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food

Spring

Spring
Lighten your menus & lift the mood with exciting food that simply screams springtime! Chargrilled scallops with watercress & orange, Spring lamb with asparagus & Jersey Royals ... Combinations that always impress. 
 
Fruit 

Bramley Apples 
recognised as the best apple for cooking, Bramley apples are unique because they contain a higher acid content and lower sugar levels to produce a stronger, tangier tasting apple whose flavour is retained when cooked, and whose texture literally melts in the mouth. Crumbles, pies, sponges, or simply baked with sugar and spice. Just add proper custard!

Rhubarb 
incredibly versatile with many culinary uses, rhubarb adds contrasting sharpness to cakes and desserts, and is the perfect pearly pink filling for pies and pastries. It also sets well in jams, is piquant in pickles, offers colour and its unique tang to sauces and can even be used to make wine.

Strawberries 
in addition to being utterly delicious, low in fat and calories, strawberries are naturally high in fibre, vitamin C, folate, potassium and antioxidants. Try them tossed into some lightly stewed sweetened rhubarb for a perfect springtime compote.

Vegetables 

Parsley 
whether flat leaf or curly, parsley is a classic addition to so many British dishes – try adding lots to cod fish cakes and serve with a buttery hollandaise for a fresh spring treat. Parsley butter is great served over hot beef, cod or salmon.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli 
is delicious simply steamed with a little seasoning or combined with some fried garlic, lemon zest and toasted flaked almonds.

Carrots 
baby new carrots should be eaten raw or lightly steamed to preserve their sweetness. Serve whole, they add colour texture and bags of taste.

Kale 
is one of the few green vegetables that is more abundant and flavourful during the coldest months of the year. It can be substituted for cabbage or spinach and makes a fine side dish when blanched and sautéed with garlic (a little soy and a sprinkling of chopped, roasted nuts is a lovely addition). It also makes an excellent ingredient in hearty, warming soups such as Scotch Broth.

Cucumbers
chilled soups, garlicky tzatziki, or Thai cucumber salad. Be creative –cucumbers can do more than adorn a plate or fill a sandwich.

Cauliflower 
can be steamed or boiled to serve but not overcooked. It should remain tender but with plenty of bite. Serve on its own or with a little butter or Hollandaise sauce. 

Cabbage 
can be boiled, steamed, sautéed, braised, stir fried or even pickled. Use leftover cabbage to make "bubble & squeak" or with mashed potatoes to make colcannon. 

Mushrooms 
full of antioxidants & nutritional benefits not usually found in plants. Extremely rich in fibre & protein, they are a great source of protein for vegetarians. 

Leeks 
ideal for use in stir fries, risottos, egg dishes, sauces, stews & soups. They are also used to flavour vegetable soups & stocks 

Spring Onions 
can be used for so much more than just adding to your Peking Duck pancakes. When raw or very lightly cooked they impart a wonderfully vibrant yet mild flavour where normal onions would be overpowering. Make champ by folding chopped spring onions into creamy mashed potatoes - add some grated cheddar if you like. Or combine with ginger to form the soul of a number of classic Chinese and Japanese dishes.

Radishes 
add a fabulous crunch and crimson burst of colour to a salad or crudite selection. The French serve them raw, dipped in to sea salt.

Asparagus 
seasonal fresh asparagus is a taste sensation. Its crisp stalks are primed with sugar which when grilled turn sweet and tender.

Watercress
makes a fresh, colourful and highly nutritious soup. Serve hot or cold with a blob of crème fraîche and some snipped fresh chives.

Meat 

Pork 
supply is not particularly seasonal, but this is a great time while the days are still chilly, to try a classic roast with some really good apple sauce and crispy roast potatoes.

Lamb 
late spring is the perfect time for new season lamb. Spring lamb is milk fed and the animal is usually 3-5 months old when killed and is known for providing really tender meat. Best roasted or cooked fast, not ideal for slow braising.

Fish 

Herring 
is one of the most abundant fish found in large schools in the North Atlantic. They can be eaten raw, pickled, smoked or conventionally cooked. Quite delicious they are an excellent source of vitamin D and omega 3 oils.

Salmon 
is a rich source of omega 3 oils and quality protein. Coat in sesame seeds and grill until just cooked. Do not over cook or it will become dry.

Cod 
is an excellent low fat source of quality protein. Use as the basis of a fish pie or fish cakes, poach in milk or simply steam. Add plenty of fresh parsley!

Oysters 
considered an aphrodisiac; really the only way to eat fresh oysters is raw with lemon and a dash of Tabasco sauce.

Clams & Cockles 
are delicious steamed in a little stock, white wine and cream. Add plenty of parsley and toss through hot fresh pasta.

Mussels 
can be baked with a topping of garlicky breadcrumbs. This makes a change from moules moules marinière but try both whilst they are at their meatiest best.