Season's best

Velvety raspberries are in season now

A member of the rose family, British raspberries are available throughout the summer but are at their best in July. The velvety fruit usually has a deep pink hue but can also be golden or black. Whatever their colour, they have a tangy-sweet flavour and are plump, with a soft and juicy texture. Raspberries are delicious baked into cheesecakes, meringues and sponges, or simply served as they are with a dollop of whipped cream. Freeze in a single layer on a tray, then pop into freezer bags to enjoy in smoothies and puds.

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Also in season...

Broad beans

Broad beans

A member of the legume family, broad beans come in pods and can be enjoyed whole if they are super fresh, but are best when double-podded. This requires removing them from their long outer pod to reveal the row of beans inside, and then adding to boiled water for about 2 minutes before cooling and peeling off the second thick, skin-like pod. These nutty, nutritious beans make a great addition to crisp summer salads, pasta dishes or paellas, and can be whizzed up alongside garlic, Parmesan and lemon for a lovely dip.

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From cantaloupe and honeydew, to galia and watermelon, there are many delicious varieties of melon, all of which are vibrant, sweet and delicious. Spanish piel de sapo (‘toad’s skin’ in Spanish) melon is the ultimate summer refresher. This delicate, sweet melon is a winner matched with cheeses, such as mature Cheddar, salty feta, or rich Manchego. Ripe melons should be firm to the touch with a little give and should smell gorgeously floral. You can keep a whole melon in a cool spot on your kitchen worktop, away from direct sunlight, for around two weeks.

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British sweetcorn is extra delicious during the summer months and is particularly good when cooked on the barbecue. Fresh, ripe sweetcorn has tightly packed kernels that release a milky liquid when cut. It’s best eaten as fresh as possible, as the sugars in the kernels can quickly turn to starch. To get the best out of your sweetcorn, whether on the cob or broken up into kernels, simply grill on a barbecue and top with a knob of butter, cook into a creamy chowder, or bake into a pie.

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A favourite choice of meat for a classic Sunday roast, beef has a lovely deep and rich flavour and is a good source of protein. Enjoy a variety of cuts from rib-eye steak, silverside or brisket to be made into burgers, stews and pies.

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