Carats and carrots combine in the latest collection from historic German high jeweler Hemmerle, a 12-piece menu of gems inspired by vegetables. Discover ‘Delicious Jewels’ in our showcase of the ingredients.
It is little known that one of the world’s foremost creators of high jewelry is based not in Paris or Geneva and doesn’t even have a Place Vendome boutique. Instead, Hemmerle, a fourth-generation family business, is in fact based in Munich, from where it once provided jewelry to the Bavarian courts. Now directed by husband and wife team Stefan and Sylveli Hemmerle, the jeweler remains true to its reverence for craftsmanship that is so celebrated some of its work can be found in the permanent collection at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Its latest collection is as artistic as ever: inspired by vegetables, it consists of eleven brooches and a pair of earrings in a rich menu of luscious shapes and ravishing colours. Delicate and remarkably realistic, the pieces include the dark deep sheen of the aubergine captured in a silver and white gold brooch encrusted with purple spinels, and the peppered pink complexity of a radish rendered in an elegant brooch through the use of red spinels and white and pink diamonds. As the next generation of the family firm, Christian Hemmerle, states: “This collection is about seeing beauty where most people just see the ordinary details of daily life”.
“Join us and embark on an extraordinary culinary journey of discovery and creation inspired by our passion for jewellery design and respect for the natural treasures of the earth. Produced in collaboration with acclaimed chef and cookery writer Tamsin Day-Lewis and dedicated to our new vegetable collection, Delicious Jewels is a feast for the eyes and senses. A loving exploration of the gastronomic splendours of the garden and the beauty of jewels, each page is a visual treat and each recipe an indulgence for the palate that we hope you will enjoy as much as we do.”
- The Hemmerle Family
The Hemmerle family collaborated with leading food writer Tamsin Day-Lewis on a book of recipes that correspond to pieces from the Hemmerle vegetable-inspired collection. Discover the tome Delicious Jewels through one of its recipes and its ingredients that combine red spinels with red pepper.
Silver, white gold, purple spinels
Spiced Aubergine Charlotte
Serves 6. Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6
This is a dish whose beauty belies its simplicity. Tongues of violet aubergine are furled around a spiced tomato sauce, poached in the oven and turned out as you would a cake, concealing the hidden depths within until you cut into it. Perfect for autumn or winter, this dish is an accompaniment to a fillet of lamb or venison − both of which have a special affinity with the aubergine − or could be served as a vegetarian main course in its own right.
2 large aubergines, sliced thinly into long tongues
4–6 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, strung with a potato peeler and finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
2 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 dstspn garam masala
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp cumin seeds toasted in a dry pan over the heat until they pop, around 1 minute
12–14 large organic tomatoes skinned and seeded and chopped, the tomato water kept
2 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp sugar
Brush a large baking tray with olive oil and lay the aubergine slices on it, then brush the slices with a little oil. Roast in the oven, checking after 7 minutes with a skewer. If they are done, cook the next batch; the slices should be soft but not rubbery.
Brush oil around a soufflé dish and line the base and sides with slightly overlapping tongues of aubergine, leaving enough for the top.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan and add the onion and celery and a little sea salt. Fry over a medium heat until they turn translucent, then add the garlic, spices and thyme and stir over the heat for a couple of minutes before adding the tomatoes and the tomato puree.
Add the tomato water through a sieve so that you do not add the seeds, cover and simmer for 20 minutes before removing the lid and simmering until the sauce thickens to the consistency of jam and loses its wateriness. Taste and adjust the seasoning and spice, add pepper and a teaspoon of sugar. Spoon the sauce into the aubergines, smooth the top and furl the aubergines over from the sides of the soufflé dish and add a topping of aubergines, making them overlap and cover the sauce entirely. You may either keep the charlotte covered with clingfilm overnight in the fridge, or until you need it, or proceed to the poaching. Set the soufflé dish covered tightly with foil in a roasting tin and fill the tin half way up its sides with boiling water.
Place the tin in the oven and poach the charlotte for 35 minutes. If you kept the dish in the refrigerator, make sure you start poaching it from room temperature rather than straight out of the fridge.
Remove the soufflé dish from the tin and take off the foil. After a couple of minutes, turn the dish out onto a warmed serving plate. It is best cut into cake-like slices with a serrated knife.
Silver, white gold, demantoide garnets, jade
“It is not often that I lay claim to inventing a dish, and if I do, I am never sure whether my
claims are entirely true. How can I know whether someone, somewhere, sometime, even centuries ago, hasn’t come up with something strikingly similar? This dish came to me out of the deep blue sea in the west of Ireland this summer, where I have a house in Co. Mayo facing the Atlantic on one side and a great grey granite mountain on the other. A neighbour who plays the accordion by night and catches crabs, lobsters and wild salmon by day, called to say he had a lobster for me. I looked at my organic vegetables from the local country market; was given extra lobster shells and some crab shells from Seamus for stock; found
Manzanilla in the cupboard and this is what I did…”
- Tamsin Day-Lewis
Lobster Risotto with Peas, finished with Tomato, Courgette and Tarragon
As many crab, lobster and prawn shells as you can muster, and the odd wild salmon head if
you can get it. A medium sized live lobster around the 1.2 kg mark, but go with what you can find. If you really can’t face doing the deed yourself, buy a cooked lobster from your fishmonger, but it won’t be so fresh − how could it be?
