Sorrento Tomatoes                                                        Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    JULY   June saw much more British-grown produce through the doors at Puntarelle & Co.  Strawberries, English Broad Beans and the sweetest of English Peas came in from Kent and there were Artichokes and proper peppery Watercress too.  We had Sicilian flat pink Cippolini Onions, Italian Tenerumi, Ligurian Basil and the first of the French Cherries including white  Rainier .

Sorrento Tomatoes                                                      Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

JULY

June saw much more British-grown produce through the doors at Puntarelle & Co.  Strawberries, English Broad Beans and the sweetest of English Peas came in from Kent and there were Artichokes and proper peppery Watercress too.  We had Sicilian flat pink Cippolini Onions, Italian Tenerumi, Ligurian Basil and the first of the French Cherries including white Rainier.

  Ligurian Basil (roots on)                                                                        Photo ©Evie Saffron  Strands   As I write this we are  entering the second week of July  and a word about pricing is due.  Prices at the farm gate and market are rising due to a combination of factors – the early effects of Brexit, on exchange rates in particular, a drop-off in available labour to harvest British produce; a higher demand for European produce from other parts of the world, particularly China.  We are trying our very best to keep down prices charged to our customers, but you will notice some increases.   In the arch right now we have:   Tomatoes  with real flavour and texture from Italy – the  Sorrento  in particular stand out.  Grown in the volcanic soil around Mount Vesuvius, don’t be fooled by their scarred appearance and, sometimes, green shoulders.  Their fleshiness and taste is exceptional.  The scent of  Ligurian Basil  is wafting across my desk.  We are particularly pleased when we can get this with the roots on which helps us get it to you at its best.   Italian Zucchini (Courgettes) , including a creamy fleshed  Rondo  variety.  From France there is new season  Leafy   Celeriac ,  La Ratte Potatoes  and  Brittany Artichokes.   Possibly the last of the really sweet  English Peas .  Fleshy, large-leaved English  Watercress  direct from the grower.   Norfolk Scrapers New Potatoes  have followed on from Jersey Royals and Cornish new potatoes.   Cucumbers  have joined the  English Spring Onions  and green  Kohlrabi  is here, looking less spectacular than the purple but tasting better.   We are welcoming the French and Italian  Melons  and the  Watermelons  from Greece in this hot spell.  They are, of course, getting better and better as July progresses.  Particularly luscious English  Cherries  have joined those arriving from France and there are plenty of  Strawberries  and  Raspberries  from Kent along with English  Gooseberries .  Sweet juicy  Nectarines  and  Peche de Vignes  (Blood Peaches) have arrived from France.  We have  Apricots  and the first  Black Figs  from France too.

Ligurian Basil (roots on)                                                                      Photo ©Evie SaffronStrands

As I write this we are entering the second week of July and a word about pricing is due.  Prices at the farm gate and market are rising due to a combination of factors – the early effects of Brexit, on exchange rates in particular, a drop-off in available labour to harvest British produce; a higher demand for European produce from other parts of the world, particularly China.  We are trying our very best to keep down prices charged to our customers, but you will notice some increases. 

In the arch right now we have:

Tomatoes with real flavour and texture from Italy – the Sorrento in particular stand out.  Grown in the volcanic soil around Mount Vesuvius, don’t be fooled by their scarred appearance and, sometimes, green shoulders.  Their fleshiness and taste is exceptional.

The scent of Ligurian Basil is wafting across my desk.  We are particularly pleased when we can get this with the roots on which helps us get it to you at its best.  Italian Zucchini (Courgettes), including a creamy fleshed Rondo variety.

From France there is new season Leafy Celeriac, La Ratte Potatoes and Brittany Artichokes.

Possibly the last of the really sweet English Peas.  Fleshy, large-leaved English Watercress direct from the grower.  Norfolk Scrapers New Potatoes have followed on from Jersey Royals and Cornish new potatoes.  Cucumbers have joined the English Spring Onions and green Kohlrabi is here, looking less spectacular than the purple but tasting better. 

We are welcoming the French and Italian Melons and the Watermelons from Greece in this hot spell.  They are, of course, getting better and better as July progresses.

Particularly luscious English Cherries have joined those arriving from France and there are plenty of Strawberries and Raspberries from Kent along with English Gooseberries.

Sweet juicy Nectarines and Peche de Vignes (Blood Peaches) have arrived from France.  We have Apricots and the first Black Figs from France too.

  English Runner Beans                                                    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    So, what new season produce can we     expect     to come through our doors through July?   It’s the month of  Climbing Beans , so expect  Borlotti ,  English Runner Beans ,  Fine Beans  and creamy French  Coco Beans .      Watercress  sourced direct from Kingfisher Farm in Surrey, who have been growing watercress for more than 150 years, should be with us a while longer and  English Aubergines  and  Courgettes  should be coming in.  English  Norfolk Scraper Potatoes  and  La Ratte  from   France.  There may be more early English potatoes as the month progresses.  Kent grown  Strawberries  and  Raspberries    continue and English  Gooseberries .  English  Cucumbers ,  Radishes ,  Spring Onions  and  Chard .  We expected English grown  Fennel  too but the crop isn’t doing too well this year so we await news.  Tastier  Sweetcorn  should be arriving from the Continent followed by the English crop.  Crunchy French  Grelot Onions  will continue through the month and we will have a good supply of  Round ,  Romana ,  Trompetta ,  White ,  Yellow  and  Green   Courgettes .   Ever-sweeter varieties of sun-ripened Italian and French  Tomatoes .  As always we will select the best including the wonderful  Sorrento Tomatoes  grown in the volcanic soil around Mount Vesuvius.  Unbeatable  Ligurian Basil  to go with them.  From France, new season  Celery ,  La Ratte Potatoes  and  Brittany Artichokes.    Large   Watermelons    from Italy .    Various varieties of    Melons  .      Round Peaches ,  Flat Peaches ,  Nectarines  and  Apricots .   There will be blood varieties of stone fruits too -  Pêche de Vigne    and     Nectavigne .

