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Eat the Seasons - May 2014


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

At this time of year each month brings an exciting new selection of fresh produce packed with flavour, and salads begin to take on a whole new identity.  One of my favourites, British Asparagus is now in season, but only for a few weeks from the end of April to mid-June.  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.

By the end of the month spring lamb will be readily available.  The delicate, pale meat is incredibly tender with a fine grain and white crumbly fat to keep it succulent.  If roasting allow the joint to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving so that the juices can disperse, and the meat relax. 

English Asparagus Puff Pastry Spears
These are easy to make and guaranteed to delight your guests.

Ingredients

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  • Roll the puff pastry out on a floured surface into an 15cmx20cm/6inx8in rectangle and spread all over with the cream cheese.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 10 long, thin strips.
  • Wrap one pastry strip in a spiral around each asparagus spear and place onto a baking tray. Lightly brush each with beaten egg then scatter over the parmesan.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is golden-brown.
 
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