This delicious tasting menu dish was created by Jesse Wells, Head Chef at the Forest Lodge Hotel.
This was actually the first dish I cooked using The Book and Bucket Cheese Company's 'Hardy’s' cheese. It’s a small dish, but packs a punch, which comes down to the quality of ingredients with Hardy’s being the star of the show.
I understand not everyone will have preserved gooseberries, these can be omitted, (or you can make some! This recipe is also included!).
Our guests were also astonished they had eaten swede and loved it.
Ingredients (serves 4)
Xantham gum (found in most supermarkets)
1 x 250g Hardy's cheese
1 x swede
3 x medium sized carrots
150g unsalted butter
1 x bunch of apple marigold herb.
1 x bunch of flat leaf parsley
200g gooseberries (fresh)
10 x preserved gooseberries (sliced finely).
Apple marigold sprigs.
100ml boiling water
White wine vinegar
The day before bring 100ml water to boil, pour over 60g of linseeds, stir then leave (they will thicken on their own). Season with sea salt and spread out thinly on a lined tray and dry in a low oven. It's ready when completely dry and like a cracker. Break into shards and store in airtight container.
To begin, grate the Hardy’s into a small pan, (but don’t grate the rind). You should have around 220g. Cover with the same amount in weight of cold water.
Heat very gently, but do not boil. When it's hot, pull off the heat, add a pinch of xanthem gum (go very minimal on this to start). With a hand blender, blitz the cheese water. The xantham gum will emulsify the mix and we are aiming for a single cream consistency. If it's too thin, add a tiny touch more xanthem and blitz again (careful not to add too much or it will turn to a gel like consistency). Taste to check seasoning and adjust with sea salt if necessary.
For the vegetables, I cut into 'Jenga' like strips but you can cut however you like. Just remember the larger you cut them, the more cooking they will take.
Slice the butter and place at the bottom of a cold pan, season with sea salt. Place the vegetables flat side down in the butter. Foil the pan tightly (or use a lid) and place on lowest heat possible. The butter will steam cook the veg through, then brown and glaze the veg. You have to be patient, don’t shake the pan, remove the lid or turn the heat up. Leave to cool and glaze in the butter, use the butter to warm when ready to serve.
For the gooseberry puree - place the fresh gooseberries in a pan, cover with sugar, then cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer until reduce by half. Transfer to a blender and blitz. Check the acidity and adjust with lemon juice if needed.
For the preserved gooseberries...
Bring 2 litres of white wine vinegar to the boil, then turn off. Add between 10 to 20 elderflower heads, and let steep. Wash the gooseberries, coat them in sea salt and leave for 2 - 4 hours to remove excess water. Then wash again and add them to a glass jar. Cover in a jar with elder vinegar and seal. These last a very long time and only get better. These will need to be sliced thinly when plating.
For the oil...
Blanch 70g of marigold and 70g of parsley in boiling water. To stop them cooking, place them in iced water. Transfer to a blender and cover with a neutral oil like grapeseed or vegetable. Blitz on full power, season, then pass through a fine sieve.
To serve... warm the cheese sauce, then add marigold oil to split the sauce.
Arrange your veg in the bowl, with each piece, add gooseberry puree and a piece of preserved gooseberry. We want acidity with each piece. Then add a piece of linseed cracker to each piece of veg, along with a sprig of apple marigold. Finally spoon in the sauce. For more of a wow factor, spoon the sauce at the table and reveal the speckled green sauce.