3rd February 2021
Lets get Seasonal - Seasonal! (for all you Olivia Newton John fans out there!)
Yes we are back again as promised for our February Blog where we will be discussing all things SEASONAL! We are so lucky to live in the heart of Yorkshire where we have a fantastic larder of produce on our doorstep. I mean let's face it you can not get better than Whitby Crab & Kippers, Yorkshire Lobster, Wensleydale Cheese, Yorkshire Rhubarb, Sand Hutton Asparagus and believe it or not Liquorice (Pontefract in West Yorkshire was once a centre of liquorice cultivation).
It is not surprising that Yorkshire grows more produce than any other county! Which is wonderful for us catering folk. We encourage our clients to keep within the seasons as this means your dishes are even more special and tasty. We also have a fantastic team of chefs who love foraging and working with our key suppliers to get the very best out of what our beautiful region has to offer. There is nothing quite like a fresh Sand Hutton Asparagus salad with hens egg or Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb Crumble.
As mentioned we use some of the most amazing suppliers that grow seasonal and organic vegetables especially for us! Big shout out to Goodness Growing Veg and The Garden Deli Easingwold. Ultimately we can break seasons down into Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. But for a more precise guide it's best to look at monthly availability.
So here's a brief overview of our favourite product for each month!
JANUARY - Yorkshire Rhubarb
We love love love Rhubarb! And we are perfectly situated in terms of access due to The Yorkshire Triangle! Some of my favourite dishes on the menu include our Spiced Rhubarb Crème Brulee with Ginger Brandy Snap and also our Rhubarb & Custard Giant Macaron.
FEBRUARY - Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Served simply with a little Maldon sea salt, cracked black pepper and a beurre blanc drizzled over the top - delicious on its own or the perfect side dish!
MARCH - LEEK
We may be in Yorkshire but our Director Ashley is half Welsh! So St David's Day is a big thing at Baba. Leeks are particularly good this time of year and are especially good in our popular starter of, Wensleydale & Leek Croquettes with Creamed Leeks. This dish is a perfect marriage of Welsh and Yorkshire just like Ashley & Matt!
APRIL - Asparagus
After Christmas we literally count down until we can get our hands on some Sand Hutton Asparagus! Come the 23rd April we celebrate the start of the asparagus season and St George's Day. Asparagus is perfect in risottos, quiche and soups. A particular favourite of ours in an asparagus amuse bouche with parmesan crisp!
MAY - Wild Garlic
We love wild garlic! We collect as much as we can and make oils, pesto, sauces with it and freeze it down so we have a constant supply throughout the year. Wild garlic is particularly special to Matt and Ashley as Ashley went into labour whilst picking wild garlic! When she asked Matt to hurry up and get back in the van he replied ‘I have found a really good patch - just need another carrier bag’. When their little boy Ralph was born the midwife asked who had eaten garlic as the room smelt strongly of it but it was Matt, he had stuffed his pockets with it because Ashley had refused to give him another bag in the midst of a contraction!
JUNE - Mackerel
A firm-fleshed, oil-rich fish with a beautiful silver and blue striped skin. Mackerel is a delicious fish.Perfect with a simple potato salad or made into our scrumptious mackerel pate with pickled cucumber. Interesting fact from Director Matthew (a keen fisherman!) the fishing season for mackerel runs from May to September but he thinks June is the best month. During the end of spring, mackerel travel from deeper oceans into shallow riverbeds and waterfronts for mating season. They remain close to the surface during this time, so they are easier to catch.
JULY - Strawberries
What would Wimbledon be without strawberries and champagne!!! British strawberries are delicious and often take us back to pick your own childhood memories. Our Strawberry & Champagne Cheesecake is divine and the perfect summer pudding. We use Little Wolds Vineyard Fizz in our cheesecake for that extra special kick!
AUGUST - Tomatoes and Grouse (we have been greedy and added in two!)
August is about good BBQs and Sharing Feasts. People may think the star of the show is the main element but here at Baba we are crazy about sides and exciting salads!
Tomatoes!!! Matt's favourite memory is of his Pop Grandads greenhouse - fresh tomatoes with a little salt & pepper and some fresh bread was all they needed on a warm summer's day and the memory still makes him smile to this day. Great on bruschetta and in soups too!
We can not discuss August without mentioning the Glorious 12th. Glorious twelfth is the twelfth day of August, the start of the shooting season for red grouse. The traditional way to serve grouse is with a fruit jelly, game chips and a gravy or jus.
SEPTEMBER - Damsons
We pick our own and make our own Damson Gin Chutney - using York Gin! Matt's Dad and Stepmum have damson trees so we have always been lucky with our supply! And lets just say it has become a tradition to have a little of last year's damson gin whilst we pick the produce! A favourite dish of ours is our Fig & Baked Ribblesdale Goats Cheese Tart with Pine Nuts, York Honey & Damson Gin Chutney.
OCTOBER - Pumpkins
A true symbol of Halloween! We have to have pumpkins for October. We love Pumpkin Soup and a good old Pumpkin Risotto with Crispy Sage and Back Bacon. We once did a beautiful Autumn wedding at The Barns East Yorkshire where the couple wanted pumpkin soup as an evening snack with some warm crusty Haxby Bakers Bread. We decorated the evening food stall with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes and served the soup out of a gigantic pumpkin!
NOVEMBER - Red Cabbage
All about hearty food in November! We tend to do lots of Pie & Mash during the month. Red Cabbage with a little spice and quite a bit if booze is the perfect pie accompaniment. One of our favourites is our Coniston Venison Pie with Creamy Mash and Tipsy Red Cabbage!
DECEMBER - Goose
I know Christmas is all about Turkey...but Goose is such a fantastic luxe alternative! Goose meat is darker (including the breast), fuller bodied, and more intensely flavoured than turkey. It is fatter and more gamy than duck. Most associate Christmas goose with Victorian England but it is making a comeback at Christmas. Also don’t forget goose fat to make those amazing roast potatoes!
So there you have it! A snippet from us on our favourite seasonal ingredients. If you want to know more, our chefs would be more than happy to discuss ideas with you. Alternatively if you are intrigued and would like to know more then the following websites are great!
Until next time! Keep safe all!
The Baba Team