In the kitchen with Hugo Guest

In the kitchen with Hugo Guest

After working as a chef in London and Italy, Hugo Guest and his wife, Olive, returned to Glebe House, Hugo’s family home in Devon, in 2020 to run it as a restaurant and guest house. They built a vegetable garden, an on-site bakery, and a temperature-controlled ageing room for salumi production to support their artisanal approach to cooking. Here, Hugo shares his favourite recipes for a special spring lunch. 

Spring salad  

Makes enough for four 

The combination of early broad beans, radishes, asparagus, wild garlic and a heady mix of mustard salad leaves showcases the best ingredients spring has to offer. The addition of fresh curd cheese brings a little decadence and is a nice contrast to the rest of the dish.  

What you’ll need 

  • 150g broad beans, shelled 
  • A bunch (about 200g) of asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 100g radishes, thinly sliced 
  • 100g mixed mustard salad leaves 
  • 150g fresh Jersey curds (you could also use sheep or goat’s curd) 

For the wild garlic dressing/pesto: 

  • 50g wild garlic leaves, washed and roughly chopped 
  • 30g pine nuts 
  • 30g grated Parmesan cheese 
  • ½ lemon, juiced 
  • 120ml extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

What to do 

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shelled broad beans and asparagus and cook for a minute and a half. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

  2. In a large salad bowl, combine the sliced radishes, asparagus pieces, broad beans and mustard salad leaves.

  3. To make the wild garlic dressing, add the wild garlic leaves, pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse a few times to roughly chop the ingredients, then, with the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until you reach a smooth and creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Drizzle as much or as little of the wild garlic dressing as you’d like (leaving a little for topping at the end) over the salad, and toss again to evenly coat the ingredients.

  5. Divide the salad among four plates, then top each one with a generous sprinkle of fresh Jersey curds, and a few extra spoonfuls of the wild garlic pesto dressing. Serve immediately.

Baked pollock with braised lentils, spring greens & aioli 

Makes enough for four 

Pollock is a sustainable but equally delicious alternative to cod or haddock, and lends itself perfectly to this recipe. The lentils act as a blank canvas for lots of yummy things to be cooked through them: a base soffritto of onion, celery and carrot remains constant, however the spring greens can be replaced by any other seasonal vegetable. A punchy aioli ties this dish together nicely. 

What you’ll need 

  • 240g green or puy lentils 
  • 700ml water 
  • A bouquet garni of thyme and 2 bay leaves 
  • 3–4 whole garlic cloves 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced 
  • 2 celery stalks, diced 
  • 400g spring greens, shredded 
  • 1 lemon, zested 
  • 4 pollock fillets 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • A handful of chopped fresh parsley 
  • A handful of chopped fresh dill 
  • Sea salt 

For the aioli: 

  • 3 egg yolks 
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated or minced 
  • 30g Dijon mustard 
  • A pinch of sea salt, plus extra to taste 
  • 450ml light olive oil 
  • Lemon juice, to taste 

What to do 

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

  2. To make the aioli, blitz together the egg yolks, finely grated garlic, Dijon mustard and a good pinch of sea salt in a food processor. While the motor is running slowly, drizzle in the olive oil in one continuous stream to create a stiff emulsion. When the mixture thickens, finish with lemon juice and additional salt if needed.

  3. To a saucepan, add the lentils, water, bouquet garni and whole garlic cloves, along with the chopped onion, carrots and celery. Season well with salt (you want the water to flavour the lentils as they cook). Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and allow the lentils to cook for about fifteen–twenty minutes, or until they’re partially done. 

  4. Remove the bouquet garni and garlic cloves. Stir in the shredded spring greens and lemon zest. Continue to cook for a few more minutes until the spring greens have wilted, then transfer the lentils and greens to a suitable baking dish.

  5. Drizzle the pollock fillets with olive oil and season with a good pinch of flaky sea salt, then place them on top of the lentils and greens.

  6. Roast for approximately twelve minutes, or until the pollock is just cooked through (you can tell if it’s done when the skin peels off with ease). Allow the fish to rest for a few minutes.

