Chef Ben has been busy in the kitchen trying out some recipes with freshly cut hop shoots. The delicate shoots have been cut from the hop garden and brought less than 100 yards straight to the kitchen – you can’t get fresher than that!
Traditionally the hop shoots had to be cut back as the first flush of growth doesn’t produce a good harvest. With over 100 shoots per hop plant, the shoots were collected and put to good use. The name “Poor Man’s Asparagus” comes about because the shoots look just like asparagus tips. But as the name suggests, they didn’t taste quite as good! However, in years gone by, the workers didn’t turn their noses up at such a plentiful supply of free, nutritious food and used to cook the shoots.
In some countries, like Belgium, hop shoots are considered a delicacy and command quite a premium!
With plenty of shoots to practice with, Chef Ben has been trialing the recipes for the team to try. Thanks to his ingenuity, Chef Ben has transformed the hop shoots, which are great at taking on more robust flavours, into a series of signature dishes for this weekend’s menu.
A warm salmon tart served with hot new potatoes, buttered Poor Man’s Asparagus & seasonal vegetables
A warm goats cheese & sun blushed tomato tart served with new potatoes, buttered Poor Man's Asparagus & seasonal vegetables
Hoppers Board including Poor Man's Asparagus with hollandaise sauce