Vegetarian Week: Guest Blog Recipe from Alice, Exec Chef at Bath Ales

Vegetarian Week is well timed in the year isn’t it? In May, some of the UK’s best produce is being sold to pubs, restaurants, hotels and shops, and it is a pleasure to cook with it. At Bath Ales, we are of the mind that a dish on our menu should be good no matter what it contains; sometimes it contains meat, sometimes it doesn’t, and at this time of the year, it is easy to be creative with dishes that are vegetarian friendly.

We try and cook a dish that is big on flavour, offers value to the customer and isn’t messed around with; just simply serving great quality ingredients. We take our time sourcing the best we can afford. We do make an effort to be different and interesting; too many pubs serve pasta bakes and stuffed peppers, and that makes me sad for vegetarians!

This dish, currently on the menu in three of our kitchens celebrates all that is in season right now. Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Wild Garlic and Asparagus we source from the Wye Valley. Many of our chefs can be seen trawling through Somerset at the moment, picking wild garlic from anywhere they can find it! The gnocchi is from a simple River Café recipe (the best in my opinion) and we like it just catching the bottom of the pan with butter.

We are always trying to match food with our amazing beers from the brewery, this dish is particularly well enjoyed with our seasonal ale; Golden Hare, as it has a natural citrus and honey flavour to complement the garlic, butter and green vegetables. For a different dish at the end, you can add red chillies, which will work well with the gnocchi…as well as the beer!

Wild Garlic Gnocchi

Wild Garlic Gnocchi                                      

Ingredients

1kg dry mash, made from steamed Desiree potatoes

1 Egg

2 Egg yolks

330g ‘00’ flour

80g Parmesan, finely grated

200g Wild Garlic, finely chopped

Method

  1. First, mix together the mash, eggs, flour.
  2. Now add the Parmesan and wild garlic.
  3. Combine well before portioning into 200g pieces.
  4. Roll the portions in cling film until you have 2cm diameter and then tie both ends.
  5. At this stage you can freeze these rolls to keep for another time!
  6. Cook the rolls in boiling water for 6 minutes.
  7. Set aside for later.

Wild Garlic Gnocchi, Asparagus, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Truffle Pecorino    

Ingredients

1 Gnocchi roll – cut into 2cm pieces

2 Asparagus spears

5 Wild garlic leaves

30g Peas

30g Broad beans

2 Purple sprouting spears

50g Butter

20g Truffle Pecorino

5g Mint chopped

Salt & Pepper

Oil and butter for frying

Method

  1. Add a knob of butter to a frying pan and start to colour the gnocchi pieces. Season also.
  2. Bring 120ml of salted water to a rapid boil and add the broccoli, asparagus, peas and broad beans.
  3. Leave for two minutes before adding the butter and wild garlic leaves.
  4. Leave for a further minute before seasoning and the adding the mint.
  5. Add the browned gnocchi pieces to the broth and serve with shavings of the pecorino.