Chicoria (Catalogna Naturala)
Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands
Right now, produce coming through our doors is truly autumnal. The array of earthy root vegetables and mildly bitter brassicas is increasing by the week. Italy and France are contributing too with Artichokes, Radishes and Chicories. Navelina Oranges are already arriving from Italy to top up the Clementines coming in from both Italy and Spain. Writing on 3 November, we see:
British Brassicas including Black Cabbage (Cavolo Nero) and Kale, Brussel Sprouts and Brussel Tops, Cauliflower and Romanesco, deep-green, crinkly Savoy Cabbage and beautiful green and purple January King Cabbage.
English Purple Sprouting Broccoli and outstanding Rainbow Chard bring vibrancy to the arch.
Root vegetables including Swede, Beetroot, organic Heritage Carrots, Parsley Root, Celeriac and Jerusalem Artichokes are all British grown this week, as are the Leeks and the first Fenland Celery.
Eau de Nil Kohlrabi and small white Tokyo Turnips from Italy and, of course, we have Roscoff Onions from France.
From France we have various crunchy Radishes and fat cigar-like Salsify.
From Italy, the cold-weather bitter greens are coming into their own with Puntarelle (Catalogna), Chicoria (Catalogna Naturala), and Cime di Rapa (Rapini). More ‘bitters’ are here in the form of Radicchio Treviso, Castelfranco and Escarole and we have beautiful Spiky Artichokes from Sardinia too.
Winter Squash and Pumpkins are to the fore now, including English Red Kuri (Onion Squash), French Spaghetti Squash and Musquee de Provence Pumpkins and Delica Pumpkins from Italy.
Watercress from our Sussex Farmer continues to arrive and we have English Walnuts too.
Mushrooms from Europe this week include Chanterelles, Porcini, Milk Caps (Lactarius) and orange/white hued Ovoli (named for its resemblance to an egg when very young).
Potato varieties are increasing. This week we have Cyprus and Desiree and both of our waxy-fleshed favourites: English Pink Fir Apple and La Ratte from France.
Lautrec Garlic and Smoked Garlic from France continue.
Apple varieties from our Kent farmer this week are Cox, Spartan and Russet and we have Bramley cooking apples from them too. The Pears have been particularly good this year and we have varieties Comice and Conference.
Pomegranates this week come from Sicily and Spain. We also have ripe Cachi/Persimmons from Italy and large Quince from France.
Navelina Oranges have arrived from Italy. They are early so some are a little on the sharp side but perfect for making Caramelised Oranges if they prove too sharp for your taste, and there are Clementines too.