Recipe: Honey Roast Parsnip, Apple & Puy Lentils with Crispy Kale

I’ve been making this dish a lot this autumn, it’s perfectly seasonal now but is actually great right through the winter months as you should be able to get local parsnips, kale and apples until spring.  I really love parsnips and I think they tend to be a bit underrated and underused, often only appearing as a side to roast dinners. Parsnips are excellent over the winter months but you can buy locally grown (or at least British) almost the whole year. Continue reading

Recipe: Irish Shortbread

This must be the easiest shortbread recipe in the world! It makes the most deliciously decadent (take note of the amount of butter!) and crumbly shortbread and only takes about five minutes to make the dough, you don’t even need to line or butter the tin.  It does take a hour in the oven, but that’s an hour that you can spend drinking tea and watching the Bon Appetit You Tube channel (what I would like to have been doing this morning) or cleaning your kitchen and washing a million Tupperware boxes (what I actually did this morning). Continue reading

Recipe: Apple, Cabbage & Caraway Sauerkraut

Making sauerkraut is much easier than many people think, it is basically just a mixture of finely chopped or grated vegetables mixed with salt (1-2% of the total weight of chopped vegetables) and then left to ferment. The sugar is optional, it will ferment without it, but I think it makes for a nicer kraut by rounding out the flavours a bit. It’s always good to have some hard, crunchy vegetables in the mix as they keep a bit of texture as they ferment, which is why crunchy white cabbage is so good. Continue reading

The Edible Flower: Three Years In

This weekend, on 26th July 2019, The Edible Flower became three years old. Yay! We’re still here, still standing and still smiling.

It’s become a tradition that on our Edible Flower anniversaries I publish a little financial summary of our business. It all started when, after our first year of business, I wrote this. It was surprisingly popular – despite containing graphs and a whole section on VAT!

I’m writing this at home, with our babies asleep upstairs, while Erin is out catering a wedding for 80 people. The highlight of the year was, of course, the birth of our two gorgeous twin girls, Forrest and Frida in October. However, I don’t think either of us have ever done anything as tricky as balancing running your own business and looking after babies. It’s so easy to feel like you’re doing both badly – all the time. And having enjoyed almost two years of running our business together, it’s also been incredibly hard to never have any time to work together. One of us is always working and the other looking after the babies. Or we try and do some work together while both looking after the twins – and the result is you do it all badly, or very very slowly.

Suddenly going from a family of two, to a family of four, puts pressure on the business to actually start making some money. And on that front, there is good news and bad news… Continue reading

Recipe: Mushroom, Rosemary & Pearl Barley Broth

I developed this recipe for a lovely couple who are getting married in Autumn 2018 and wanted a simple seasonal start the meal before a magnificent spread of sharing platters to be served as the main course. It reminds me of the beautiful broths we ate in Ukraine earlier in the year; there they are always finished with a dollop of smetana (a rich sour cream), so I’ve added some as a garnish to finish this dish. Sometimes a simple but delicious starter like this is the perfect complement to a dramatic and colourful main course. Continue reading

Nine tips for starting a supper club…

I think supper clubs are brilliant – for both the guests and the event organisers. The organisers curate a night, showcasing their favourite dishes in unusual venues and the guests get a one-off eating experience where the chef will generally be cooking and serving, as well as chatting about the food. It would be great if there were more supper clubs in Northern Ireland and beyond. Continue reading