VIOLAS and nasturtiums don't immediately spring to mind when thinking of a delicious plate of food, but think again.
Award-winning Hipping Hall Hotel and Growing With Grace organic market garden, near Clapham, have teamed up to bring the freshest seasonal produce straight to the table.
And Oli Martin, head chef of Hipping Hall, in Kirkby Lonsdale, has come up with his own creation making the most of the organic garden produce, including the seasonal flowers.
His cooking team also make regular trips to the organic garden where they get inspiration by what is on offer before returning to the kitchens.
“I was so impressed with the quality and flavour of Growing With Grace's produce I have dedicated a dish to the garden," he said.
“This dish makes the most of seasonal produce from the Growing With Grace market garden including tomatoes, basil and edible flowers like viola and nasturtium. These ingredients are at their best at this time of year.”
Oli's creation combines last of the season warm tomato salad, ewes curd, sourdough, coriander seed powder, verjus and nasturtium. The chef’s team pick fresh several times a week from the garden drawing inspiration from that they see and taste there as the seasons change.
The tomatoes and nasturtium come from Growing With Grace and the verjus is made from Growing With Grace’s own grapes.
Cara Whelan, head grower at Growing With Grace said they really enjoyed working with the restaurant and hotel, which has three AA rosettes.
“We're all about great quality produce so fresh you can taste it," she said.
“It's fantastic fun working with a really great chef like Oli who really knows his food. He understands that traditionally we would have eaten with the seasons and we are very proud to supply Hipping Hall. Oli has even taught me new ways to prepare my vegetables.”
Growing With Grace is based at Clapham Nursery, just off the A65. Its farm shop is open five days a week, from Tuesdays to Saturdays, and it also runs a home delivery service.
Customers to the farm shop are treated to an 'Aladdin's Cave' of organic, seasonal vegetables, fruit and salad stuff, in addition to a range of organic wines, frozen foods and even ecologically friendly cleaning products. To find out more, visit the website growingwithgrace.org.uk.
Oli's dish is available at Hipping Hall now. To book a table at Hipping Hall, telephone 015242 71187 or visit the website hippinghall.com