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

Vancouver Sun - - FRONT PAGE - LAURA BRE­HAUT

“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).

CLARE WIN­FIELD/KYLE BOOKS

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.

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