The Joys of Spring
We’ve got a bit of a spring in our step as we say farewell to winter and welcome the new season and the feeling of renewal it brings. And while we’re enjoying the longer days, the (slightly) warmer weather and the pretty flowers that are opening up around us, it is the delicious fresh produce that is now available that’s really getting us giddy. Here’s our pick of the crop:
While larger spuds are available for most of the year, the sweet little new potatoes only come in in spring. Jersey Royals, with their distinctive nutty flavour and firm texture, have a particularly short season, being harvested from the end of March until July. Simply boil and add to salads or serve as a side dish dressed simply with a little butter, chopped mint and parsley.
Purple sprouting broccoli
This classy cousin of regular broccoli is said to have first been cultivated by the Romans and is at its best until around the end of April. With a slightly deeper flavour than other brassicas, it is a young, tender plant which can be eaten whole, leaves and all. It goes brilliantly with anchovies as a side dish or stirred through pasta.
Moving on from the vivid pink, forced variety available in winter, spring brings more deeply flavoured, red and green tinged, field-grown rhubarb. Store it in the fridge or (**top tip alert**) chop into lengths and freeze it. Cook with plenty of sugar, to balance out its tart flavour and stew, poach or (our favourite method) roast sprinkled with sugar and orange zest.
This young lamb is usually slaughtered between three and five months old. It is known for its mild, sweet flavour, light pink colour and tender texture. At the beginning of the season the majority of British lamb that is available will be from the South West of England, where early lambing Poll Dorset sheep are farmed, while lamb from the North tends to come in later in the spring.
Also look out for…
Spring greens and watercress from late April and asparagus coming in at the end of May,