There is plenty to look forward to this month with home grown produce being the stars of the show.
Taking centre stage has to be the wonderful asparagus. These delicious spears are now arriving in greater quantities and as such the prices are now at more sensible levels. Available in green, purple and white varieties our favourite by far being that grown in Norfolk at Prestwood farm.
Jersey Royal potatoes are another highlight this month – wonderful when cooked simply with butter and mint – early in the season prices are high but expect them to come down by the end of the month.
Spring greens as the name suggest are excellent at the moment and great value too. Purple sprouting broccoli is as good as I’ve seen it and this year, as you can see by the main photo, white sprouting broccoli is looking great too. Wild garlic (ramsons) is still plentiful and should be around for a while yet. Rainbow chard is also now back in stock.
Our English Chalke Valley watercress is superb and really popular with our chefs, nettles on the other hand less so!
From further afield fresh peas and broad beans are arriving from Italy and Morocco. Artichokes and fennels are looking particularly splendid at the moment.
Unfortunately the season for monks beard is nearly over, but our Italian friends are now sending us over beautiful punnets of courgette flowers and datterini tomatoes.
Talking of tomatoes, we are now moving to those not so flavoursome Dutch tomatoes. The good news though is that English Nutbourne tomatoes have started again – wonderful mixed varieties in 3kg and 5kg boxes (please specify when ordering).
On the salad front – all our French leaves are coming down in price – the season for radicchio castelfranco is now over I’m afraid.
Fruit wise, forced Yorkshire rhubarb (yes, i know its a veg!), has finished and we have now moved to the outdoor crop. Blood oranges are also best forgotten until next year. Peaches and nectarines are not the best currently – so best avoided until the Moroccan crop arrives. Red blushed pears make a welcome change to the conference we’ve been selling all winter.
We had our first delivery of English strawberries – but still a bit too early really with lots of Spanish around at great prices.
Morel mushrooms are a seasonal delight at this time of year and with St. George’s day coming up on the 23rd, why not consider putting the aptly named St. George’s mushroom on the menu.