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.

Herbivore042: Almost Dead

It’s been a bit quiet on the Herbivore supper club front lately but we’re back on course with a collaboration with the lovely Blue Honey Night Cafe slap bang in the centre of Cardiff on 31st October.  A Halloween/Day Of The Dead feast – five courses of creative vegan cuisine with a distinctly Latin American flavour. There will be pumpkin. Menu etc. here.

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.

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.

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…

Mangos!

The short and sweet alphonso mango season is upon us and I have a box of carefully wrapped specimens from mumbai releasing their gentle floral perfume in the kitchen. I’m going to pair them with elderflower syrup as a topping for a cardamom and almond milk rice pudding. Also on the menu this week is another favourite of mine: panel – chickpea fritters in a roll, the classic street food of Palermo, Sicily. Full menu here.

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.

Easter Closing & Beyond

Herbivore won’t be trading on Easter Sunday (16th April) at the Embassy Cafe. Will be in residence 22/23rd April as normal then will miss the next three weekends as I’m off to Sicily to cook and have fun. Well, someone’s got to. Re-open Sat 20th May.

Hand Picked Menu

Chef Manuel & I have been putting our heads together and wandering the fields, hedgerows and shoreline to come up with a menu for our collaborative supper club coming up at the Embassy Cafe on the 19th of April.

Once you start looking there are so many different green shoots out there just waiting to be picked so it’s been a process of narrowing down what we want to use and trying to predict what will be ready for harvest at the Amelia Trust Farm, Blaencamel and Riverside Market Garden.

It’s still a bit of a work in progress but you can see the prototype menu here. We only have a few spaces left for this one so act quickly if you want to come  – email me: simon@theherbivore.co.uk