March: Spring Flavours
With the warmer weather and lighter evenings finally on the horizon, we have an array of Spring’s finest fresh produce coming into season and ready to compliment your menus.
Purple sprouting broccoli
The more colourful sibling of regular broccoli, the purple sprouting variety is leafier in texture and deeper in colour. Unlike other broccoli plants, which produce a single large head, Purple Sprouting broccoli plants produce smaller heads with multitudes of tender side shoots. These shoots often taste especially sweet due to their exposure to cooler temperatures.
Due to the length of time taken to grow, Purple sprouting broccoli is at its best in March.
Rhubarb originally came from Asia. It was brought to Europe in the 1600s and to America not long thereafter. Botanically, a vegetable, the stalks are the only edible part of the rhubarb plant and are deemed a fruit. These have a rich, tart flavour when cooked.
Make the most of British grown rhubarb which begins to disappear after April. We stock Rhubarb from our suppliers Wye Valley Produce grown by fourth-generation farmers, the Chinn family, in the Wye Valley, near Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire.
Labour-intensive to grow, asparagus are the young shoots of a cultivated lily plant. The first stalks of asparagus are beginning to appear in places like the Wye Valley, but it’s best to wait until the end of March when they really start to taste their best.
While French asparagus is purple, the British and American varieties are green. In contrast, Spanish, and much Dutch asparagus, is white because it’s grown beneath the soil and cut just as the tips emerge.
Wild garlic comes into season in late March-April. The flowers can be used to add flavour to anything from sauces, butters and pesto.
We’re particularly taken with @qualitychop’s new dish – Bath chap, hand dived scallop, wild garlic and burnt apple and @noize_restaurants’s Salmon, crushed potatoes, broccoli, monksbeard and wild garlic sauce.