SEASONAL PRODUCE NEWS – AUGUST 2017

  English Plums           Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands       AUGUST   July was the month those sweet English peas just kept on coming and we feasted on English Berries and Cherries; when Coco de Paimpol Beans and the first black figs arrived from France; when rosy Apricots and Peaches from Southern Europe appeared; and the Tomato selection from Italy included the wonderful  Sorrento  variety grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, their scarred skins belying their special taste and texture.      In the arch, as I write in the first week of August, we have:   Several varieties of great quality  English Aubergines  along with  Corn on the Cob , crunchy  Runner Beans ,  Bobbi Beans  and four varieties of firm, creamy  Courgettes .   Watercress  direct from our Sussex grower.  English  Plums  have joined the French and Italian varieties.   English Berries  from our farmer in Kent have moved on to  ‘  Autumn’ Raspberries  and  Blackberries .  We collected the first  English Pears  from Brogdale fruit farm last week so their season is now underway and this week we have a tiny sweet variety called Bambinella direct from them.   English Cherries , so good this year, are coming towards the end of their true season but we have the delicious, dark red Sweetheart variety this week.  We have several types of  Climbing Beans  from France and Italy and now English ones too including  Runner Beans  and  Bobbi Beans .  We have bunches of fresh  English Herbs  – Coriander, Dill, Mint and Parsley   Fragola Grapes  (Strawberry Grapes) are here from Italy and  Muscat Grapes  from France.   Watermelons  from Italy too.    From Italy, again we have  Flat and Round Peaches  and  Nectarines .   Tomatoes , including the  Sorrento  grown in the rich volcanic soil surrounding Mount Vesuvius and the  San Marzano  plum variety.  Highly fragrant roots-on  Ligurian Basil  continues to arrive.  This week, from Spain, comes  Purple Figs .  France has contributed the Blood varieties of stone fruits  Peche de Vigne  and  Nectavigne .  There are highly perfumed  Charentais Melons  and  Reine Claude Plums  along with sweet, fragrant,  Mirabelles .

English Plums         Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

 

AUGUST

July was the month those sweet English peas just kept on coming and we feasted on English Berries and Cherries; when Coco de Paimpol Beans and the first black figs arrived from France; when rosy Apricots and Peaches from Southern Europe appeared; and the Tomato selection from Italy included the wonderful Sorrento variety grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, their scarred skins belying their special taste and texture.

 

In the arch, as I write in the first week of August, we have:

Several varieties of great quality English Aubergines along with Corn on the Cob, crunchy Runner Beans, Bobbi Beans and four varieties of firm, creamy CourgettesWatercress direct from our Sussex grower.  English Plums have joined the French and Italian varieties.  English Berries from our farmer in Kent have moved on to Autumn’ Raspberries and Blackberries.  We collected the first English Pears from Brogdale fruit farm last week so their season is now underway and this week we have a tiny sweet variety called Bambinella direct from them.  English Cherries, so good this year, are coming towards the end of their true season but we have the delicious, dark red Sweetheart variety this week.

We have several types of Climbing Beans from France and Italy and now English ones too including Runner Beans and Bobbi Beans.  We have bunches of fresh English Herbs – Coriander, Dill, Mint and Parsley

Fragola Grapes (Strawberry Grapes) are here from Italy and Muscat Grapes from France.  Watermelons from Italy too.  

From Italy, again we have Flat and Round Peaches and NectarinesTomatoes, including the Sorrento grown in the rich volcanic soil surrounding Mount Vesuvius and the San Marzano plum variety.  Highly fragrant roots-on Ligurian Basil continues to arrive.

This week, from Spain, comes Purple Figs.

France has contributed the Blood varieties of stone fruits Peche de Vigne and Nectavigne.  There are highly perfumed Charentais Melons and Reine Claude Plums along with sweet, fragrant, Mirabelles.

  English Corn on the Cob             Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   This summer is racing by and many fruits and vegetables are starting early.   Very hot temperatures on the European Continent and unseasonably cool, wet weather in the UK is undoubtedly affecting crops.   So, what new season produce can we     hope for during August?      English Aubergines  should continue along with  Corn on the Cob ,  English Runner Beans ,  Green Beans  and  Bobbi Beans  along with varieties  Courgettes .     Watercress  direct from our Sussex grower and bunches of fresh  English Herbs .  We should see more varieties of  English Plum  including the dusky, bitter Damson Plum much prized by our jam-making customers.  English  ‘  Autumn’ Raspberries  and  Blackberries  should be available throughout the month, and look out for  Kent Cobnuts  later in the month.   The  English Pear  season is now underway and  Apples , including  ‘Discovery’  traditionally the first apple to be harvested and  ‘George Cave’  are here with more varieties to look forward too soon.  We may see some  English Apricots  this month, though the lack of sun and warmth is an issue.  A small amount of  English Cherries  may still be around in August, the latest variety we have had being the very dark fleshed  ‘Sweetheart’ .    Fragola Grapes  (Strawberry Grapes) from Italy should be joined by  Muscat Grapes  from France.     Watermelons  from Greece should continue.    From Italy,  Flat and Round Peaches  and  Nectarines  if the hot weather on the Continent hasn’t been too destructive.   Tomatoes , including we hope the   Sorrento   grown in the rich volcanic soil surrounding Mount Vesuvius.  We hope too that the highly fragrant roots-on  Ligurian Basil  will continue.  From France,   luscious  Black Figs  as well as the Blood varieties of stone fruits  Peche de Vigne  and  Nectavigne  , highly perfumed  Charentais Melons  and a couple more weeks of sweet, fragrant,  Mirabelles .   Reine Claude Plums  should continue a little longer and English Greengages are likely to join them.  A greater variety of new season  Potatoes  will be arriving as the Earlies come to an end and Maincrop varieties are harvested.  The hoped for Organic  English Fennel  from our grower has been attacked by pests this year but we will have bulbs from other sources throughout the month.

