Tag Archives: fruit

Cooking with the seasons – Summer*

Summer BerriesSummer is, of course, the best and easiest season in which to source fresh, locally grown produce.  However while supermarket shelves are heaving under the weight of fresh fruit and vegetables at this time of year, you need to be aware that many are still sourced from way beyond your direct area.  It’s quite possible that there are smaller, local producers selling many of the same products fresh from the fields and this is why I’m a fan of farm shops.  Seek them out and you will often be rewarded with the best fruit and veg money can buy and the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting traders in your own community.  

It may be that supermarket shopping is easier for you and that buying locally produced goods is less of a priority.  Whatever the case, Summertime gives us an enormous variety of fruit, veg, fish and meat which is at its best at this time of year.

SUMMER

Seasonal Vegetables

Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn-on-the-cob, Courgettes (Zucchini), Fennel, Green beans, Green peas, Herbs (Basil, Chives, Dill, Fenugreek, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme), Jersey New Potatoes, Kiwi Fruit, Marrow (Squash), New Potatoes, Peppers, Rhadishes, Rocket, Runner beans, Salad ingredients, Sorrel, Spring Onions, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress

Seasonal Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blueberries,   Cherries, Gooseberries, Elderflowers, Loganberries, Melons, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Redcurrents, Red water melon, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Tayberries,

Seasonal Meat & Game

Lamb, Wood Pigeon

Seasonal Fish

Cod, Clams, Crab, Dover Sole, Grey mullet, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Lobster, Mackerel, Pike, Pilchards (Sardines), Plaice, Prawns, Salmon, Sardines, Scottish Squid, Sea Bass, Sea Trout, Trout

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*(Seasons and availability of produce obviously varies from country to country depending on geographical location.   This list is primarily based around location in the UK & western Europe).

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Cooking with the seasons – Spring*

salad-bowl1To cook the best food you need to use the best ingredients, but this needn’t involve huge expense if you buy with the seasons.  Local produce is obviously the freshest and most cost effective but even food that has to be imported from elsewhere follows seasons when it is at its best, is more readily available and therefore cheaper. 

SPRING

Seasonal Vegetables 

Asparagus, Avocado pears, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Butter beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Chicory, Chives, Courgettes, Leeks, Mint, Mushrooms, New potatoes, Parsley, Peas (beginning in May), Peppers, Purple sprouting broccoli, Radishes,  Salads, Spinach, Spring greens, Turnips, Watercress

Seasonal Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Gooseberries, Grapefruit, Grapes,Pears, Pineapples, Rhubarb

Seasonal Meat

Hare, Rabbit, Lamb

Seasonal Fish

Cockles, Crab, Lobster, Mackerel, Mussels, Oysters, Pollack, Salmon, Sardines, Sea Trout

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*(Seasons and availability of produce obviously varies from country to country depending on geographical location.   This list is primarily based around location in the UK & western Europe).

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Storing food: Tin cans and aluminium

TinManWhenever you open a tin of food, if you’re not going to use the whole amount put any spare in a bowl or other food container, cover and store in the fridge.  Never store food in an opened tin, either the original or re-using old, (cleaned!) tins.  This is because when a can has been opened and the food is exposed to the air the metal of the can may start to transfer.  (This doesn’t of course apply to tins specifically manufactured and supplied with a reasealable cap, such as cocoa).

Similarly, be careful when using kitchen foil to store food.  Acidic foods like rhubarb, tomatoes and many soft fruits may well react with aluminium foil, allowing trace metal to migrate into the food.  At best your food will have a metallic taste, at worst it could present a health risk.

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Cooking with the seasons – Winter

BroccoliSourcing seasonal food, particularly if it is grown in your area, means that you will be buying produce at its freshest and cheapest.  In Winter (UK), look for the following local and imported produce:

Seasonal Vegetables:

Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Brussel tops, Cabbage/greens, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac (celery root), Celery, Jerusalem Artichoke, Kale, Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Red cabbage, Shallot, Swede (rutabaga, yellow turnip), Sweet potatoes

Seasonal Fruits & Nuts:

Apples, Brazil nuts, Chestnuts, Clementines, Cob nuts, Cox’s apples, Cranberries, Dried fruits, Hazlenuts, Lemons, Limes, Mandarins, Oranges, Pears, Pineapples, Satsumas, Walnuts

Meat / Fish and Poultry

Beef, Pork    /    Cod, Flounder, Hake, Halibut, Herrings, Mackerel, Mussels, Plaice, Skate, Sea bream, Sole, Sprats, Whiting    /    Chicken, Goose, Guinea fowl, Turkey.

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