The Cornish restauranteur and author loves simple, seasonal cooking using fresh local ingredients that reflect her love for this part of the world, where the sky meets the sea
Photography by Kim Lightbody
Having grown up in Cornwall, but spending much time in Burgundy, Provence and Bordeaux, Emily Scott believes that good food should reflect a sense of time and place. To this end her seasonal recipes feature local ingredients from the land, the sea and the shoreline, simply prepared and presented so their true quality can shine through. Not for her starched table cloths and an armoury of cutlery and glass, her style is pared-back, with a breezy, seaside vibe of scrubbed wooden tables and flowers from the garden. She has had a café and then a restaurant in Port Isaac, and for the past six years has been running the St Tudy Inn in North Cornwall, which is listed in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs, and where, in 2016, she earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Her debut collection of recipes is available in June, a beautiful book that will transport you to her far-flung world of crashing waves and wheeling gulls.
Whole baked salmon with cucumber, watercress and mayonnaise for days
On summer days, my mother Lucy was always the best at bringing everyone together. This recipe of whole baked salmon is somewhat retro but it is a wonderful dish for the middle of a table, served alongside Cornish new potatoes with herbs and crème fraîche, bowls of garden leaves and wildflowers. Finish the meal with English strawberries, meringues and cream. Think of warm days, with Champagne by the glass, or chilled rosé. Days when life seems uncomplicated and simple.
- 100ml sunflower oil, for
- 1 whole salmon, 2–3kg, gutted, cleaned and scaled
- 1 large sprig of flat-leaf parsley
- 2 lemons, cut into rounds
- 2 bay leaves
- 300ml white wine
- Thin cucumber slices
- Lemon rounds
- Tarragon mayonnaise (see recipe below)
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Take two large sheets of kitchen foil and place on top of each other in a roasting tin.
2. Brush oil over both pieces of foil, place the salmon on top of one of the foil pieces, then brush the salmon with oil, too.
Put the parsley, lemon slices and bay leaves into the body cavity of the fish.
3. Put the second piece of foil over the salmon and crimp the edges of the foil together to make a parcel, but just before sealing, pour in the wine. Seal tightly and bake the fish in the oven for 50–60 minutes.
4. Allow the fish to cool in the parcel, then gently peel off the skin and serve cold, garnished with thinly sliced cucumber, watercress, lemon slices and citrus mayo.
5. Leftover salmon can be used the next day in a salad with Cornish new potatoes, dill and mayonnaise.
- 3 egg yolks
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 250ml sunflower oil
- Handful of fresh tarragon
- Cornish sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Place the egg yolks in a food processor and add the lemon juice, mustard and a good pinch of sea salt.
2. Whiz until just combined. With the motor still running, slowly pour the oil through the funnel in a fine, slow stream until all the oil is incorporated and it has emulsified.
3. Remove the tarragon leaves from the stalks and roughly chop.
4. As you chop, the delicious fragrance will be released.
5. Fold through the mayo, taste and season as needed.
Port Isaac crab, toast & mayo
Port Isaac crab is a delicious sustainable catch and is some of the finest shellfish you will find around the rocky shores. Cornwall would not be Cornwall without crab. I have spent much time watching the fishermen fishing off the shores of Port Isaac and waiting for the boats to come in with their haul. Crab is at its best from April to October. These crab bruschetta make lovely little plates to share.
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2–3 tbsp good olive oil
- 4 slices of sourdough bread
- 1 lemon, zest grated then cut in half for squeezing
- 2 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
- 250g fresh white crab meat, picked through to check for pieces of shell
- 100g micro basil leaves
- Cornish sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh rocket, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Mix the garlic with the olive oil and brush the surface of the bread with the mixture. Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for a few minutes until lightly golden and crisp.
3. Combine the lemon zest, mayonnaise and crab meat. Stir through the micro basil leaves and season well. Spoon the crab mixture over each slice of bread and serve immediately with rocket leaves and a squeeze or two of lemon juice.
Last of the summer tomatoes with toasted soughdough and high-note herbs
Lost bread and the glut of the last of the summer tomatoes, spring onions, herbs and olives. Yes, please! This is a bowl that sings summertime to me. Delicious on its own, it is also a perfect accompaniment to mackerel or bream. A note on tomatoes: do not refrigerate them. Cold tomatoes lose all their flavour, so handle with care, if you can. Like everything, tomatoes are available throughout the year now, but do try to eat them in the summer when they are in season. There is nothing more delicious.
- 4 slices of day-old sourdough bread, broken into chunky croutons
- 800g tomatoes, at room temperature, chopped and deseeded
- 15 basil leaves, torn
- 1 small mixed bunch of tarragon, chives and parsley, chopped
- 350g jar of stoned black or green olives, drained and halved
- 200g spring onions, thinly sliced
- 120ml olive oil
- Cornish sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2. Spread the sourdough croutons over a baking sheet and bake in the hot oven until golden, 10–15 minutes. Leave to cool as you make the salad.
3. Place the chopped tomatoes in a large bowl, add all the other ingredients including the sourdough croutons, season with salt and pepper and toss together.
4. Leave to sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to develop before serving.
Summer fruit jelly with whole English strawberries & vanilla ice cream
Jelly always brings a smile to my face. A childhood favourite, this strawberry, raspberry and orange jelly is wonderful. Lovely, light and palate cleansing, it’s the perfect summer pudding.
- 300g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
- 125g fresh raspberries
- 60g caster sugar
- 150ml water
- 300ml orange juice
- 41/2 sheets of gelatine
- 150g fresh strawberries, halved
- Vanilla ice cream
1. Place the strawberries and raspberries in a pan with the sugar, water and orange juice. Bring to the boil without stirring, then remove from the heat.
2. Place the gelatine in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 5 minutes.
3. Once softened, drain and squeeze out excess water from the gelatine. Place the gelatine back in the bowl and add a little of the warm fruit juices, stirring gently until the gelatine is completely dissolved. Pour into the fruit pan through a fine sieve and stir very gently.
4. Spoon the fruits into French bistro glasses and pour over the orange liquid from the fruit pan. Stir once more, then transfer to the refrigerator to set.
5. When set, decorate with halved strawberries and sprigs of mint.
6. Serve with vanilla ice cream.