Lovely local leaves

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Pleased to say we’ll be using lovely green leaves from Cardiff Salad Garden on this week’s Herbivore menu at the Embassy Cafe. Not only are they probably the tastiest and freshest I’ve tried but they are grown less than a mile away in Bute park by a not-for-profit organisation that works with refugees, asylum seekers and individuals with mental health problems. It’s win-win really.
This week will also see the return of the romanesco cauliflower and the legendary tower of mango soup. Full menu here.

Back To The Embassy

Herbivore back at the Embassy Cafe this weekend 21st/22nd October after a weekend away catering for a wedding.  Menu even more autumnal now with, mushrooms, chestnuts, apples and walnuts. Courgettes still keeping the flame of summer alive though. Menu here.

Spaces filling pretty fast for Herbivore042: Almost Dead at the Blue Honey Night Cafe. If you want to come there were still some tickets left at the time of going to press at getawriggleon.com.

The Fall

applesNot only the name of one of my favourite bands, the fall sees all kinds of culinary treats appearing. Here we have windfall bramley apples from Pontypridd just waiting to be cooked down into a buttery, soft compote, to be served alongside an almond cake scented with orange blossom. Meanwhile the last gasps of summer continue with courgettes still doing their thing on the allotment and even some tomatoes ripening in the greenhouse. This week’s menu for the Embassy Cafe here. Not going to be at the Embassy next week (14th/15th Oct) but back on the 21st as usual.

Eat Your Greens

greeenbunchWhen you’ve been cooking vegetables for as long as and as frequently as I have it’s refreshing to come across something new. I think I must have had Chrysanthamum greens before in an oriental mix but never new what they were so I was intrigued to find them on the list of available produce from Blaencamel Farm – a fixture at Riverside Markets and one of my favourite suppliers.

Used across South Asia in stir fries, soups and salads, and sometimes referred to as chop sue greens in the Western world, these attractive leaves have a fragrant, grassy, delicate flavour with a touch of bitterness. I’m going to serve them on top of wasabi & spinach cakes with a tomato & miso sauce. Full menu for this weekend here.

Flower Power

nasturtium

A versatile weapon in the Herbivore kitchen, the nasturtium. Keeps blazing strong into the autumn when so many other plants have fallen by the wayside and is useful in many ways. This weekend the leaves and flowers are going to garnish the white bean and chard cassoulet: the warm pepperiness providing a sharp contrast to the smoothing sweetness of the sauce. Meanwhile I’ll be pickling the seed pods to use as a British version of the caper – little blasts of salty heat to pep-up autumn and winter dishes. This weekend’s menu here.

Back to School

tomato bowl

Suddenly it feels like autumn is here and this is probably my penultimate pick of ripe tomatoes from the greenhouse. Luckily – and I know this is a culinary heresy – I actually prefer green tomatoes: the flavour is so much more interesting and complex and they still have a lovely, jammy sweetness once fried.

That said, there are no tomatoes on this week’s menu for Herbivore at the Embassy Cafe. But you will find blackberries, apples, cobnuts and corn to usher in the change of season. Menu here

Summer Sunday Lunch

Having just posted about Herbivore not opening at the Embassy on Sundays in August, I’m happy to a one-off Summer Sunday Lunch Supper Club on the 20th August. £17.50 gets you four courses of creative, vegan, seasonal cuisine and you can bring your own alcohol and book a table at the time of your choosing form 1pm. Full menu here.

August Opening

Seeing as Cathays becomes a bit of a ghost town in the summer months we’ve decided to close on Sundays throughout August. This Saturday’s menu see the first picking of wild blackberries, a new noodle dish, brought to you by the letter “C”, and a return of last week’s masala bubble and squeak cakes with spiced aubergines – one of my favourite recipes cribbed from a battered old Madhur Jaffrey book. Full menu here.

Summer time

…and the cooking gets easier. So much good produce to choose from. The last of the gooseberries and blackcurrants from my garden. Padron peppers from Blaencamel. Courgette flowers, rainbow chard and green tomatoes from Field Days Organic. Full menu for the Embassy Cafe this weekend here.

Also, we’re now listed on the Happy Cow website: the go-to listings for vegetarian and vegan eateries around the world. Not that I’m saying you should leave a review…

Business As Usual

I couldn’t help noticing that the world european football kicking championship cup is taking place in Cardiff this weekend. Some people have advised me to stay in my mountaintop lair with plenty of tinned food, hot water and towels and wait for it to pass. Others have suggested i get ready for hordes of happy continentals hungry for reasonably priced, fresh vegetarian delights.

I’m going to choose the middle path: business as usual for Herbivore at the Embassy Cafe this weekend.