Irish fare’s so good, you’ll be Dublin the recipe
Lucky country blessed with fresh produce, fertile soil and the bounty of the sea
“There’s no question about it. You can eat brilliantly in Ireland now,” Darina Allen says. “I think there’s a realization here in Ireland, and not before time, that we are so blessed by nature.”
Surrounded by the sea, Ireland makes fish and shellfish a big part of its cuisine. Rich soil, a long growing season, an established farmers’ market movement (which Allen founded in the mid-1990s), and creative chefs and food producers create a vibrant culinary scene.
The Irish food ambassador is a chef, food writer and owner of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork, which attracts students from 50 countries and counting.
And in her 16th book, Grow, Cook, Nourish: A Kitchen Garden Companion in 500 Recipes (Kyle Books), Allen hopes to inspire readers to take back control of their food by growing some of their own.
For St. Patrick’s Day, Allen often turns to a traditional Irish dish — boiled back bacon and cabbage smothered in parsley sauce.
“I love to do bacon, cabbage and parsley sauce with some champ, which is an Irish potato dish with mashed potato, hot milk, scallions and a big lump of butter melting into it,” she says. “And then, normally we would have the first of our rhubarb and we would make a lovely rhubarb dessert.”
Allen recommends serving her carrageen (Irish) moss pudding with softly whipped cream and sweet cicely or angelica-scented rhubarb compote.
Recipes are excerpted from Grow, Cook, Nourish by Darina Allen (Kyle Books, 2017).
Darina Allen recommends lemon balm, lemon verbena or rose geranium leaves as substitutes for sweet cicely or angelica in the rhubarb compote served atop her carrageen moss pudding.