Eat (Early) Summer
Coming up with meal suggestions during lockdown definitely gets easier as we move into summer.
If you're (hopefully) buying and ordering in your deliveries from local box schemes, farm shops and so on, you'll discover food packed with so much flavour that it only requires the simplest cooking. Try, for example, asparagus and Isle of Wight tomatoes roasted with a splash of rapeseed oil; pan-roasted fish; new potatoes served with torn mint or a sprinkling of finely chopped spring onions and a knob of butter; and a simply dressed salad of crunchy, peppery watercress and spinach leaves. Don't forget a bowl of strawberries for dessert - for extra indulgence, serve with local ice cream.
So what's in season now? The warm days have brought on soft fruits - so expect blueberries, cherries, gooseberries and strawberries.
There's an abundance of squeaky fresh greens and other vegetables coming into season now. Asparagus is still available. In addition there's tender broccoli, globe artichokes, aubergine, broad beans, french beans, peas, mangetout, salad leaves, samphire, spinach, cauliflower, carrots, new potatoes, radish, rocket, spring onions, tomatoes and watercress. As for herbs and spices there are chillies, chives, coriander, dill, garlic, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, sorrel, rosemary and tarragon.
Seafood is a great summertime choice as it is so light with delicate flavours. The following are available now: cod, coley, crab, flounder, haddock, herring, John Dory, lobster, plaice, pollack, prawn, salmon, sardines, sea bream, shrimp, brown trout. Ask your local fishmonger about sustainability and how to prepare and cook your fish.
So eat well by eating seasonally - for your health, the environment and local economy.