Posted 28th February 2014 by Ronnie Haydon
Breathe a sigh of relief: the evenings are getting lighter, and while the daffodils may be shivering a little in the early spring breezes, they’re blooming. Even the sun is putting in the occasional appearance and a smile on everyone’s faces. In the kitchen, our thoughts are turning to bright, fresh flavours, so it’s a pleasure to welcome a trio of sunshine tastes.
The blushing star of our colourful collection of seasonal ingredients for March. You can taste the South African sun in these rose-tinted beauties, which have a wonderfully sweet tang of apricot alongside a peardrop flavour. Eat them at room temperature, halve and lightly grill them to add glamour to your breakfast muesli.
You can use Flavorking in a fruit tart recipe – in the same way as ordinary plums. Cinnamon is a natural partner for plums, and has a warm, comforting sweetness all of its own.
We also say cobblers to plums – in the nicest possible way - because baking these sweet plums in their own little ramekins with the simplest of baking ingredients turn them into cobblers, crumble’s amusingly named cousin.
Our mission to bring more sunshine to the table continues with other seasonal fruits from balmier climes. Costa Rican pineapples, perfectly ripe and superbly sweet, are refreshing in a fruit salad and delightfully sticky when baked on a cake – upside down, of course – with a cheeky drizzle of honey.
The third fruit in our radiant trio is the banana. Flawless, new season fruits are the ultimate no-frills snack, sweet, filling and good for you. Bananas are brilliant for breakfast, superb sliced on yogurt and the very essence of a smoothie. If you really want to push the banana boat out though, we don’t hesitate to go down the caramelised route - a glorious indulgence. Try this tarte tatin and you’ll see what we mean…
But we’re putting the cart before the horse here, or at least the pudding before the main course. That’s easily remedied, though, with our two other fantastic seasonal ingredients, and they just happen to be made for each other.
The more delicately flavoured cousin of the big-headed veg available all year round, tenderstem is a little sweetie, whose stems are as delicious as its florets. The versatility of this bright green vegetable make it’s a star turn in main meal salads.
A dose of seasonal sunshine is all you need to make you feel like a spring chicken, which is exactly what’s in store at the moment. To get the full flavour of new season chicken, it’s worth spending the little extra on our finest, free-range birds. To create a really special stir-fry for a light, spring-time supper, use the best quality chicken breasts you can buy and cook them quickly but thoroughly, then pair them with their perfect partner – a handful of emerald green tenderstem shoots. Delicious.