On the whole English produce is one of the best buys on the market at the moment.
All Root Veg is still great quality and value, along with Spring Greens and various types of Cabbage, including one of our favourites January King.
Curly Kale and even Purple Sprouting Broccoli, which has not been so good of late, is much better. There is also a limited amount of White Sprouting Broccoli, Romaneso and Coloured Cauliflower for those looking for something a little different. We have a few Brussel Sprouts rolling around the warehouse, although they are on their way out now. Wild Garlic and Nettles are available, great seasonal produce. Swiss and Rainbow Chard are both looking fantastic, an ideal choice to bring some colour to the plate. The indoor Rhubarb is coming to an end.
Mange Tout, Beans and Sugar Snap have been pretty constant with regards to quality and price, Asparagus also has been quite reasonable. (The English has started but is VERY expensive at the moment). Large Leaf Spinach has eased a little in price but is still pretty expensive for this time of year.
There are Spanish fresh Peas and Broad Beans available, won’t be long ‘til the English start coming through, and there also some nice Flat Beans, although both are quite expensive.
The price of Rocket, Cues, Tomatoes, Peppers and Iceberg are all good value at the moment, the Heritage Tomatoes really look the part. All the Herbs are coming through lovely at the moment. For those of you looking for something a little different there is Italian Agretti or Monk’s Beard available, also French Sand Carrots, according to the French they are the sweetest carrots available.
The Spanish Strawberries are here, although some are a little under ripe this will slowly help the prices reduce as the month goes on. Melons remain a bit pricey.
Much of the other Soft Fruit remains expensive, Raspberries being the major culprit.
Stone Fruit has also begun to deteriate as the Southern Hemisphere season draws nearer to a close. There are no Apricots and Peaches and Nectarines although available are not that good. The Northern Hemisphere crop normally comes in around May. There are some fantastic South African Plums available.
The quality of Satsumas is not as good, they are starting to get a little dry as the Spanish Citrus Season comes to a close and we be seeing the last of the Blood Oranges soon. Seville Oranges and Lychee are not available at the moment.
There is a good selection of Wild Mushrooms available at the moment including fresh Morrels, but the prices at present are high as we are at the start of their season. Also available are Trumpet, Chanterelle, Pied de Mouton and Blewitts.
There are a few early Jerseys here, ware and mids, still a bit expensive but the price will ease as we breeze into springtime.
Must Try…Roscoff Onions. Full of flavour, slightly sweet and melt-in-the-mouth…You’ve heard of rosé wine, but this is a rosé vegetable! Totally versatile, the Roscoff Rosé Onion can be used as a vegetable, a side-dish or as a condiment, raw or cooked. They are celebrated not just for their colour, but also for their unique flavour, their high vitamin C content and their long shelf-life.
Drop us a line if there is anything else you’ve seen but we haven’t..!
Seasonal Recipe – Jersey Royals
Looking for an easy potato salad recipe? Give the humble spud a quick makeover with a delicious dressing.
• 2 tbsp walnut pieces (optional)
• 1 tbsp tarragon or cider vinegar
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp walnut oil
• 1 tsp honey
• flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 900g/2lb new potatoes, such as Jersey Royals or Charlotte, washed or scrubbed
• 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
• 1 large shallot, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp chopped cornichons or gherkins (optional)
1. If you’re using the walnuts, place in a hot oven (about 200C/400F/Gas 6) for a few minutes until beginning to colour slightly. This gives a fresher, less bitter flavour to the nuts.
2. Place the vinegar, mustard, oils, honey and salt and pepper in a screw-top jar or in the bowl of a small hand blender. Shake or blend well until creamy. Add more seasoning if preferred.
3. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for about 15-20 minutes until just tender. Drain well and, when just cool enough to handle, cut into halves or quarters, if quite large.
4. Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl with the tarragon, shallots, cornichons or gherkins and walnuts, if using, and toss in as much or as little of the dressing as you want. Serve just warm or, if you’re not eating straight away, refrigerate and return the salad to room temperature before eating.
By Jo’ Pratt From The Nation’s Favourite Food