Chive Lemon Crème fraîche with brown bread & smoked salmon is a classic Christmas starter for all the traditionalists. It’s barely a recipe to be honest! Do yourself a favour with this one by serving it on a platter and let people help themselves. I always serve wedges of lemon with it, in case there are any purists, but the cool gently flavoured Chive Lemon  Crème fraîche really lets the salmon stand out as the star of the show. This is also a good duo with Burnt Lemon and Feta Dip

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lemon creme fraiche

 

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This burnt lemon and feta dip has the lovely combination of being familiar and yet a little unexpected – a nice way to kick off a Christmas menu! The feta adds a lovely saltiness and the lemon is fresh. The slightly burnt caramelised flavour makes the whole taste much warmer and more interesting. The idea of eating something burnt might be a bit jarring, but cooking the lemon really intensifies the flavours and cuts through the ‘milkiness’ of the rest of the ingredients. The dip is essentially feta and lemon, using some crème fraiche, natural yogurt, milk or buttermilk to thin it out. You can vary it depending on what you have in the fridge, and how much tanginess you like!

Burnt Lemon and Feta Dip
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Courgette, Lemon & Elderflower Drizzle Cake really is a delicious treat. The combination of courgette, lemon and elderflower in a cake is one that I hope will appeal to gardeners! I grew up on an organic farm and the realities of seasonal foods were an everyday normality for me. More than that, the relationship between the soil and the land around me with the food I ate was a natural and obvious connection. I believe that my interest in cooking stemmed at least in part from a desire to find ways to use up a glut of that eggs or make something of the crab apples growing in the hedgerows.

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Biscuits PolaroidThese lemon and sesame seed biscuits were born of good intention and circumstances. I had planned a visit to some friends who are working tirelessly (and harder than I think I ever will) to renovate a new home. I had planned something along the chocolate line but my intentions were not strong enough to bear a walk in the rain to the shops, so I decided to be creative with what I had in stock.

I had a lemon and all the basics of baking (flour, butter, sugar and eggs). I am sure that some philosophical baker must, at some point, pondered how that this is all you need for greatness (in baking terms at least). I couldn`t resist the addition of some sesame seeds.(Maybe I amn`t philosophical enough) I had black sesame ice cream on a trip to Vancouver last year and it`s brilliance has influenced my cooking every since. Sesame has the ability to work perfectly in sweet and savoury dishes. Hence lemon and sesame seed biscuits were born.

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