Marinda Winter Tomatoes    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    JANUARY   An early nip of frost in December brought a tasty mix of English brassicas to our shelves.  Cabbages, Kales, Brussels Sprouts and Tops all benefited from the cold snap.  Italian bitter greens, Radicchio and Endives came to the fore.  Our mourning for the sweet tomatoes of summer was eased by the arrival of crunchy, salty Marinda and Camone winter varieties.   Weather conditions delayed our longed for Sicilian Tarocco Oranges, though we did have some Moro blood oranges for our customers to take home for Christmas.

Marinda Winter Tomatoes

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

JANUARY

An early nip of frost in December brought a tasty mix of English brassicas to our shelves.  Cabbages, Kales, Brussels Sprouts and Tops all benefited from the cold snap.  Italian bitter greens, Radicchio and Endives came to the fore.  Our mourning for the sweet tomatoes of summer was eased by the arrival of crunchy, salty Marinda and Camone winter varieties.   Weather conditions delayed our longed for Sicilian Tarocco Oranges, though we did have some Moro blood oranges for our customers to take home for Christmas.

  Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   As we enter what is normally the coldest month of the year, there is a surprising amount to look forward to in the fruit and vegetable world to cut through the cold and grey.  Vibrant pink Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, new season citrus; bitter-sweet yellow/green, pink and red Chicories; and the greens and purples of the brassicas are just the start.   As I write we have:      Tender pink stems of  Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb .    Seville Oranges  for making bitter marmalade and buttery curd.   Blood Oranges  for juicing or salads.  Deep red sweet-sharp  Pomegranates .  Crunchy, salty  Camone and Marinda Winter Tomatoes .  Bunches of the Mediterranean succulent Barba di Frate/Agretti/Monk’s Beard.  Bitter-sweet Italian  Chicoria  including  Puntarelle  (Catalogna) and  Cime di Rapa .  Several varieties of colourful bitter-sweet  Radicchio  and, milder,  Endive .  British  Brassicas  including  Savoy Cabbage , spectacular green and purple hued  January King , blistered  Black Cabbage  (Cavolo Nero), green and purple vitamin and mineral rich  Kale ,  Brussels Sprouts  and  Brussels Tops  which have benefited from a kiss of frost.  Beautiful English  Purple Sprouting Broccoli ,  Cauliflower  and swirling lime-green  Romanesco , with the creaminess of cauliflower and the taste of broccoli.    Root vegetables including  Celeriac ,  Jerusalem Artichokes ,  Swede ,  Beetroot  and   organic  Heritage Carrots  are all British grown this week, as are the  Leeks .  A variety of  Winter Squash  and  Pumpkins .   Potato  varieties this week are  Cyprus  and  Desiree ,  Maris Piper , and waxy-fleshed  Pink Fir Apple  and  La Ratte .  Fresh organic  Ginger Root  and  Turmeric Root .  A freshly-stocked  londonfermentary.com  fridge.

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

As we enter what is normally the coldest month of the year, there is a surprising amount to look forward to in the fruit and vegetable world to cut through the cold and grey.  Vibrant pink Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, new season citrus; bitter-sweet yellow/green, pink and red Chicories; and the greens and purples of the brassicas are just the start.  As I write we have:

 

Tender pink stems of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb

Seville Oranges for making bitter marmalade and buttery curd.

Blood Oranges for juicing or salads.

Deep red sweet-sharp Pomegranates.

Crunchy, salty Camone and Marinda Winter Tomatoes.

Bunches of the Mediterranean succulent Barba di Frate/Agretti/Monk’s Beard.

Bitter-sweet Italian Chicoria including Puntarelle (Catalogna) and Cime di Rapa.

Several varieties of colourful bitter-sweet Radicchio and, milder, Endive.

British Brassicas including Savoy Cabbage, spectacular green and purple hued January King, blistered Black Cabbage (Cavolo Nero), green and purple vitamin and mineral rich Kale, Brussels Sprouts and Brussels Tops which have benefited from a kiss of frost.

Beautiful English Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Cauliflower and swirling lime-green Romanesco, with the creaminess of cauliflower and the taste of broccoli.  

Root vegetables including Celeriac, Jerusalem Artichokes, Swede, Beetroot and organic Heritage Carrots are all British grown this week, as are the Leeks.

A variety of Winter Squash and Pumpkins.

Potato varieties this week are Cyprus and Desiree, Maris Piper, and waxy-fleshed Pink Fir Apple and La Ratte.

Fresh organic Ginger Root and Turmeric Root.

A freshly-stocked londonfermentary.com fridge.

  Radicchio Treviso    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   Writing from the viewpoint of the first week of January, here is the  produce we     expect to have for you in the first month of the New Year:     Tender pink stems of  Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb ,  Blood Oranges  for juicing and  Seville Oranges  for making bitter marmalade and buttery curd and deep-red  Pomegranates  will all be here   throughout the month.   You can expect to see crunchy, salty  Camone and Marinda Winter Tomatoes  too.  The Citrus will get ever-more interesting as the month progresses with our longed-for Sicilian fruits, including  Tarocco Oranges , arriving at last.  The season for the Mediterranean succulent  Barba di Frate/Agretti/Monk’s Beard , which pairs so well with fish, has just started so you will find this on our shelves.  Varieties of bitter-leaved Italian  Chicória  including  Puntarelle  (Catalogna) and  Cime di Rapa  along with colourful bitter-sweet  Radicchio  and, milder,  Endive  will continue to arrive.  British  Brassicas  including  Savoy Cabbage , spectacular green and purple hued  January King , several varieties of Kale, including blistered-leaved  Black Cabbage  (Cavolo Nero),  Brussels Sprouts  and  Brussels Tops  will be happy in our cold winter.  English  Purple Sprouting Broccoli ,  Cauliflower  and swirling lime-green  Romanesco  with the creaminess of cauliflower and taste of mild broccoli will be in too.    British Root vegetables, of course, including  Celeriac ,  Jerusalem Artichokes ,  Swede ,  Beetroot  and   organic  Heritage Carrots .  There should be English  Leeks  too.   Potato  varieties will include  Cyprus  and  Desiree ,  Maris Piper , and waxy-fleshed  Pink Fir Apple  and  La Ratte .  Those stalwarts of the cold months  Winter Squash  and  Pumpkins  will be available throughout the month.      Dessert Apple  and  Cooking Apple  varieties will be in from our Kent farmer, though pears will be coming from farther afield now.    As usual we will have fresh organic  Ginger Root  and  Turmeric Root  which we also use at   londonfermentary.com   

