I have been excited to write up and share all the photos from this phenomenal wedding ever since I got home but August flew past in such a blur. Every once in a while you get a brief that excites you so much that you can’t wait for the day to come. Both the bride and groom being fanatical about food meant that the menu came together pretty quickly. A little nod to Howard’s roots & also St John with the Lancashire Cheese & Eccles Cakes being one of my favourite parts of the meal.
The brief was fairly simple, they wanted a picnic spread that the guests could pick up after the ceremony to take down to the boating lake. Followed by a huge Georgian style feast in the wall garden in the evening. They even picked up my vegetable order for me on route from horse powered farm Flourish in Cambridgeshire who have been getting a lot of great press of late. Added to that beautiful Salt Marsh Lamb & Pork from Fin & Farm.
So without further ado, the menu….
Lancashire Cheese & Eccles Cakes
Beetroot Pickled Eggs
Kale & Sweet Potato Empenadas
Braised Beef & Sobrasada Empanadas
Figs & Honey
Cambodian Wedding Dip
Walnut Bagna Cauda
With a selection of cruditees
Herb Cured Crispy Pork Belly
Braised Lamb w/ Anchovy, Rosemary & Garlic
Roasted Cauliflower, Green Tahini, Pomegrante & Dukkah
White Bean, Tomato & Pickled Marsh Samphire
Watermelon, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Red Onion, Olive, Feta & Mint
Roasted Heritage Beetroot, Orange, Thyme
New Potatoes with Seaweed Butter
Heritage Tomato Panzanella
Charred Sweet & Sour Leeks w/ Chilli Butter, Walnuts & Dill
This wedding goes to show you don’t have to have a huge guestlist to make it a special day. Small but perfectly formed with every detail planned to a T. Different cocktails for different parts of the day? TICK Made with botanicals from the garden? TICK TICK. I wish the happy couple all the best for their future together, a pretty amazing start I say!
To me this was the quiet hero of the meal. Watermelon rind is normally thrown straight in the bin, but now you can turn it into a little powerhouse of flavour to add to salads as an accompaniment to cheese or meat, or just eat it straight from the jar. The recipe might seem like a bit of a faff at first view but it’s very little hands on time & you’ll be glad you did it!
Pickled Watermelon Rind Recipe
- 1 small watermelon or a pre cut wedge from a Turkish Shop- you need 4 cups of rind
- 590ml water
- 1 tbsp course salt + 1 tsp used later in recipe
- 145ml cider vinegar
- 4 black peppercorns
- 4 cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of ground allspice
- Pinch ground cinnamon
Remove the watermelon from the rind but leave a thin layer of pink flesh on the rind. Use the leftover watermelon flesh to make an agua fresca, make into a salad or just eat it how it is!
Next, remove the green skin from the rind using a knife or peeler. Discard the skin and then cut the remaining rind into inch sized cubes. You want 2 cups worth.
In a saucepan combine the water and 1 tbsp salt and bring to the boil. Add rind and simmer for about 5 minutes till tender then strain. Place the rind in a bowl and discard the water.
In a separate saucepan combine the remaining ingredients including the 1 tsp salt then simmer till the sugar dissolves. Pour over the watermelon rind and cover with a plate that will keep them submerged. Chill overnight and then strain liquid and reboil. Pour over rind again, keep submerged and chill for 8 hours. Repeat 1 more time.
Store in the fridge and use within 1 month.