sunday suppers at lucques

i’m smitten. sunday suppers at lucques is my newest cookery book and it has absolutely captured me. every time i think about what to cook, or look at what we have in, i now have an obsessive need to check what the lucques approach is. even when it comes to simple things like the vegetables that i cook on a regular basis.

the book is a selection of 32 menus, divided by season, based on the sunday suppers that suzanne goin serves at her california restaurant lucques. the philosophy behind the sunday suppers, both at the restaurant and in the book, is about providing people with a  communal experience, that is informal and intimate. the recipes call on seasonal produce and reflect things such as the weather – a comforting stew for a cool cloudy day  or a platter of heirloom tomatoes with burrata cheese and an oregano dressing on a warm balmy evening – and holidays such bastille or st patrick’s day.

i’ve been reading the book for weeks now and have really enjoyed getting to grip with the recipes. i’ve also loved being introduced to new key ingredients – suzanne admits in the introduction that her obsessions are shallots, thyme, sherry vinegar and opal basil. i spotted a lot of lemon and crème fraiche too and it’s the thyme and crème fraiche that i’ve enjoyed exploring so far (i need a much bigger thyme plant!).

this recipe is a little out of season as british asparagus is no longer in the shops but actually it’s the dressing which i wanted to share with you – 3 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard stirred into 125ml of crème fraiche. so simple but so lovely with asparagus and a really different approach for me, given i usually just think about olive oil and lemon juice with my asparagus. other seasonal vegetables will love it, just prepare them as crudités, and if if you’re feeling in need something a little less healthy, it’s also great as a dip for crisps!

black pepper and lemon zest add a little something extra and is also worth a try.