As well as longer evenings, warmer temperatures and bank holidays, spring is also the time when British vegetables come into their own giving you so much more choice when it comes to cooking. Nothing tastes quite as good as fresh rhubarb and radishes so we have had a look at the best way to tuck into them while you can.
Well, what else could we kick off with? Spring by name and spring by nature, these often overlooked vegetables have dark, loose, lush leaves but come without the hard core that is at the centre of white and purple cabbages. Whether you use them in a soup, stew, broth, stir-fry or as part of a Sunday roast, simply shred the leaves, cook and enjoy spring greens at the their best from now until the end of May.
There is something special about the asparagus, but the British season is short so if you see it for sale, grab it. It is the prized tender tips you want to go for and these need to be cooked al dente so they keep a little bite and don’t go soft. Serve with a tuna salad, baked with cod or simply use as an alternative to soldiers and dip into your breakfast eggs.
Did you know that rhubarb is actually a veggie? The bright pink colour, sour, fruity taste and the fact that it is mostly used in desserts, makes us think it’s a fruit but it comes from the same family as sorrel and is most definitely a vegetable. While this can be ready as early as January, it is spring when the best crop becomes available. Rhubarb adds something different to sweet and savoury dishes but we love nothing more than a homemade crumble served with custard.
We know that the humble cauliflower is used all year round, but right now they are at their finest. We love a traditional cauliflower cheese after a busy day at work and it is of course the perfect accompaniment to pretty much any meal you make. If you want to up your cooking game, why not try to make cauliflower rice to go with your salmon, cut up and create cauliflower steaks for the BBQ, or you can find a recipe online and make a fab gluten free pizza base with cauliflower.
Purple sprouting broccoli
There isn’t long until the end of April, so we suggest you go for a serving of this vibrant vegetable ASAP. Not dissimilar to its green cousins, the purple florets offer a more delicate taste, as well as a splash of colour. Serve with chicken or fish, add a little garlic butter to bring out the flavour of your meat or use it to bring a simple salad to life by adding a few florets on the side.
A solid staple, that’s what the new potato is and it really cannot be beaten. With a sweet, nutty flavour and flaky skins, these potatoes have a firm texture so are perfect for potato salad made with fresh mayonnaise and chives. Add to a nutty salad, cut up into a casserole or layer onto of a Shepherd’ pie for a light crust.
We love these crisp, bright peppery vegetables and think should be added to every salad or you can pickle them and use as a delicate G&T garnish.
So, step away from the tins and get fresh in the kitchen this spring.