English Corn on the Cob           Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

This summer is racing by and many fruits and vegetables are starting early.   Very hot temperatures on the European Continent and unseasonably cool, wet weather in the UK is undoubtedly affecting crops.  So, what new season produce can we hope for during August?  

English Aubergines should continue along with Corn on the Cob, English Runner Beans, Green Beans and Bobbi Beans along with varieties Courgettes.  

Watercress direct from our Sussex grower and bunches of fresh English Herbs.

We should see more varieties of English Plum including the dusky, bitter Damson Plum much prized by our jam-making customers.

English Autumn’ Raspberries and Blackberries should be available throughout the month, and look out for Kent Cobnuts later in the month. 

The English Pear season is now underway and Apples, including ‘Discovery’ traditionally the first apple to be harvested and ‘George Cave’ are here with more varieties to look forward too soon.  We may see some English Apricots this month, though the lack of sun and warmth is an issue.  A small amount of English Cherries may still be around in August, the latest variety we have had being the very dark fleshed ‘Sweetheart’

Fragola Grapes (Strawberry Grapes) from Italy should be joined by Muscat Grapes from France.  

Watermelons from Greece should continue.  

From Italy, Flat and Round Peaches and Nectarines if the hot weather on the Continent hasn’t been too destructive.  Tomatoes, including we hope the Sorrento grown in the rich volcanic soil surrounding Mount Vesuvius.  We hope too that the highly fragrant roots-on Ligurian Basil will continue.

From France, luscious Black Figs as well as the Blood varieties of stone fruits Peche de Vigne and Nectavigne , highly perfumed Charentais Melons and a couple more weeks of sweet, fragrant, MirabellesReine Claude Plums should continue a little longer and English Greengages are likely to join them.

A greater variety of new season Potatoes will be arriving as the Earlies come to an end and Maincrop varieties are harvested.

The hoped for Organic English Fennel from our grower has been attacked by pests this year but we will have bulbs from other sources throughout the month.

  Our Lacto Fermented Fridge             Photo ©Puntarelle&Co     NEW Brand:   As you will have seen from our fridge, we have been developing fermented products based on a modern interpretation of our heritage of minimum waste and preserving the seasons.  Scientific studies have shown that the nutritional value of vegetables can be enhanced by lactic acid fermentation.  Their beneficial effects on digestive and other aspects of our health is a subject close to our hearts.    We will be launching our new brand  London Fermentary  in the near future and you will start to see it appearing on the labels on our fermented products.  Please continue to enjoy our ferments and any feedback you can give us will be welcomed.  This will help us focus on the ones we should keep. 

Our Lacto Fermented Fridge           Photo ©Puntarelle&Co

NEW Brand:

As you will have seen from our fridge, we have been developing fermented products based on a modern interpretation of our heritage of minimum waste and preserving the seasons.  Scientific studies have shown that the nutritional value of vegetables can be enhanced by lactic acid fermentation.  Their beneficial effects on digestive and other aspects of our health is a subject close to our hearts.  

We will be launching our new brand London Fermentary in the near future and you will start to see it appearing on the labels on our fermented products.  Please continue to enjoy our ferments and any feedback you can give us will be welcomed.  This will help us focus on the ones we should keep. 

  French Black Figs             Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   The weather in London may have taken a strange Autumnal turn but salads are still on the menu.  This recipe is a seasonal marriage of green beans and figs, both of which are at their best right now.  You could use Runner Beans, French Green Beans, or the Bobbi Beans variety we have.  If all you want is those beautiful figs, I can’t think of anything better than to cut them in half and eat with a spoonful of ripe Gorgonzola.       Salad of Green Beans and Figs    (Serves 4)   300g Runner Beans or Green beans or Bobbi Beans  4 ripe figs  1 good handful of Rocket leaves  60g Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler     Dressing:  1 tablespoon Moscatel vinegar  1 teaspoon runny honey  3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil  Salt and pepper  Mix the Dressing ingredients.  Bring a pan of water to the boil and salt it.  Top and tail (and slice if using Runners) the beans.  Add to the water, bring back to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes until the beans still have a little bite.  Drain, plunge into cold water (to retain the colour) then dry on kitchen paper.    When ready to serve, re-emulsify the dressing, toss the beans in it then divide them between four plates.  Briefly place the rocket leaves in the dressing left in the bowl then add to the plates.  Quarter the figs and arrange on the plates.  Add the shaved parmesan and pour over any remaining dressing.   

French Black Figs           Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

The weather in London may have taken a strange Autumnal turn but salads are still on the menu.  This recipe is a seasonal marriage of green beans and figs, both of which are at their best right now.  You could use Runner Beans, French Green Beans, or the Bobbi Beans variety we have.  If all you want is those beautiful figs, I can’t think of anything better than to cut them in half and eat with a spoonful of ripe Gorgonzola.    

Salad of Green Beans and Figs

(Serves 4)

300g Runner Beans or Green beans or Bobbi Beans

4 ripe figs

1 good handful of Rocket leaves

60g Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler

 

Dressing:

1 tablespoon Moscatel vinegar

1 teaspoon runny honey

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Mix the Dressing ingredients.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and salt it.  Top and tail (and slice if using Runners) the beans.  Add to the water, bring back to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes until the beans still have a little bite.  Drain, plunge into cold water (to retain the colour) then dry on kitchen paper.  

When ready to serve, re-emulsify the dressing, toss the beans in it then divide them between four plates.  Briefly place the rocket leaves in the dressing left in the bowl then add to the plates.  Quarter the figs and arrange on the plates.  Add the shaved parmesan and pour over any remaining dressing.