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Eat the Seasons - May 2015


Fruits & Nuts
Cherries, Elderflowers, Rhubarb
Vegetables & Herbs
Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, Lettuce, New Potatoes, Radishes, Rocket, Sorrel, Spinah, Spring Onions, Watercress
Meat & Game
Lamb, Wood Pigeon
Fish & Shellfish
Cod, Crab, Dover Sole, Hailbut, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Plaice, Salmon, Sea Bass, Sea Trout

Going out of season
Morel Mushrooms

Summer is most definitely in the air this month, with some amazing sunny days ensuring a really good start to the growing season for UK produce.  This month British classics will pave the way with majestic Jersey Royal potatoes, juicy peas, broad beans, samphire, wonderful peppery watercress, succulent spring lamb and of course May’s crowing glory - the sublime, delicately flavoured British asparagus all in the shops. 

 

Each fruit or vegetable has a specific time when it’s at its seasonal best. Some are great for half of the year or more; others only hit their peak for a month. Whatever the case you can be sure it means extra flavour, extra crunch, extra juiciness — food that is super-fresh and great value. The asparagus season in particular only lasts a few weeks from April to mid-June so make the most of it while you can; although you can get Asparagus all year round it is well worth making the most of the UK season when you can enjoy exceptional flavour and outstanding quality at very good prices.

 

If preparing a salad to go with fish why not try samphire, a sea vegetable that grows abundantly on shorelines, marshy shallows and on salty mudflats.  It has a distinctive crisp texture, salty flavour and tastes of the sea.  Good fishmongers sell samphire at this time of year and it can be served fresh in salads or laced with melted butter as a vegetable.  Make sure you wash it thoroughly under running water and don't add salt to the cooking water.

 

This month I would like to share our recipe for Elderflower Cordial – perfect for a sunny day in the garden.  For children & teetotallers it is wonderful with sparkling water or apple juice, for adults add a dessert spoonful to locally made Little Bird Gin mixed with Fever Tree Tonic, sparkling wine, or experiment with other spirits (we like it with vodka too)!  Embrace your inner ‘hunter gatherer’ (with the landowners permission!!) and get picking those flower heads!

 

Elderflower Cordial

 

Ingredients

 


  • 30 elderflower heads
  • 1.7 litres (3 pints) boiling water
  • 900g (2lb) caster sugar
  • 50g (2oz) citric acid (available from chemists)
  • 2 unwaxed oranges, sliced
  • 3 unwaxed lemons, sliced
  • 1 Vanilla Pod, split in 2 with the seeds scraped out


Method:

  • Gently rinse over the elderflowers to remove any dirt
  • Pour the boiling water over the sugar in a very large mixing bowl.  Stir well and leave to cool.
  • Add the citric acid, the orange and lemon slices, vanilla pod and seeds, and then the flowers.
  • Leave in a cool place for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Strain through some muslin and transfer to sterilised bottles.