Posted 1st April 2014 by Alaina Wong
We don’t know about you, but we’re breathing a huge sigh of relief that Spring is finally here! With rising temperatures and lighter days comes a fresh wave of colourful seasonal produce to include in your cooking, from versatile, refreshing cucumber to nutty, filling celeriac. Easter and the first British bank holiday are just on the horizon, so it’s the perfect time to save some recipes to your binder to try out on visiting friends and family.
This month we can’t help feeling the need for a bit of a Spring clean too – make some time to turn out your cupboards, have a good sort through jars, packets and tins, clean down the shelves and use up any lingering ingredients with the help of our leftover tool.
Atlantic Blue blueberries
There is nothing like a fresh blueberry bursting in your mouth, better yet, the large, plump and sweet ones of the Atlantic Blue variety. I particularly love them in my breakfast bowl bobbing in a pool of milk or yogurt. The deep blue colour can create the most enchanting tarts and give any afternoon teacake a ‘lift’.
This hardy herb is regularly used in Italian cuisine and its versatility means its sprigs have also been used for medicine and fragrances. With its powerful aroma, its perfect for infusing jellies, lemonades and cocktails – and you only need a tiny bit! Famously paired with lamb, I’m baking it with peaches, plums and apricots. Gorgeous!
Ramiro pointed pepper
Like the cousins of bell pepper, sweet pointed peppers are smaller due to their higher sugar content and their long, dagger-like shape makes them great for stuffing and roasting. Coming in red, yellow and green they look beautiful in stir-fries, pasta sauces and salads.
These refreshing fruits are the symbol of the quintessential British summer. Sandwiched between slices of bread with a generous layer of cream cheese is a popular memory of the cucumber. With its high water content, delicate sweetness and cooling properties – they are delicious pickled, eaten in salads or served with potted prawns and cured meats.
It may not be a pretty site, but what lies beneath the knobbly textured skin is a delicious, nutty flesh. Get your sharpest knife out as its tough to peel and slice but the efforts are worth it. Grate it to make a refreshing side salad or if you’re after a warm meal, it can be treated like squash and potato, boiled in water and added into a crumble and soup.
With Easter on the horizon, I’m planning to roast a leg of lamb to create the ultimate centrepiece. The delicate flavours and tender, pink flesh has strong associations with the spring season and is a nice alternative to the heavier beef, pork and gammon. If you don’t want to face the ordeal of cooking a large piece of meat, try chops, steak or fillets for ease.