English Runner Beans                                                  Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

So, what new season produce can we expect to come through our doors through July?

It’s the month of Climbing Beans, so expect Borlotti, English Runner Beans, Fine Beans and creamy French Coco Beans.   

Watercress sourced direct from Kingfisher Farm in Surrey, who have been growing watercress for more than 150 years, should be with us a while longer and English Aubergines and Courgettes should be coming in.

English Norfolk Scraper Potatoes and La Ratte from France.  There may be more early English potatoes as the month progresses.

Kent grown Strawberries and Raspberries continue and English Gooseberries.

English Cucumbers, Radishes, Spring Onions and Chard.  We expected English grown Fennel too but the crop isn’t doing too well this year so we await news.

Tastier Sweetcorn should be arriving from the Continent followed by the English crop.

Crunchy French Grelot Onions will continue through the month and we will have a good supply of Round, Romana, Trompetta, White, Yellow and Green Courgettes

Ever-sweeter varieties of sun-ripened Italian and French Tomatoes.  As always we will select the best including the wonderful Sorrento Tomatoes grown in the volcanic soil around Mount Vesuvius.  Unbeatable Ligurian Basil to go with them.

From France, new season Celery, La Ratte Potatoes and Brittany Artichokes.

Large Watermelons from Italy.   Various varieties of Melons.  

Round Peaches, Flat Peaches, Nectarines and Apricots.   There will be blood varieties of stone fruits too - Pêche de Vigne and Nectavigne.

Superior Peaches from Puntarelle&Co Ltd                                       Photo©Puntarelle&Co Ltd

 

  French Black Figs                                                                                    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   Sticky and sweet  Black Figs  from France and Italy.   Red  and  White  varieties of  Cherries  from France and England and the  Black/White/Red Currants  are ripening.     We may see  Mirabelle  and  Greengage Plums  from France and  Green Almonds  are now in season.  Weather permitting, we may see some English  Apricots .     NEW in:   The first  French Black Figs  of the summer season arrived today.  Many fig trees produce one crop a year but some varieties from warmer areas produce a second crop.  This is borne on new stem growth of the current year.  The first fruits ripen in early summer and are large and luscious, while the second crop is smaller and ready to pick through late summer into autumn.  These early summer treats need no enhancement. They are good quartered and served with Prosciutto ham or make a delicious dessert served just as they come. 

French Black Figs                                                                                  Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Sticky and sweet Black Figs from France and Italy.

Red and White varieties of Cherries from France and England and the Black/White/Red Currants are ripening. 

We may see Mirabelle and Greengage Plums from France and Green Almonds are now in season.  Weather permitting, we may see some English Apricots.  

NEW in:

The first French Black Figs of the summer season arrived today.  Many fig trees produce one crop a year but some varieties from warmer areas produce a second crop.  This is borne on new stem growth of the current year.  The first fruits ripen in early summer and are large and luscious, while the second crop is smaller and ready to pick through late summer into autumn.

These early summer treats need no enhancement. They are good quartered and served with Prosciutto ham or make a delicious dessert served just as they come. 

  Feta Salad                                                                                                  Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   The heat of July brings with it a longing for cooling salads – the last thing we want to do at this time is stand at a hot stove.     This ‘recipe’ fits the bill.  I’ve deliberately called it Feta Salad, rather than Greek Salad, as this assemblage is the way we make it and may not bear scrutiny as truly authentic.  You could add thinly sliced red onion, which our Greek customers would approve of, I think, and some add sliced green pepper too.  Whether you peel your cucumber or not is a matter of preference and, maybe, the variety of cucumber.      Feta Salad    (Serves 4)   300-400g Feta Cheese, roughly crumbled  2-3 small Cucumbers (or 1 large), cut into chunks  2 vines of Tomatoes, halved  150g Black Olives (preferably Kalamata)  1 smalll Red Onion, thinly sliced (if liked)  1 green pepper (if liked)  1 tablespoon Red wine vinegar or Lemon juice  4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil  A little Fresh or dried Oregano (unless using herbed olives)  Mix together the wine vinegar/lemon juice and olive oil and add the oregano.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix carefully but thoroughly.  Particularly good served with Pita Bread to mop up the juices.

Feta Salad                                                                                                Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

The heat of July brings with it a longing for cooling salads – the last thing we want to do at this time is stand at a hot stove.   This ‘recipe’ fits the bill.  I’ve deliberately called it Feta Salad, rather than Greek Salad, as this assemblage is the way we make it and may not bear scrutiny as truly authentic.  You could add thinly sliced red onion, which our Greek customers would approve of, I think, and some add sliced green pepper too.  Whether you peel your cucumber or not is a matter of preference and, maybe, the variety of cucumber.

 

Feta Salad

(Serves 4)

300-400g Feta Cheese, roughly crumbled

2-3 small Cucumbers (or 1 large), cut into chunks

2 vines of Tomatoes, halved

150g Black Olives (preferably Kalamata)

1 smalll Red Onion, thinly sliced (if liked)

1 green pepper (if liked)

1 tablespoon Red wine vinegar or Lemon juice

4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A little Fresh or dried Oregano (unless using herbed olives)

Mix together the wine vinegar/lemon juice and olive oil and add the oregano.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix carefully but thoroughly.

Particularly good served with Pita Bread to mop up the juices.