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7 recipes to cook in April

7 recipes to cook in April

by Great British Chefs 05 April 2018

With winter now firmly in the rearview mirror, April is when some of our favourite ingredients start sprouting up in the countryside and lining shop shelves. Here are seven of our top dishes to cook this month.

April is a month when we're blessed with a bounty of lovely ingredients; perhaps a reward for making it through the more spartan winter months. Every year, restaurants across the country battle over the first morels of the season. These mushrooms are highly prized for their meaty flavour, and though they'll set you back more than your average chestnut mushroom, they're definitely worth splashing out for.

Asparagus season starts this month as well – technically not until the end of the month, but you'll see British asparagus lining the shelves long before then. Asparagus is incredibly versatile – we've listed lots of our favourite asparagus recipes below, but don't be afraid to experiment!

As if that wasn't enough, you'll start to see world-famous Jersey Royals popping up too, and wild garlic is still readily available and easy to spot on woodland walks. April is a fantastic month for cooks – read on for a taste of our favourite recipes to cook this month.

1. Pan-roasted asparagus with wild garlic and white bean hummus

Joey O’Hare’s fantastic vegan starter is an incredibly clever combination of some classic spring flavours. She makes a simple cannellini bean hummus and flavours it with wild garlic, which is now abundant in hedgerows all over the country. She then chars her asparagus in a pan to retain some crunch in the middle, and tops with a hazelnut and spring onion pesto.

2. Wild halibut with morels, wild garlic and Jersey Royals

This delicious halibut recipe from Matthew Tomkinson has spring written all over it. Matthew combines four of April’s most prized ingredients in morels, Jersey Royals, wild garlic and asparagus, and matches them with a beautiful piece of halibut. He keeps things simple to preserve the flavour of each item, cooking the wild garlic and morels in foaming butter, boiling his Jersey Royals in salted water and blanching his asparagus, before pan-frying his fish and finishing with a foamy cream sauce.

3. Chicken wings with gnocchi, morels, asparagus and chicken emulsion

Chicken, morels and asparagus are a match made in heaven, but William Drabble does something a bit different, eschewing ever-popular chicken breast in favour of the wings. Whilst Matthew Tomkinson’s recipe above keeps things light and simple, William goes down the gourmet route, stuffing his morels with a chicken mousseline, roasting his chicken wings in a thyme beurre noisette, and serving with gnocchi, asparagus and a rich chicken emulsion.

4. Roast Jersey Royals with glazed pear, Roquefort cheese and walnut salad

If you’re looking for Jersey Royal inspiration, look no further than Shaun Rankin – the former St Helier-based chef is a wealth of knowledge on Jersey produce, and he has loads of delicious recipes to his name. This is one of our favourites – Shaun’s clever combination of Jersey Royals, pears, walnuts and Roquefort cheese is seamless, balancing sweet, savoury, earthy and salty flavours on the palate. Even better, you can get it on the table in just fifteen minutes if you have leftover potatoes to use up.

5. Grilled rack of lamb with crushed Jersey Royals and anchovy butter

You’ll find some fantastic lamb in your local butcher at the moment, and Dominic Chapman’s recipe takes full advantage, pairing rack of lamb with Jersey Royals and a punchy anchovy butter. Dominic keeps things simple and lets the fantastic ingredients do the talking here – his lamb is left to marinate in a classic combination of thyme, rosemary and garlic, and the Jersey Royals are boiled, crushed and mixed with the anchovy butter, before he finishes his lamb and serves the two together. A delicious, no-nonsense spring lamb dish.

6. Gariguette strawberries and vanilla parfait

Although we’re still a couple of months away from British strawberry season, you can still find good strawberries in April – keep an eye out for Gariguette strawberries from France, which have incredible flavour. Matt Worswick’s Gariguette strawberry and vanilla dish is a lot of work and will certainly test out your skills in the kitchen, but the results are absolutely stunning – cool vanilla parfait marries beautifully with the many different textures of strawberry on the plate. A perfect way to end a dinner party.

7. Green rhubarb sorbet

Pink rhubarb is more of a winter thing, but we are still very much in rhubarb season, and you should see lots of green rhubarb around. Although underripe rhubarb is green, not all green rhubarb is underripe – some varieties are simply greener than others, but no less sweet. Christoffer Hruskova’s green rhubarb sorbet uses slightly underripe stalks to make a wonderfully tart sorbet that’ll go perfectly with sweet desserts. What’s more, it’s incredibly simple – just juice your rhubarb, make a sugar syrup and then combine and churn in an ice cream maker.

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