As the cold subsides and warmer days emerge, we are eager to shake off the melancholy and burst into spring. I absolutely love the vibrant colours and flavours of fresh peas, broad beans and asparagus.
Not to be overlooked, these to me herald the arrival of spring and a change in my mood. It’s like the start of a new year and is a delight. At home last year, none of my peas made it to the pot given the kids’ little fingers quickly found the fat pods a sweet treat.
But if you can stop the little burglars getting to them first, try using them in a warm salad, as an appetizer, or side dish to bring your meal alive.
Try matching them with the creamy citrus flavours of a chèvre goat’s cheese or feta, pickled lemon, fresh mint and salty cured meats such as prosciutto, coppa, bresaola, bacon or crisp fried chorizo, a home-cured staple at Otahuna Lodge.
Imagine enjoying such a dish with the warm sun on your face and a glass of cool riesling or méthode champenoise. What a splendid way to enjoy a spring afternoon.
Jimmy McIntyre is a passionate foodie and the executive chef at Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch.