I’m looking ahead as I won’t have time to plan once April comes in. Sorting through old recipes I put together this idea for our Beltane feast this year.
Beltane Lamb and Asparagus Skillet with spring salad
followed by Rhubarb pie with ginger, honey and clotted cream
elderflower coridal/champagne to drink
Asparagus drew little medieval attention[Note 2] until al-Nafzawi’s The Perfumed Garden celebrates its aphrodisiacal power, which the Indian Ananga Ranga attributes to special phosphorus elements that also counteract fatigue, and by 1469 it was cultivated in French monasteries. Asparagus appears to have been hardly noticed in England until 1538.
Spring lamb is a May Day meal; cubed lamb served with aphrodisiac asparagus cooked fast in a skillet with garlic and wine makes a delicious meal. The first fresh asparagus should be very good at this time of year.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 ½ pound boneless lamb, cubed
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups chopped asparagus
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Heat olive oil in heavy skillet over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, 2 minutes, stirring.
Add lamb and cook until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring.
Add wine to skillet, bring to a boil over high, then reduce to a low simmer.
Cover and cook until lamb is cooked through and tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add asparagus to skillet, cover and cook until softened, 2 to 4 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with a spring salad of rocket, spinach, early lettuce and cucumber, and warm new broad beans – all likely to be just available in the garden or greenhouse.
Rhubarb should be doing fine in the garden now so, for pudding, bake a fresh rhubarb pie or tart; if you add some stem ginger to the fruit you get a delicious extra burst of fire in the mouth – very good with some fresh clotted cream and honey. Drink some fresh-made elder-flower cordial with the meal or some of last year’s elder flower champagne.