Radicchio Treviso

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Writing from the viewpoint of the first week of January, here is the produce we expect to have for you in the first month of the New Year:  

Tender pink stems of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, Blood Oranges for juicing and Seville Oranges for making bitter marmalade and buttery curd and deep-red Pomegranates will all be here throughout the month. 

You can expect to see crunchy, salty Camone and Marinda Winter Tomatoes too.

The Citrus will get ever-more interesting as the month progresses with our longed-for Sicilian fruits, including Tarocco Oranges, arriving at last.

The season for the Mediterranean succulent Barba di Frate/Agretti/Monk’s Beard, which pairs so well with fish, has just started so you will find this on our shelves.

Varieties of bitter-leaved Italian Chicória including Puntarelle (Catalogna) and Cime di Rapa along with colourful bitter-sweet Radicchio and, milder, Endive will continue to arrive.

British Brassicas including Savoy Cabbage, spectacular green and purple hued January King, several varieties of Kale, including blistered-leaved Black Cabbage (Cavolo Nero), Brussels Sprouts and Brussels Tops will be happy in our cold winter.

English Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Cauliflower and swirling lime-green Romanesco with the creaminess of cauliflower and taste of mild broccoli will be in too.  

British Root vegetables, of course, including Celeriac, Jerusalem Artichokes, Swede, Beetroot and organic Heritage Carrots.

There should be English Leeks too.

Potato varieties will include Cyprus and Desiree, Maris Piper, and waxy-fleshed Pink Fir Apple and La Ratte.

Those stalwarts of the cold months Winter Squash and Pumpkins will be available throughout the month.

 

Dessert Apple and Cooking Apple varieties will be in from our Kent farmer, though pears will be coming from farther afield now.  

As usual we will have fresh organic Ginger Root and Turmeric Root which we also use at  londonfermentary.com  

  Cavolo Nero/Black Cabbage     Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd    GOOD TO KNOW:     *** Puntarelle & Co will be back from holidays and trading normally from 12/13 January 2018 ***

Cavolo Nero/Black Cabbage

Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd

GOOD TO KNOW: 

*** Puntarelle & Co will be back from holidays and trading normally from 12/13 January 2018 ***

  Agretti/ Barba di frate /Monk’s Beard    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   The Mediterranean vegetable  Agretti , also known as  Barba di frate  or  Monk’s Beard  has the mineral sharpness of spinach with an added grassy succulence that compares with English Samphire.  Boiled briefly in salted water, it makes a fantastic accompaniment to fish and is excellent added to a fish broth.  If you want to make this vegetable the main event, rather than an addition, here’s a simple idea that can be used in two different ways:   Agretti with Anchovy Butter   (Serves 2)  1 Bunch of Agretti  60g (2 oz) unsalted butter  1 small tin (around 50g) anchovies  Pepper  Wash the Agretti well, trim off any tough roots before adding to boiling salted water.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, drain and refresh in a bowl of cold water.  Melt the butter gently, drain the anchovies of their oil and add the fish to the butter.  Cook, stirring, just until the anchovies break down to form a butter sauce.    Drain the Agretti and add it to the sauce with a grinding of pepper.  Heat through gently.  To serve:     Pile onto two slices of toasted bread   OR  Add cooked spaghetti, linguine or other ribbon pasta and toss through the sauce to coat the pasta, adding a spoonful or two of pasta water to loosen the mix.  Top with fried breadcrumbs.

Agretti/ Barba di frate /Monk’s Beard

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

The Mediterranean vegetable Agretti, also known as Barba di frate or Monk’s Beard has the mineral sharpness of spinach with an added grassy succulence that compares with English Samphire.  Boiled briefly in salted water, it makes a fantastic accompaniment to fish and is excellent added to a fish broth.  If you want to make this vegetable the main event, rather than an addition, here’s a simple idea that can be used in two different ways:

Agretti with Anchovy Butter

(Serves 2)

1 Bunch of Agretti

60g (2 oz) unsalted butter

1 small tin (around 50g) anchovies

Pepper

Wash the Agretti well, trim off any tough roots before adding to boiling salted water.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, drain and refresh in a bowl of cold water.

Melt the butter gently, drain the anchovies of their oil and add the fish to the butter.  Cook, stirring, just until the anchovies break down to form a butter sauce.  

Drain the Agretti and add it to the sauce with a grinding of pepper.  Heat through gently.

To serve:     Pile onto two slices of toasted bread 

OR

Add cooked spaghetti, linguine or other ribbon pasta and toss through the sauce to coat the pasta, adding a spoonful or two of pasta water to loosen the mix.  Top with fried breadcrumbs.