Entertaining this weekend? Try Jane Hornby's spring menu

Spring's here, so why not cook this easy, seasonal, three-course menu, from Jane's new book Simple & Classic
Asparagus  and poached egg with balsamic butter, from Simple Classic by Jane Hornby
Asparagus and poached egg with balsamic butter, from Simple Classic by Jane Hornby

Simple & Classic by Jane Hornby isn’t only a collection of beautiful, delicious, well-known recipes, described and illustrated with easy-to-follow step-by-step texts and photographs. It also features some wonderful tips and hacks from Hornby, who is perhaps the most practical cookbook author working today. 

At the back of the book Jane has assembled some of the dishes into a series of menus for a variety of occasions, from baby showers to Thanksgiving. This coming Monday is a national holiday in Great Britain; but even if it isn’t where you are, the start of May is a great time to celebrate spring fare with friends, and Jane’s spring lunch menu is a fail-safe way to do just that. 


Roast lamb and rosemary potatoes
Roast lamb and rosemary potatoes

Her recommended three-course meal begins with asparagus and poached egg with balsamic butter; “for best results, buy the asparagus on the day of eating and look for the freshest firm, perky green spears,” she counsels.

This is followed by roast lamb and rosemary potatoes; “Choose a three-quarter (partboned) leg if possible, because it makes carving so much simpler,” is Jane’s advice. She also adds in some good advice on cooking times. 

“Always start with 20 minutes at 425°F/220°C/Gas Mark 7,” she says. “For lamb that’s golden brown on the outside and just pink nearer the bone, calculate 20 minutes cooking per 1 lb (450 g) of meat (the weight includes the bone). For rare lamb, calculate 15 minutes, and for well done, 25 minutes. As with all meat, cook the lamb from room temperature, or at least not straight from the refrigerator.” 


Raspberry and passion fruit mallow meringue
Raspberry and passion fruit mallow meringue

And for dessert: raspberry and passion fruit mallow meringue. “Crisp on the outside, light, fluffy, and soft within, this crowd-pleaser is easier to make than you may think,” Jane adds. “I like to use a mixture of cream and yogurt to top the meringue, and crown it with juicy fruit.” 


Simple & Classic by Jane Hornby

Nice touch, Jane. You can get the full recipes by buying a copy of Simple & Classic here. 

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