Asparagus is bang in season, peas are just perfect straight from the vine, green beans are as big as they're going to be and Jersey Royal potatoes are absolutely perfect in their short season.
What a joy when such a tryst happens!
Perfection on a plate can be had, accompanying that bounty with a good piece of fish and a light sauce.
Let's get straight on with it ...
First, prepare the sauce: Hollandaise, here. Crack a couple of eggs and place the yolks into a bowl, whisking in some lemon juice. Half a lemon will do. Reserve the whites for something, or other, maybe fritters? Sit that aside. We'll use it later.
Peel and slice the potatoes. Using a large pan, boil the slices.
Meanwhile, pod the peas, de-string the beans and slice, prepare the asparagus and place the lot in a steamer.
In another steamer, place a couple of fillets onto a piece of kitchen foil. I had a couple of really nice pieces of Pacific salmon, which made a nice change from my usual Atlantic and Baltic salmon.
As the potatoes just start to turn over from crunchy, settle the steamer pans on the top of the boiling water, fish first, green veggies stacked over. Both will take only two or three minutes.
Take a good slab of butter (maybe a couple of centimetres off the end of a stick) and get it melting in a pan.
Retrieve the potatoes and allow the last of the water to steam off, plating up with the green veg and the fillet on top.
Now, the sauce ... which only takes maybe 30 seconds, so don't worry about the food going cold.
Place the bowl with the whisked egg yolks over the boiling water and keep whisking while you pour the melted butter in. Lift the bowl off the steam every so often to prevent the eggs from scrambling. If the sauce gets too thick, just as a drop of cold water and whisk. That's your Hollandaise. Pour over the fish and garnish with herbs: chives are perfect.
From frozen, cooking takes about 30 minutes at 200C giving me plenty of time to dream up an accompanying meal.
I have courgette which really does need using up, some of which went into an impromptu starter of courgette fritters, the rest as ribbons.
I have some of chorizo which has been hanging around for quite literally ice ages; and it goes well with cod, so that's in.
Jersey Royal Potatoes are now in full swing, so that crop I picked up from the local farm shop came in handy. One each.
To complete the flavours, some sourness: tomato ... and a wild garlic pesto.
Looking at what will be on the plate, it might appear intentionally like a deconstructed ratatouille if only there was some aubergine on the plate. Maybe next time I'll do exactly that.
Re-capping all this rambing ...
It's [ingredients] cod over courgette ribbons with chorizo, Jersey Royal Potatoes, tomato and wild garlic pesto. Salt and pepper to taste.
While the cod is cooking, the rest of the meal is easy to cook through and assemble.
Peel, slice boil a couple of potatoes, just enough to cook but remain firm.
In a skillet, gently fry off some chopped chorizo and just before serving, toss the potatoes in the fat.
Shave a courgette into ribbons with a vegetable peeler and lightly steam through for a couple of minutes once the fish is ready.
Slice a tomato through and make up a pesto.
Serve out, scattering the ribbons over the plate, the potato and chorizo over, tomato slices in and amongst, cod as the crowning piece, pesto to garnish.
Pesto can be made from all manner of herbs and nuts to provide a bountiful array of tastes; here, wild garlic and hazelnuts.
Someone has decimated my nearest resource of wild garlic. I'm not pointing a finger, but that patch was very close to a fine restaurant who seem to be making a big deal of the seasonality of wild garlic at the moment ... but I digress.
Reaching one of my other nearby patches, I collected up a little more than I usually do with the intention of making up batches that could be stored as pesto and garlic butter.
Keeping the concept local, I simply blended the wild garlic with hazelnuts, pouring in a little olive oil (perhaps rape seed oil would have been a more "local" thing to do, Yorkshire being the finest producer of rape seed oil, mechanically extracted) and souring with cider vinegar rather than lemon juice. Sea salt and black pepper to taste and you're done.
Bonus idea: Wild Garlic Butter. Simply blend some wild garlic and whip into butter. This can be frozen.