Fern Verrow is a biodynamic farm at the foothills of the Black Mountains in Herefordshire. Farmed by Jane Scotter and Harry Astley. Their book follows a year of growing and cooking, with seasonal, uncomplicated recipes.

The following recipe is the first in a three part series...

BAKED RADICCHIO & PARMA HAM

We grow many varieties of radicchio here at Fern Verrow, having been seduced by seed catalogues from around the world selling beautiful, exotic-looking varieties. We sow the seeds in the greenhouse in early August and plant the seedlings out in the fields as soon as they are large enough. The sumptuous red tones of radicchio look at home with the colours of autumn, the cooler days and nights deepening the crimson streaks. It is a pleasure to harvest these beautiful plants, and an even greater pleasure to eat them. The candy-striped radicchio is often eaten raw in salads. However, it is extremely delicious cooked: here, its faint bitterness is sublime with the saltiness of Parma ham.

Serves 2

1 large or 2 small heads of radicchio

1216 slices of Parma ham

250ml double cream

50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

juice of 1 lemon

sea salt and black pepper

Heat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Cut the radicchio into 6 wedges, if you are using a large one, or into quarters if you have 2 small ones, leaving a little of the base attached to each wedge so that they stay intact. Place a ridged griddle pan over a moderate heat. As it begins to get hot, brush a little oil on to the ridges. Once the griddle is hot, add the radicchio wedges and cook for 23 minutes on each side, until coloured.

Wrap 2 slices of Parma ham around each wedge and place in a shallow baking dish. Mix the cream with half the grated Parmesan and some seasoning, then pour it evenly over the radicchio wedges. Add the lemon juice, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, baste the radicchio with the sauce and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top. Continue to cook for 510 minutes, until the radicchio is tender and the sauce is bubbling.

Recipe from book Fern Verrow - A year of recipes from a farm and its kitchen by Jane Scotter & Harry Astley. Photographs by Tessa Traeger.

You can now purchase the Fern Verrow book from TOAST here

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