What's in season in April

April brings gradually warmer weather, lighter evenings and plenty of new seasonal produce. Make the most the short Jersey Royal season with creamy potato salads, and bring colour to your plate with vibrant rainbow chard. Colourful stems of bright pink rhubarb brighten up sweet and savoury dishes – try using it to add tartness to salads or pair with custard in desserts for a classic combination that always works.

  1. Rhubarb

    Elegant stalks of bright pink rhubarb are a true symbol of spring. Rhubarb grows from a root that can live for up to 20 years, with some varieties growing stems up to 1.5m long. Choose firm, straight stalks that have a bright red colour. Avoid those that are limp or discoloured, or stalks that are very thick. Older stalks may be a bit stringy, like celery, but spring rhubarb will be tender, so there's no need to peel it. Bake into warming rhubarb oat-nut crumbles, freeze into pretty pink sorbet or pair the sharp flavour with rich oily mackerel in this colourful spring salad

  2. Blueberries

    Aromatic blueberries are plump and super sweet, releasing lots of flavour when cooked. Look out for deep blue, firm fruit with a silvery bloom on the skin. Try them baked into a buttery crumble cake, paired with sweet frangipane in these individual Bakewell tarts or churned into a vibrant frozen yogurt. When you just can’t wait for dessert, our indulgent blueberry muffin cobbler for one takes just 5 minutes to make in the microwave. Contact with water can cause blueberries (and other soft fruit) to spoil or turn mushy, so avoid washing until you are ready to use them.

  3. Fennel

    Fennel has a white bulb with edible, feathery green fronds and a distinctive aniseed taste. If you find the flavour of raw fennel a little intense, try cooking it – heat mellows the taste and it becomes soft and caramelised. This creamy chicken ragout is a great way to try fennel for the first time and enjoy its fragrant flavour. To embrace the subtle sweet and liquorice-like flavour, try raw fennel shaved into a colourful fennel, celeriac and pear salad.

  4. Rainbow chard

    Rainbow chard is easily identified by its beautiful, multicoloured stems. This leafy green has a sweet, nutty flavour similar to spinach, and holds its shape and colour during cooking. Cook the leaves and stalks separately, as the stalks take longer. This easy side dish uses both the vibrant stems and crisp leaves, and pairs them with garlic, nutmeg, pine nuts and raisins for a vibrant side that's perfect with steamed fish.

  5. Jersey Royals

    These regally named potatoes can only be called Jersey Royals if they are grown on the island itself, where they have been cultivated for 140 years. One of the real treasures of spring, these nutty, delicious spuds will only be around until July. The potatoes were first grown by accident when some Jersey farmers each planted a piece taken from one huge potato, and one (a ‘fluke’) produced kidney-shaped tubers. Jersey Royals don’t need to be peeled. They make the ultimate potato salads – try this smoky chargrilled twist, pair with a peppered steak or toss with celery, fennel and crispy pancetta.