Lemon ricotta with saffron honey, broad beans and peas
Introducing a toddler to that most delicious of outdoor experiences: picking a freshly ripe pea pod for the first time, popping it open to show the perfect little row of emerald sweet jewels and straight into the mouth, is a moment to savour. Jemima’s little Arlo ate so many freshly picked peas and with such gusto that it made us wonder why we ever cook them when they taste so good raw. Each May, working down in Somerset, we find ourselves drawn to Jemima’s vegetable garden for such midday snacks along the lines of little vines, propped up and tied with green gardeners’ string, bursting with little white pea-flowers, their delicately curling tendrils clutching at the hazel-wood sticks. These are nature’s finest and most more-ish healthy snack, and we chat as we munch. No season is more fitting for us creatively than beautiful springtime, with the excitement that it brings, a powerful sense of fresh beginnings in the air. Escaping London and surrounding yourself with the lush countryside and, for the first time all year, feeling thankful to live in such a rainy climate whose output comprises such rich greens, is one of the joys of being English. Spring is a season of splendour and swing, trees blossoming with heavenly cloud-like flowers, vivid pinks from radishes and red stalks mottled with green from rhubarbs shooting up strong and bushy, to that most iconic sight of spring, the arrow-shaped asparagus in abundance. We cannot remember a year when we have wanted to celebrate the arrival of spring as much as this year, from a mixture of a heavy working winter, beavering away setting up our space, to feeling more creatures of comfort than ever and not adjusting to the colder climate- the season of optimism and beauty has swept us off our feet- and with that we have created this little dish as a homage to spring. Simple, fresh and with a little twist- that’s what we crave this time of year, with some good grilled sourdough drizzled in olive oil and a cold glass of something delicious.