Isle of Mull Cheddar and Wild Leek Beignets with Crab Aoili by Craig Mckend of MILK

At MILK at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop we are celebrating the new season with a three-course spring dinner on Saturday
May 19. 

Spring is one of our favourite seasons as we get to take advantage of the amazing produce which is literally bursting from the ground. The season has started a little late, but we are now making the most of wild garlic and leeks, gorse flowers and whole fresh crabs straight off the boat.

Our chef, Craig Mckend, has put together a delicious menu for our spring celebration, including this crab starter, a Scottish loin of venison with tumbet, tomato and a sweet wine jus, and a white chocolate, cardamom and orange polenta cake with an orange blossom and rose crème fraiche which highlights the best ingredients available at this time of year. Along with a welcome cocktail and an amazing organic wine list, it’s sure to ease us nicely into the warmer months.

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NGREDIENTS: Serves 3 to 4 as a starter
For the cheddar and leek beignets:
50g butter
75g plain flour
75ml water
75ml whole milk 
50g Isle of Mull cheddar, grated
25g wild leeks, chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
1tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to season

For frying:
Vegetable oil to shallow fry 180°C
1 large egg beaten
100g panko bread crumbs

For the crab aoili:
100g brown crab meat 
Lemon juice, to taste
1tsp Dijon mustard
3 free range egg yolks
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp paprika
Splash of tabasco
Splash of white wine vinegar
Olive oil to emulsify
Salt and pepper to taste

For the wild leek pesto:
100g wild leeks
25ml olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze of lemon juice
20g Grana Padano, finely grated

1 To make the beignets add the milk, butter, flour and water into a heavy bottom saucepan. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon over a low heat until it becomes a smooth paste that leaves the sides of the pan clean.
2 Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar, mustard and leeks, season to taste.
3 Allow to cool for 20 mins and add the eggs one at a time. 
4 Transfer the mix to a clean bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours. 
5 Roll the mixture into walnut sized balls, coat in the beaten egg and toss in the panko crumbs. Do this twice.
6 Pop in the fridge for 30 minutes then shallow fry at 180°C until golden.
7 For the aoili, whisk the egg yolks, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon, paprika and white wine vinegar. Continue to whisk and slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Fold in the crab meat, tabasco and salt and pepper to taste. 
8 For the pesto, blitz all of the ingredients together until smooth.
9 Plate and garnish with wild leek flowers.

In association with Taste Communications.