The first hint of sunshine and we're making a salad. A salad for lunch, then an afternoon on the boat, then a barbecue. It's panic stations at Samson Hill. We decided to make the most of this sunshine as if it will never come again. (The forecast actually says next week should be sunny but still...) We got our new boat in the water. We've called her 'Per Ardua' as that was the original name of Samson Hill Cottage and is the first part of the phrase in Latin that means 'Through adversity to the stars.' And I love that.
We drove over to St Mary's with the wind in our hair to wander around Hugh Town with dozens of other people enjoying the warm sun trapped between the granite buildings. We popped into Plowman's Food Co for some fresh beef for a stew this week then we headed back to the harbour. Visitors were walking down the quay with their rumbling suitcases being pulled behind them. The Scillonian was filling up getting ready to head back to the mainland. We darted over to Samson and motored along the shore.
Although it was cold it felt good to be in the fresh air and it was lovely to be filling our conversations with 'In the summer...' and 'On a nice day let's...'
Anyway back to that salad. The rocket is still going strong at Hillside Farm. I bought a big bag yesterday and decided to use it all today for lunch. It was my favourite lunch this year...
Bryher rocket salad with Cornish blue and St Agnes honey dressing (serves 2...)
2 big handfuls of rocket
3oz Cornish blue cheese
2 small pears
2 tbsp garlic infused oil (or olive)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp St Agnes honey (usually available from the local produce market in the autumn)
6 small slices baguette or bread
herb olive oil
First for my herb olive oil. I've started blitzing herbs from the garden with oil and keeping it in my fridge for a few days. At the moment it's mint, sage, fennel and thyme. It's brilliant for spooning over omelettes and makes blander meals look and taste a little bit more exciting.
Preheat the oven to 180'c. Slice the baguette into rounds and spread a tsp of the herb mix on each round. Put in the oven for about 5 minutes until crisped up.
Put the rocket in a large bowl. Peel, core and slice the pear into matchsticks and toss in with the rocket. Crumble the blue cheese in too. In another bowl whisk the oil, vinegar and honey and drizzle over the salad. Give it a good mix with your hands or salad tossers.
Serve with the herb toasts.