PICK OF THE MONTH LEEKS Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct flavour - quite harsh when raw (only very young leeks are eaten this way) but, when cooked, very delicate, like a mild onion but with a hint of sweetness. Best time to get them are from September to March. Some recipe suggestions: Wrap the trimmed white stems in either smoked salmon, Jamon or smoky bacon before baking under blanket of cheese sauce topped with garlic crumbs. OMG! WILD GARLIC In the UK, wild garlic has many peculiar identities - ‘bear’s garlic’, ‘devil’s garlic’, ‘gypsy’s onions’ and ‘stinking Jenny’ are just some of them. It’s no surprise that this seasonal ingredient is called so many names - it gives off an incredibly pungent smell in the wild. Unlike common cultivated garlic, it’s the leaves that are eaten rather than the bulbs. The taste is more delicate too, similar to the flavour of chives. So foraging for wild garlic is easy and yields some rewarding results in a short space of time. It always appears in large patches and can be gathered with ease. Wash thoroughly, blanch and blitz to a puree then stir into soups, stews, risotto, pesto, sauces, mayo… the list is endless! CAVELO NERO A loose-leafed cabbage from Tuscany, Italy. The leaves are a very dark green, almost black, hence its name, which translates as ‘black cabbage’. It has a pleasantly tangy, bitter flavour, with a sweet aftertaste. This hardy iron rich leaf is great with slow braises or stews, oxtail low ‘n’ slow is unbeatable with a side order of the green stuff. Finely shredded and stirred through the classic Italian ribollita, enriched with the bone from the proscuitto and a handful of borlotti beans. Or serve as simply as frying till crisp for a finishing flourish, or used to wrap around chicken or fish before steaming. SPRING GREENS The inner leaves of most leafy vegetables are pale green due to the lack of chlorophyll due to exposure to the light and photosynthesis. However, these dark green outer leaves lend themselves to brisk wok frying, toss in crushed peanuts, shredded ginger and finely chopped spring onions to finish. Steamed Jasmine rice and oyster sauce are all you need! The tender inner hearts simply need dressing up with a drizzle of oil and squeeze of citrus- best eaten raw or very lightly cooked.
WHAT’S IN SEASON? FRUIT APPLES BANANAS GRAPES MANGOES PEARS KIWIS FRESH QUINCE PINEAPPLES VEGETABLES MIXED SQUASH CURLY KALE CELERIAC ARTICHOKES CARROTS FENNEL CHERVIL ROOT PARSNIPS SAVOY CABBAGE LEEKS SALAD BABY RED CHARD MICRO CRESSES ENDIVE CELERY RADISH ROCKET SPRING ONIONS LOLLO ROSSO Remove from your menus Broccoli & Courgette - Still challenging products due to the poor weather in Spain during January and February. Focus on: British Leeks & Savoy Cabbage. Recipe: Wrap the trimmed white stems in either smoked salmon, Jamon or smoky bacon before baking under blanket of cheese sauce topped with garlic crumbs.