British Food Fortnight 2014 (20th September to 5th October) is underway, and we thought it was a great opportunity to celebrate our love of all things home made and home grown. The event was established in 2002 to help educate the public as well as the catering and retail sectors on the benefits of eating fresh, seasonal produce, and since then it’s gone from strength to strength.
In the past, British food had a reputation for being stodgy and filling – and many traditional recipes, designed for different, more energetic lifestyles, can be a bit too heavy for today’s more modest requirements. Dishes such as shepherd’s pie, bread and butter pudding, trifle, hotpot, roast dinners, toad in the hole and pies are best enjoyed once or twice a week as a treat, or adjusted slightly to make them lighter.
There’s a whole cornucopia of British food, though, that’s light, healthy and packed with flavour. British fruit and vegetables are among the best in the world, and if they’re fresh are best cooked very simply to let the flavours come though. Instead of making blackberries into a blackberry and apple crumble, why not try a blackberry, raspberry and fennel salad with toasted almonds and crusty bread? Courgettes are in season too – brush them with oil, sprinkle a little sea salt and roast them for a perfect side dish. Alternatively, make them into a lovely fresh autumnal soup with some sprigs of rosemary and a dollop of creme fraiche. Corn on the cob is in season too – boil the sweetcorn until just tender, then dab with a little oil and finish under the grill. Serve with a tiny dab of butter – a little goes a long way. Serve crisp slices of Cox’s apples in a salad, or pan fry them with thyme and garlic to go with pork steaks.
Above all, think creatively with all the wonderful food that’s at our disposal and help us celebrate British Food Fortnight. Find out more at www.lovebritishfood.co.uk.