2 tbsp olive oil
60g unsalted butter
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
350g risotto rice; I prefer Carnaroli, but Arborio will do
A glass of Manzanilla sherry; failing that, Fino will do nicely
Around 1 1/2 pints fish stock made from the above shells and heads
Around 90g shelled weight fresh peas, or use frozen petits pois
4 small courgettes, if possible 2 yellow and 2 green, cut into small dice
2 large tomatoes, skinned and seeded and chopped into small strips
2 tsp finely chopped tarragon
Sea salt and black pepper
You may make the fish stock well in advance and keep it refrigerated if it suits you. This is a very simple stock; it is not the sort I would use for a fish soup or stew − it relies entirely on the shells of the crustacea and the reduction of the initial stock to intensify the flavour.
Simply cover the shells with water in a large, heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil, skim to remove the scum, turn down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer for 40-50 minutes before straining the stock and putting it back into the pan, discarding the shells. Bring to the boil again and boil hard to reduce the stock by around a half, leaving you with a good pint and a half for your risotto. Now you are ready to cook.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil.
Kill the lobster. The recommended way is to pierce a sharp knife-point quickly down through the head.
Plunge the lobster into the boiling water and put the lid on. A lobster this size will take 15 minutes to cook.
Drain, and when cool enough to handle, split the shell right down the middle of the creature’s back from head to tail with a sharp knife and break it open with your hands, removing the meat from the head and body and then cracking the claws with a hammer and carefully removing the flesh and getting rid of all the bits of shell.
Heat all but a teaspoon of the olive oil with half the butter in a heavy pan with a wide surface area; I have a Le Creuset risotto pan which cooks the rice evenly. Add the onion and cook gently until it begins to soften and turn translucent.
Add the rice and stir to coat it all over, cooking for a further couple of minutes before throwing in the glass of sherry. Keep stirring, and when the sherry has nearly been absorbed, add the first two ladles of fish stock that you should keep at simmering point on the stove next to you.
Cook for 20–22 minutes all told once you have the rice lubricated with the sherry. Keep stirring a lot of the time to release the starch from the rice. Five minutes before the rice is ready, add the shelled peas. A perfect risotto has bite but not crunch to the rice, and is soupy not dry. Heat through the remaining oil in a little pan and throw in the courgettes in small dice. Cook for 3–4 minutes so that they retain their bite, then remove from the heat, throw in the tarragon and tomat immediately and set aside.
Throw the chopped lobster flesh except for the soft claws into the risotto a couple of minutes after the peas and turn to heat through, season to taste and test the rice. If all seems cooked, add the remaining butter, the last ladle of fish stock and the tomato and courgette mixture, close the lid and allow the risotto to sit for 3 or 4 minutes before serving.
Copper, silver, white gold, red spinels, white and pink diamonds
Mackerel with Home-Pickled Radish and Cucumber
The oily mackerel, to my mind, tastes every bit as good as some of the kings of the river and sea likesea trout, salmon and turbot, but, like the humble herring, its reputation is as a poor man’s fish. Our prejudices where food is concerned change with the passing of time: in Victorian times oysters were ubiquitous; now they are considered a delicacy. Cutting the oily richness with a light pickle is a lovely way to serve a mackerel, either warm or cold, and the peppery, pretty pink radish and juicy cucumber lift the dish to beauteous height and taste. Simplicity itself.
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp unrefined granulated sugar
Sea salt and black pepper
2 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 a cucumber, peeled in strips with a potato peeler
1 dozen radishes
2 mackerel boned and filleted, skin on
Stir the vinegar and sugar together in a small ramekin until it no longer feels gritty to the spoon.
Season, add most of the tarragon and taste. You want bite and sweetness in tandem.
Finely slice the cucumber and pour half the pickle over it. Leave for 30 minutes, turning from time to time so that the cucumber absorbs the liquor and its flavour. 10 minutes before serving, do likewise with the radish. Do not prepare it any further in advance as the
brilliant pink will bleed and lose its hue.
Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into a large non-stick frying pan that you have put on the heat first, and when the oil is hot add the two mackerel, skin side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes and when the flesh is beginning to become translucent, half-cover the pan with a lid for a couple of minutes more or until the fish is tender right through when pierced with a skewer. As it will carry on cooking a little off the heat and in the pickle, a hint of pink at the very top of the flesh is fine.
Divide the fish into 4 fillets.
Lay the pickled cucumber slices on individual plates or on one large serving plate. Surround them with the radish, keeping some to decorate the top of the fish fillets.
Lay a fillet of warm mackerel on each plate and pour over the remaining pickle. Season the fish, add the remaining radish and scatter over the last of the tarragon.
Serve with warm rye rolls or bread.