Thursday, 13 August 2009

A very good place to start?

The ‘Glorious 12th’ is not only the day that most of the UK’s grouse start to try and get everywhere that bit faster but also the BSG’s birthday. It has become a self-imposed rule that he doesn’t go to work on his birthday, so we usually celebrate with a day centred on eating - as if every other day isn’t.

This year it was lunch at The Square on Bruton Street. I will not attempt any kind of review, but wow, £35 for three courses felt like daylight robbery and all I would say is go! I am still thinking about their gravity-defying blackberry soufflé with blackberry ripple ice-cream popped in the top and warm compote poured over. Be warned: do not let appearances deceive; despite an apparent lighter-than-air quality, its deep fruity richness silenced even the BSG. If purple had a taste, this would be it. Huge smiles all round.

Gooseberries are a rare treat, proving difficult to procure, so my delight in finding them on Monday (I think I held them proudly aloft, to make sure everybody else knew they were there) was compounded by concocting a fooly-type thing, stewed down first with some sugar, and mixed with whipped cream with plenty of greek yoghurt for pale green happy tartness. I can’t wait to have a spoonful when I get home.

The nubbly, giant Amalfi lemons that surrounded us on our holiday in Italy last week are still on my mind; the locals treat these as the stars of the dish from the outset – these monsters are rarely, if ever, a garnish. From smoked local mozzarellas and provolones baked wrapped in their dark green leaves and thick rind to fragrant yellow seafood risottos, their versatility has inspired me to add a little more zest to my cooking in every sense of the word…

I must be on a sweet-toothed drive this week – usually a ‘starter and main course’ type of girl, I have been seduced by fruit. Nothing like the effect of an airless London street in summer to make one crave refreshment!

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