How to get rid of your Christmas tree? Eat it
FOR most of us, working out what to do with the Christmas tree after the celebrations are over is worse than a festive hangover.
But now a top chef has come up with a novel solution… instead of trying to take it to the local rubbish tip, turn it into a delicious culinary treat instead.
John Williams, of London’s Michelin-starred Ritz Hotel, extols the powerful flavours of the Christmas tree in the first ever Ritz cookbook. Mr Williams, who has cooked for the Queen and the Prince of Wales, writes: ‘Spruces or Douglas fir seem like an odd ingredient. After all, we think of Douglas fir as the Christmas tree decorated with baubles and lights. However, the needles are fragrant and spicy.’ The fir needles, he advises, give a citrusy zest to oils, vinegars, dressings, sauces, creams and mousses.
And one of the chef’s favourite recipes for pine needles forms part of The Ritz’s autumn menu – Douglas fir and lemon verbena cream. Mr Williams adds: ‘With lemon verbena, the pine produces an intensely aromatic cream.’
Robin Harford, a forager and botanical researcher, said: ‘It’s great that a top chef is using Christmas trees because wild edible plants are part of our culture as a nation and it will encourage people to use them.
‘Pine needles make an extraordinary, vibrant green oil that is perfect with fish or drizzled over roast vegetables.’
And TV adventurer Bear Grylls added: ‘I like a bit of pine needle tea. It contains massive amounts of vitamins A and C.’
The Ritz London: The Cookbook, is published by Mitchell Beazley priced £30.