On the countdown to Christmas, we took a break from our work on the spring summer collection (coming soon and I can't wait to show you...) to join the beautiful Alexandra Dudley at her home in Stoke Newington. Writer, chef and dinner party host extraordinaire, Alexandra sure knows how to prep for festivities. Trying on her pick of the collection with Christmas celebrations in mind, we spent the afternoon discussing home-made decorations, the easiest dishes to bring some freshness to a winter dinner party, Christmas day dressing, and the importance of pockets no matter the occasion ...
Alexandra chose to wear the scarlet Victoria dress in velvety needlecord, a classic Christmas day colour which is just dressed up enough. Her favourite feature, the pockets!
A vintage table for a desk, the perfect spot to write new recipes or those Christmas cards ...
A dress for dancing around the kitchen! Wear the silk Primrose Hill dress loose, bow at the front or the back to create different silhouettes.
In the spirit of simple and sustainable cooking, Alexandra shared a recipe with us from her book 'Land & Sea' for the perfect dinner party dish. Delicious!
Tender stem broccoli with lemon buttered brown shrimps and salsa verde
This is broccoli well and truly dressed and is one of my favourite dinner party dishes. Brown shrimps may seem a bit of an odd choice but they bring wonderful flavour. I am a bit of a traditionalist and will always use butter in this but olive oil works fine too. The salsa is punchy and marries perfectly well with the smooth lemony sauce.
For the salsa verde
2 bunches/ 1 large bunch of basil, leaves and stems
1 bunch of parsley, leaves picked(keep the stems for a soup or stock)
handful of mint leaves,
1 clove or garlic crushed or finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
zest and juice of one lemon
6 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to season
2 handfuls of tender stem broccoli (about 400g)
1 tablespoon Dijon good quality mustard
zest and juice of one lemon
about 75g of organic, grass fed butter (or olive oil)
90g brown shrimps
Begin by making your salsa. I like a coarse, uneven salsa. To do this finely chop your herbs and capers and add these to a bowl with your garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Stir well and season to taste. If you are pushed for time you could also blitz everything up in a food processor.
Melt your butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat until it begins to foam a little and brown. Remove from the heat and add your mustard, lemon zest and juice whisking together with a fork. If you are using olive oil simply skip the heating process and whisk everything together in a small bowl.
Bring a medium to large sized saucepan full of water to the boil. Add a good pinch of salt and boil your broccoli for about 3 minutes until cooked but still al dente. Drain in a colander.
Pour your lemon butter sauce into the large pan, add your shrimps and cook for about one minute or just until warm. Add your broccoli back to the pan and gently toss it to coat it in the lemony shrimp sauce.
Transfer to a serving dish and spoon over the salsa verde. Any extra salsa can be served in a small bowl on the side or kept in the fridge for later. It is delicious served with fish or stirred into rice or pasta for a zingy sauce.
Alexandra's favourite St Ives jumper in duck egg blue, wonderfully soft and slouchy to cosy up any outfit. I loved the prettiness of the blue with the gleam of the bubblegum pink.
A big thank you to Alexandra for playing dress up with us! Her wonderful book 'Land & Sea: Secrets to simple, sustainable, sensational food' can be bought online using the link below:
To find out more about Alexandra (from hosting regular talks at Soho House, writing for publications such as Town and Country and Table Magazine, to creating recipes for and with Abel & Cole, Grey Goose Vodka and Daylesford Organic to name a few, she's a busy woman!) visit her website here:
Last orders for Christmas deliveries need to be made by Thursday 19th (for standard delivery) or Friday 20th (for next day), but please do order as early as possible to avoid disappointment as it's a very busy time for all couriers.
This year we'll be signing off for Christmas from Friday 20th and reopening on Thursday 2nd January. As all who own or work for a small business will know, it's very difficult to switch off and take a break, but we all need to spend time with family and friends and recharge for what we hope to be another incredibly exciting year ahead. Our small warehouse will be open across the festive period, so please do feel free to browse and buy from the website. Any queries to our customer email will be picked up after the 2nd January.
A joyous Christmas and Happy New Year to all!