Verjuice in the UK are you missing out?
The answer is yes, you certainly are missing out on a great ingredient for cooking with, or for making dressings. Verjuice is so versatile, but for some reason it has been slow to take off in the UK. In your culinary exploits, it is an excellent alternative to vinegar, wine or lemon juice, but it is by no means a new and whacky invention, having been around since Ancient Roman times!
Verjuice slowly started to appear in the UK around 2010, but at that stage was considered quite expensive as opposed to using say, lemon or vinegar, or even some cheap wine to make a sauce or dressing.
With the help of high profile, or dare we say ‘celebrity chefs’, its popularity has increased and quite a few chefs are now showcasing it on their menus, or recommending its use in recipes that they create. Nigel Slater, prolific cookbook writer and TV chef is a huge fan and advocates the use of Verjuice with any other ingredients from game to mushrooms and also salads – dressings made with Verjuice tend to have a much deeper flavour and have less ‘bite’, making the end taste much smoother.
Skye Gingell, an Australian chef who hit the UK by storm over 10 years ago and who now has the restaurant ‘Spring’ at Somerset House, uses Verjuice with rabbit and other dishes such as baked quince, and also her version of a bread salad. Skye has been creating her culinary magic with Verjuice since she opened her first restaurant at Petersham Nurseries, which eventually gained a Michelin Star.
Yotam Ottolenghi creates wonderful salads and roasted vegetable dishes with Verjuice such as Braised Fennel with Olives and Capers, a dish that would delight any dinner guest and can be served as a stand alone dish, or as an accompaniment to roasted meats.
Verjuice is a must for your store cupboard – eat it or drink it – it makes excellent cocktails as well! With a ‘star-studded cast list’ of chefs giving Verjuice all this attention, what’s stopping you? To find out more about Verjuice and how you can use it in your cooking click here.