascarpone.

Mother’s Day is upon us! Short of a villa in the south of France, cooking for your Mum after having presented a bunch of beautiful flowers is the best thing you can do for her this weekend. Harvest Market is the one-stop shop for this. If you bring her along and shout her a coffee, you’ve even had an outing! The triple treat.

Flowers: the correct Mother’s Day gift.

It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, and the scent of blooms will fill the market air. Our horticultural cohort never ceases to amaze us. We’re blessed with incredible growers at the cutting edge of their game, and it shows. We have Anne at Green Flower Farm, whose chrysanthemums are elegance incarnate. Their lush clusters of petals exuding grace and charm are a testament to nature’s artistry. Telling tales of love and gratitude for your Mum, gathered into bouquets that will surely make any Mother’s Day. We also have Gill, Richard and Lily Farm, whose tulip and lily bunches pop colours like bursts of magic. Plus, their mixed bunches include the likes of alstroemeria and snapdragons. Delicate petals unfurled in a kaleidoscope of hues, from soft pastels to vivid crimsons. There are no bad choices from either of these fantastic growers for your Mum this Mother’s Day.

Castelfranco radicchio, roast fennel, and parsley salad

What else could you do for Mum this weekend? That’s right, you can cook for her! It’s the least you could do, given the ratio of meals cooked between your mother and you is probably, like, 1000:1. So, here are a couple of great dishes that will brighten the table as sides, alongside some hero roast or pasta or feast of some kind.

Castelfranco radicchio, with its distinctive pale green leaves speckled with burgundy, offers a unique flavour profile that balances bitterness with subtle sweetness, making it a delightful addition to salads. For this simple as salad featuring Castelfranco radicchio, parsley leaves, and roast fennel, begin by gently tearing the radicchio leaves into bite-sized pieces. This will allow their delicate texture to complement the other ingredients. Next, toss in freshly picked parsley leaves. You could use marjoram or dill if you like. But you’re looking for a pop of herby freshness in the mix.

Meanwhile, roast fennel slices until they caramelise, releasing their natural sweetness and adding a warm, aromatic dimension. Simply combine everything and dress with some red wine vinegar and good olive oil. The mild acidity will help bring all the flavours together. The result is a salad that celebrates the unique qualities of each ingredient, offering a symphony of flavours and textures. Satisfying, and delightful to the palate.

Roast beetroot with caraway, chives and sour cream

Golden beetroots, with their sunny hue and sweet, earthy flavour, add a vibrant touch to any autumnal spread. This number is perfect sharing side-dish for any Mother’s Day feast. First, roast your golden beetroots with crushed caraway seeds. Begin by scrubbing the golden beetroots clean and trimming off the tops. Then, toss them in olive oil, salt and caraway seeds that you’ve toasted and crushed in a mortar and pestle. Reserve some caraway for the dressing, though. Roast them until tender, and their skin can be peeled with a gloved hand. Their natural sweetness will have intensified and gained some complexity.

While the beetroots are roasting, you’ve got the most straightforward plate in the world to prepare. Smear a plate with a generous amount of sour cream that you’ve seasoned with some lemon zest, salt and freshly ground white pepper. Sprinkle this with the remaining caraway. Once the beetroots are tender, slice them into wedges. Place them in a seemingly haphazard but, in reality, highly stylised way onto the sour cream. Cover this with lots of fresh, finely sliced chives and a fila flourish of olive oil. Mum will love this autumnal delight’s contrasting flavours and textures. Between this and the flowers, you’re definitely going to be the good-child this Mother’s Day.

Thanks for reading, and the happiest of Mother’s Days to all out there x.

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