  7. To serve, spoon a generous portion of the lentils and greens onto each plate and top with a roasted pollock fillet. Finish with a dollop of aioli and a generous scattering of chopped parsley and dill.

Rhubarb & strawberry trifle   

Makes enough for ten

This pudding holds a special place in our hearts as it was one of our first puddings at Glebe House when we opened. It combines tangy rhubarb jelly, a layer of booze-soaked sponge, creamy custard and fluffy whipped cream. You can swap in shop-bought savoiardi biscuits (otherwise known as lady’s fingers) to save time.

What you’ll need 

For the rhubarb jelly: 

  • 500g fresh rhubarb, trimmed and chopped 
  • 95g caster sugar 
  • 250ml water 
  • 1 orange, rind and juice 
  • 80g strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced 
  • 2.5 bronze gelatine leaves  
  • Extra orange juice, to top up if needed

For the savoiardi biscuits: 

  • 3 large eggs, separated 
  • 100g caster sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 90g plain flour 
  • Icing sugar, for dusting 
  • Vinsanto or a French dessert wine like Sauternes 

For the custard: 

  • 450ml double cream  
  • 1 vanilla pod  
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 egg yolks 
  • 85g caster sugar 

To top the trifle: 

  • Whipped cream (450ml cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 60g icing sugar) 
  • Toasted flaked almonds  
  • Fresh strawberries, diced

What to do 

To make the juice for the jelly (start a day before): 

  1. Add the chopped rhubarb to a lidded casserole pot with the sugar, water, orange rind and juice and mix well. Cover and leave overnight at room temperature to allow the juices from the rhubarb to seep out. 
  2. The following day, preheat the oven to 140°C. Place the casserole dish (with its lid) in the oven and bake for around forty minutes, or until the rhubarb has softened.
  3. Once cooked, remove from the oven, then add the thickly sliced strawberries to the rhubarb. Put the lid back on and leave everything to cool.
  4. Strain the juice through a fine sieve and put to one side. Make sure you reserve the stewed rhubarb and strawberries as these will be added to the jelly for texture.

To make the savoiardi biscuits: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract together until creamy and pale yellow. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

  3. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Sift the flour over and fold until well combined.

  4. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe long, finger-shaped biscuits onto the baking sheet. Dust with icing sugar.

  5. Bake for twelve to fifteen minutes or until the biscuits are lightly golden. Allow them to cool completely.

To make the custard: 
  1. Pour the cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds, adding them to the cream. Bring the cream up to a boil and turn off the heat.

  2. At the same time, fill another saucepan about one-third of the way full with water, and bring it to a simmer over a medium heat. Find a heatproof bowl that fits nicely over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. This will be your bain-marie. 

  3. In your heatproof bowl (off the heat), whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar until well combined and smooth.

  4. Gradually pour the hot cream into the eggs and sugar, whisking constantly as you do so. 

  5. Place the heatproof bowl over your saucepan of simmering water and continue whisking your custard until it thickens. This should take ten to fifteen minutes. Once the custard coats the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat.

  6. Allow the custard to cool, covered, at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the trifle.

Assembling the trifle:  
  1. Start by soaking the biscuits in the sweet dessert wine, then use them to create the first trifle layer in the bottom of your chosen dish – no deeper than a quarter of the bowl’s overall depth.

  2. Now for the jelly. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for about ten minutes. In the meantime, take the rhubarb juice you made earlier – you should have about 600ml (if not, top it up with the extra orange juice) – and warm half of it to a low simmer. Squeeze out the water from the gelatine and whisk it into the warm liquid, then add the rest of the rhubarb juice.

  3. Lay the poached rhubarb and strawberries (leftover from making the juice) on top of your sponge layer, then gently pour over the jelly mixture. Place the half-assembled trifle in the fridge until the jelly has set (this will take about three to four hours).

  4. Once set, take the trifle out and pour over the custard. Chill in the fridge again for a couple of hours until set further.

  5. When you’re ready to serve, whip the cream, vanilla and icing sugar together until soft peaks form, and either pipe or spoon the mixture over the top of the trifle. Finish by sprinkling with the toasted flaked almonds and freshly diced strawberries.

Previous Article Next Article