Spring is such an inspiring time of year. With the (hopefully) warmer weather and all the new growth it’s as though a new lease of life is breathed into everything, and for anyone interested in food this time of year is surely a real joy. I sometimes get a lull in my food writing and recipe development for the book – I’m not always in the right frame of mind, sometimes creativity escapes me, sometimes I’m just plain tired – but these past few weeks I’ve been full of ideas and very active in the kitchen. But then, how could you not be with all the new produce becoming available – asparagus, herbs, new potatoes, spring onions, spinach, etc, etc – and with the sun shining and the warmer weather prompting us to fling windows and doors wide open and drag out the barbecues and picnic baskets?
One of my new favourites, which are making more and more of an appearance these days, are pea shoots; the delicate yet very flavoursome leaves of the pea plant. They’re a real beauty in salads, such as this very simple one which I put together recently, consisting only of hard boiled eggs and ham with the pea shoots, and dressed with a mix of snipped chives and crème fraîche. Even if the sun doesn’t always want to come out to play, you can always find a little bit of sunshine in a salad such as this.