Pink Radicchio – La Rosa del Veneto
Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands
So, what can we look forward to in the month of March (weather permitting)?
The first Wet Garlic from France and Italy.
English and French Wild Garlic leaves – sparse until it recovers from this cold spell.
Early Broad Beans, Fresh Peas, Wild Asparagus, cultivated Purple Asparagus, Minestra Cabbage and Broccolo di Bassano from Italy. Fragrant Candonga Strawberries from Italy and Gariguette Strawberries from France .
The last of the Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, its stalks thicker and more deeply coloured but tasting at its best.
Pale green Italian Courgettes and deep red, crunchy Tropea Onions.
Untreated Sicilian and other Italian Citrus. Expect Lemons, oranges, Bergamots and Cedro.
British Brassicas including Savoy Cabbage, green and purple hued January King, blistered-leaved Black Cabbage/Cavolo Nero, Kale, Brussels Sprouts and Brussels Tops, and Purple Sprouting Broccoli should be with us throughout.
English-grown Jerusalem Artichokes. They store well and so continue to be available, as do Beetroot, Turnips, Swede, Celeriac, Potatoes and Carrots. English Leeks too.
Italian Spinach, Chard, Cime di Rapa and members of the Chicory family, along with colourful bitter-leaved Radicchio.
Crunchy, juicy Agretti/Monk’s Beard will be around all through the month, excellent with fish or simply blanched and tossed in anchovy butter.
Expect to see Spiky Sardinian Artichokes, globes of Romaneschi Artichokes, medium-sized Tema Artichokes, the small purple Petit Violet Artichokes and Piccolo Artichokes too.
Providing tasty Tomatoes at this time of year is a challenge but the winter Marinda and salty, crunchy Camone continue and are at their best now. By the end of the month we hope to have some tasty new season hot-house varieties arriving.
Stimulating, iron-rich spring Nettles should be arriving from France soon, possibly before the end of the month.
Expect early Jersey Royal Potatoes and the French Ile de Ré and Noirmoutier Potatoes. All coastal-grown roots that bring a welcome rush of earthy salinity at this time of year.
Spring onions should start to arrive this month and, there could be home-grown Radishes.
We may see the first Morel Mushrooms - usually the first come from Canada, followed by Turkish ones.