The sun is out! Finally. Now we have an excuse for entertaining.  Open the windows, come out of social hibernation, dust off those host/hostess heels and get that table laid! We feel very pleased to bring you two delightful dishes from one of our favourite foodie pubs – The Crooked Well in Camberwell.

We have written about them once before (click here to read) when we popped in to see the critically acclaimed, forward thinking and creative cooks (and all-round lovely people) at The Crooked Well. This time we have a few stylish but simple dishes for you to make at home. Both recipes we are posting are inspired by foraged (which seems to be a current trend) British flowers and herbs. Light, fresh and full of the joys of Spring time.

Invite some guests over and enjoy the change of season in good company.

Fried Duck Egg with Wild Leaf, Hop Shoot and Flower Salad and Truffle Mayonnaise

To serve 4 people



–        100ml truffle oil

–        100ml extra virgin olive oil

–        200ml vegetable oil

–        30g cabernet Sauvignon wine vinegar

–        20g truffle trimming, chopped small

–        60g free range egg yolk

–        50ml water

–        4 duck eggs

–        20 hop shoots

–        4 handfuls of wild leaf

–        4 handfuls of flower salad

–        Salt & pepper to taste


For the truffle mayonnaise

–        In a bowl mix the egg yolks, vinegar & 50ml of water with a whisk until the mixture is light & airy

–        Mix all the oils together & slowly drizzle into the mixture until it is all incorporated. If the mixture is too thick, add a small amount of hot water

–        Season with salt & pepper then add the chopped truffle trimmings

For the fried duck egg

–        Heat a pan and add some oil

–        Crack the duck eggs into the pan and cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes

For the hop shoots, wild leaf and flower salad

–        Rinse the hop shoots, wild leaf and flower salad well under cold water

–        Cut the hop shoots down to the length of the plate

To serve

–        Arrange the duck egg, truffle mayonnaise, flower salad, wild leaf and hop shoots on a dish

Elderflower Panna Cotta with Pine Needle Jelly

To serve 4 People



–        250ml cranberry juice

–        30g Douglas fir pine needles

–        500ml semi skimmed Milk

–        500ml double cream

–        100ml elderflower cordial

–        260g caster sugar

–        1 Vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla essence

–        14g of gelatine, softened in cold water


For the Pine Needle Jelly

–        Put the cranberry juice, pine needles and 100g caster sugar in a pan

–        Bring the pan to just below a simmer and then turn off the heat. Then add 5g of soaked gelatine then leave the mixture to infuse for one hour

–        Finally, pass the mixture through a fine sieve and set the mixture in jelly moulds. Leave to set in the fridge

For the Panna Cotta

–        Place the milk, cream, 160g sugar and vanilla in a pan and bring to the boil slowly. Take the mixture off the heat and add 9g of soaked gelatine and wait until dissolved

–        Pass the mix through a fine sieve & pour into moulds. Allow to set for at least 4 hours

To serve

–        Ensure both the panna cotta and the jelly are set before turning them out and arranging them on a serving plate

These are both wonderful colourful dishes to serve your guests, with honest ingredients, no complicated techniques or skills required to present a perfect plate.

The Crooked Well is a lovely local, neighbourhood pub in Camberwell, offering a seasonally changing menu with real consideration for locally sourced produce, they offer a friendly service and an array of chilled, stylish spaces to enjoy. We are most certainly not the only people to find joy in this relaxed environment – Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide 2013, thinks you should check it out too….. Or for those that won’t travel, now you can make some of the dishes at home.



The Crooked Well/ 16 Grove Lane,, Camberwell, London / 0207 252 7798

Opening Times: Mon: 17:00—00:00/ Tues-Thurs: 12:00—00:00 / Fri-Sat: 12:00—01:00 / Sun: 12:00—23:00

Happy April…. x

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