View from the Kitchen

Finally it seems spring has sprung. The land is starting to wake up, buds on trees, green shoots poking through the soil, flowers starting to bloom. We have also recently welcomed new members to the flock and herd. There is new life on the farm! It’s an exciting and busy time for us in the kitchen and throughout the Estate. Ingredients are becoming available again which signal the start of a new season.

It’s great to be working with new flavours and returning to old ones. Asparagus, purple sprouting broccoli, wild garlic and rhubarb amongst others are all available now or soon will be. These are all at their peak in terms of flavour now. New season’s produce really inspire us in the kitchen to create something new after a long dreary winter. Asparagus is especially good right now and it’s only at this time of year we can get Irish grown. In fact it is the only time of year I eat it, simply boiled with a little salt and butter which allows this ingredient to really stand out.

mustard leaves-min
The hungry gap is fast approaching – the period in the growing calendar, generally around April, when there is very little fresh produce around as the winter crops start to run out and the new produce is not quite ready. At the same time the larder has been depleted over the winter. With all this in mind that we are currently in the process of rebuilding our stores in the kitchen; pickling and preserving the last of the winter produce to help us bridge the gap.
 This time of year is another driver for creativity in the kitchen. We need to make the best use of what little produce there is and stretch it out with our remaining winter pickles, ferments and preserves. With the weather becoming more mild it is also a great excuse to get outside and forage to supplement the farm’s harvest. Wild garlic or its cousin three cornered leek is in abundance and can be found most anywhere, along with alexander, sea spinach, rock samphire and nettles. .
garden harvest

In other news from Overends Kitchen the weekend roast is available for families and couples to share on Saturdays and Sundays. This features carefully selected joints or cuts of meat from the estate when available or our suppliers along with the best seasonal produce available to us. All this is served family style for the table to share and enjoy (we can also accommodate individuals when requested). Our small retail area featuring some of the best Irish artisan produce is growing quietly.

After almost a year of leading the team at Overends Kitchen and developing a stronger relationship between kitchen, farm and gardens, I now feel more prepared for the coming season and its challenges. The arrival of spring brings new life and energy to the whole team at O. K. and makes us excited for the coming months. We hope to see you soon in Overends Kitchen.

All the best,