Salt Baked Swede

All of Andrew’s dishes are created based on childhood memories – this one is inspired by his Mum’s mashed swede with garlic butter which she served every week with the Sunday roast. Swede is a very traditional Welsh veg but is usually over cooked and can be watery – by baking it the flavours are intensified. It’s great comforting food.

(no need for prep time actually)

Serves 4

SALT BAKED SWEDE

  • 1 swede
  • 500g of rock salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves

For the salt baked swede, first preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Wash and dry the swede. Mix together the rock salt, egg whites and a small handful of picked thyme in a bowl

Brush the bottom of the baking tray with a layer of the salt mix and sit the swede on top. Carefully build the salt mix around the swede until the vegetable is completely covered from top to bottom

Bake for 1 ½ hours then remove and leave to cool slightly before cracking the crust open.

LOVAGE PESTO

  • 1 bunch of fresh lovage
  • 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp of pistachio nuts, shelled
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • rapeseed oil

To make the pesto, tear a handful of the lovage and parsley leaves into smaller pieces and place into a clean blender. Add the pistachio nuts, garlic and a pinch of salt and start blending on a slow speed

With the machine running, gradually pour in the rapeseed oil in a steady stream until the pesto resembles a thick paste (how much is needed will depend on the herbs used). Set aside until ready to serve

WILD GARLIC MAYONNAISE

  • 90g of wild garlic
  • 450ml of rapeseed oil
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper

First make the wild garlic oil for the mayonnaise. Rinse the wild garlic, then blanch of 35 seconds in a pan of heavily salted, boiling water. Drain the water and plunge into some iced water, then pat dry with some kitchen towel

Chop the wild garlic roughly and add to a blender, then pour in the rapeseed oil. Start blitzing on a low speed, then increase in speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the oil is a bright, vibrant green colour

Pass through a fine sieve, then through a sheet of muslin or a coffee filter. Keep in the fridge until needed

Whisk the egg yolks, mustard and vinegar in a bowl until smooth. Continue whisking and pour in a thin, steady stream of the wild garlic oil

Keep whisking and pouring until all of the oil has been absorbed and has emulsified with the egg mixture – you should be left with a nice, thick green mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper and serve

TO SERVE

Grated Hard Goat’s cheese
pistachio nuts, chopped (optional)

When the swede is cooked crack the crust and peel it before slicing it in to 2cm thick wedges.
In the restaurant, we use a scone/biscuit cutter to create circles but you could leave it them as they are. Grate on lots of hard goat’s cheese and sprinkle with chopped pistachio and serve with the lovage pesto and wild garlic mayo on the side.