Seasonal food is important for extra freshness, value and flavour, find out what’s in season this month and how to make the most of seasonal flavours from our Farm shop.
A member of the cucurbit family, courgettes are related to watermelons, gherkins and cucumbers, courgettes are usually marrows harvested at a young age. Wash well and trim both ends, the courgette is a versatile ingredient and can be baked, fried, steamed or stewed.
A favourite in British salads (served cooked and pickled in vinegar), beetroot is a root vegetable with dark, purple skin and pink/purple flesh. It has also enjoyed something of a deserved comeback in recent years, its earthy, rich and sweet flavour and vibrant colour lends itself to a variety of both sweet and savoury dishes. Beetroot is a close relative of spinach and chard and has an earthy flavour and a good nutritional content it’s also reckoned to be a good detoxifier.
A small and very sweet, cherry tomatoes are pricier than salad tomatoes but their intense flavour is worth the extra money, also great salads, pasta sauces and roasted.
Although it’s technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a vegetable, with the most popular variety known as a bulbous, glossy, deep purple on the outside with an ivory mildly smokey flavour and flesh that’s spongey when raw but soft when cooked. To avoid discolouration, cut just before cooking, in the past, recipes called for aubergines to be sliced and salted before cooking to reduce their bitterness. As modern varieties are much less bitter that’s no longer necessary, unless you’re planning to fry them; aubergines soak up oil like a sponge, served great chargrilled in salads or a fantastic addition to a summer ratatouille.
Radishes are a member of the mustard family, radishes have a peppery flavour and a crisp, crunchy texture. Among the most popular varieties are the small, cherry-sized common variety which has a red skin and white flesh. Popular in salads with their mild flavour, rich in folic acid and potassium and are a good source of vitamin B6, magnesium, riboflavin, and calcium, they also look pretty on the plate.
A member of the rose family, raspberries have a wonderful intense, sweet taste, and many consider them to be the fullest of flavour of all the berries. Raspberries They are an essential ingredient in our classic desserts such as Summer pudding, great for mixing with other berries to make sweet jams and coulis.
Sweet, juicy and fragrant, peaches are one of the most delicious fruits around, they are covered with a velvety skin and most commonly have a red-blushed yellow skin and a juicy golden yellow flesh, great addition to pies, chutneys and salads or eaten just on their own.
At their best this mont a relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety skin that ranges from pale yellow to deep orange. Inside there’s a large kernel that will fall out easily if the flesh is ripe, delicious eaten on their own and popular in fruit salads.