Local producer – Deborah Steward of Lil’ Miggins
Norfolk chef Deborah Steward celebrates the start of spring as she dusts down her barbecue!
At last, with the appearance of some very welcome, albeit cold, sunshine, we can look forward to enjoying relaxed meals outside with family and friends. Just as we are starting to get a little fed up with winter vegetables – however delicious they are – the new season’s wonderful offerings are now starting to appear.
The majestic asparagus is, of course, one of the first spring vegetables that makes its long awaited appearance, while another of my favourites is the humble radish. Vibrant, crisp and peppery, it is often overlooked as an ingredient in its own right.
I try to shop local where I can, and get my radishes from Benbow’s greengrocers in Fakenham.
At the very top of my favourite things to do is lighting up the barbecue for the very first time of the year. Whether you are planning to push the boat out with a beautifully marinated butterflied leg of lamb, a delicious homemade veggie burger or a simply grilled piece of fish, it can make all the difference if you serve one or two simple side dishes.
One of my favourite things to serve with just about anything barbecued, is the middle Eastern salad Fattoush. With radishes as one of the main ingredients, this simple salad is not only delicious, but very pretty and best of all simplicity itself to make. Another bonus is it is very well behaved and once made, if you don’t add the bread, it will sit happily in the fridge while you turn your attention to the rest of your meal.
Although the ingredient list may seem daunting, everything is readily available. Radishes are available all year round but if you can hunt out a couple of bunches of pink and white breakfast ones, they will make all the difference. If you can, use English tomatoes as they are full of flavour compared to imported ones. I like to add a couple of spoonfuls of our Lil’ Miggins sweet chilli jam to add a little heat and sweetness, which along with the lemon juice and yoghurt makes a delicious well-balanced dressing.
2 large Turkish flatbread or naan
6 medium sized tomatoes, cut into 2cm dice
150g of radishes, halved, leaving a few of the green leaves on if possible
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
20g of mint leaves, torn in half
1tbsp of dried mint
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5tbsp of lemon juice
80ml of olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
2tbsp of Lil’ Miggins sweet chilli jam
1 1/2tsp of salt
1tbsp of sumac, plus to garnish
In an oven heated to 180°C, carefully toast the bread or naan until golden brown and slightly crispy, tear into bite size pieces and leave to cool.
If you are serving it straight away, place all the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl mix well and leave for 10 minutes for all the flavours to combine. If you wish to serve the salad later add the bread 10 minutes before serving.
Spoon the fattoush into serving bowls, drizzle with the extra olive oil and sprinkle with sumac.