Seasonal Table at Puntarelle@Co    Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd       APRIL       This time last year we were talking of the new spring planting season in the UK being properly under way.  How different things are this year.  We may be looking forward to Asparagus and early strawberries, but the outdoor grown English asparagus from our Kent growers is 2-3 weeks away.  Last year we had the first cut 19th of March.  But we should remember that last year was unusual.  A mild start to Spring meant an early harvest but Asparagus towards the end of April is actually the norm.  Only the bigger producers can get a crop to market earlier.  A few boxes of strawberries grown under cover are coming in but there will be a bit of a wait for the sunkissed ones.       While we wait for the sun to appear, we’re grateful for the English Wild Garlic leaves, Spring Nettle Tops and Jersey Royal Potatoes that are available.  Glad too to have Italian Broad Beans, Peas, Asparagus and Hop Shoots.  And to have the Wet Garlic bulbs from Morocco that have been arriving for the past three weeks which changed to Italian this week.   

Seasonal Table at Puntarelle@Co

Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd

 

APRIL

 

This time last year we were talking of the new spring planting season in the UK being properly under way.  How different things are this year.  We may be looking forward to Asparagus and early strawberries, but the outdoor grown English asparagus from our Kent growers is 2-3 weeks away.  Last year we had the first cut 19th of March.  But we should remember that last year was unusual.  A mild start to Spring meant an early harvest but Asparagus towards the end of April is actually the norm.  Only the bigger producers can get a crop to market earlier.  A few boxes of strawberries grown under cover are coming in but there will be a bit of a wait for the sunkissed ones.  

 

While we wait for the sun to appear, we’re grateful for the English Wild Garlic leaves, Spring Nettle Tops and Jersey Royal Potatoes that are available.  Glad too to have Italian Broad Beans, Peas, Asparagus and Hop Shoots.  And to have the Wet Garlic bulbs from Morocco that have been arriving for the past three weeks which changed to Italian this week.

 

  Morel Mushrooms    Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd        At the beginning of April , as I write this,  you will find :     Earthy, saline  Jersey Royal Potatoes .   Vitamin C, iron and calcium-rich Spring  Nettle Tops , both English and Italian (bag with care!).   Wild Garlic  leaves, this week English ones and we have  Watercress  from our preferred English grower too.   The first of the season’s UK-grown sweet, juicy  Cucumbers  and mild, crunchy  Spring Onions  have arrived.  The First Italian  Ridged Cucumbers  and  Romano Courgettes .   Wispy  Wild Asparagus  from Italy, as well as fat spears of the purple and white  Asparagus  varieties.  The last of the  Purple Sprouting Broccoli  but there’s new Spring season  Rainbow Chard  from Italy.    Again this week, sweet Italian  Peas    and  Broad Beans  and bulbs of  Wet Garlic  from Italy too.   Outdoor-grown Rhubarb , from our preferred farmer in Kent, has taken over from Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb.  Just a few boxes of English-grown  Strawberries  this week but we do have beautiful Strawberries from Italy.  There are  English Heritage Tomatoes  too along with large  Provence Tomatoes , and the  Marinda  and salty, crunchy  Camone   Tomatoes    that have seen us   through winter are still with us.   Radishes  are changing from winter varieties to spring ones and this week, we have French  Heritage Radishes .  Cool weather harvests of bitter  Radicchio  and  Chicories  like  Puntarelle  and  Cime de Rapa  from Italy are still with us and there are  Tropea Onions  and  Spinach  too.  New season  Aubergines  from Italy are now coming in more variety of sizes and shapes and there are Spring season  Green and Purple Artichokes , large and small.     St George’s Mushrooms  (one thing that isn’t late) and  Morel Mushrooms  too.  As always, we have seasonal herbs but this week we have pots of growing  Spring Herbs  as well.   

Morel Mushrooms

Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd

 

At the beginning of April, as I write this, you will find:

 

Earthy, saline Jersey Royal Potatoes

Vitamin C, iron and calcium-rich Spring Nettle Tops, both English and Italian (bag with care!).

Wild Garlic leaves, this week English ones and we have Watercress from our preferred English grower too. 

The first of the season’s UK-grown sweet, juicy Cucumbers and mild, crunchy Spring Onions have arrived.

The First Italian Ridged Cucumbers and Romano Courgettes

Wispy Wild Asparagus from Italy, as well as fat spears of the purple and white Asparagus varieties.

The last of the Purple Sprouting Broccoli but there’s new Spring season Rainbow Chard from Italy.  

Again this week, sweet Italian Peas and Broad Beans and bulbs of Wet Garlic from Italy too.

Outdoor-grown Rhubarb, from our preferred farmer in Kent, has taken over from Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb.

Just a few boxes of English-grown Strawberries this week but we do have beautiful Strawberries from Italy.

There are English Heritage Tomatoes too along with large Provence Tomatoes, and the Marinda and salty, crunchy Camone Tomatoes that have seen us through winter are still with us.

Radishes are changing from winter varieties to spring ones and this week, we have French Heritage Radishes.

Cool weather harvests of bitter Radicchio and Chicories like Puntarelle and Cime de Rapa from Italy are still with us and there are Tropea Onions and Spinach too.

New season Aubergines from Italy are now coming in more variety of sizes and shapes and there are Spring season Green and Purple Artichokes, large and small.  

St George’s Mushrooms (one thing that isn’t late) and Morel Mushrooms too.

As always, we have seasonal herbs but this week we have pots of growing Spring Herbs as well.

 

  Italian New Season Cucumbers     Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd      So, what produce can we expect to come through our doors before the end of  APRIL ?      Earthy, saline  Jersey Royal Potatoes  should see us through April.   Vitamin C, iron and calcium-rich Spring  Nettle Tops  (bag with care!).  English  Wild Garlic  leaves through most of the month.  Sweet, juicy UK-grown  Cucumbers  and Italian  Ridged Cucumbers  may be joined by pickling cucumbers from Eastern Europe this month.  Mild, crunchy English  Spring Onions  throughout the month.  Wispy  Wild Asparagus  from Italy may be joined by some English grown late in the month.  And, if we finally get some sun and warmth, fat spears of  English Aparagus  to look forward to.  There could be more Italian  Wild Hop Shoots  too.  This month sees the last of the  Purple Sprouting Broccoli  but there’s new Spring season  Rainbow Chard  from Italy, along with Italian  Peas    and  Broad Beans  and  Romano Courgettes.   Bulbs of sweet, pungent  Wet Garlic  from France and Italy .   Outdoor-grown Rhubarb , from our preferred farmer in Kent will continue.   Strawberries  from Italy, France and the UK will become more abundant and tastier.  Expect some French  Gariguette Strawberries .    Spring season  English Heritage Tomatoes  and some varieties from France and Italy will arrive this month, easing out the salty, crunchy  Camone  and  Marinda Tomatoes    that have seen us   through winter.   Radishes  are changing from winter varieties to spring ones this month and will arrive in greater quantities.   Watercress  from our preferred English grower and, maybe, some from France.  New season  Aubergines  from Italy in more variety of size and shape.     Green and Purple Artichokes , large and small.     St George’s Mushrooms  and  Morel Mushrooms .  We expect  Nespoli    (Loquats) to arrive from Italy this month.   There may be a chance of English-grown Broad Beans and Peas this month.  Given the unseasonal weather, we shall see.    Pots of growing  Spring Herbs  along with our usual herb sprigs.   

Italian New Season Cucumbers

Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd

 

So, what produce can we expect to come through our doors before the end of APRIL

 

Earthy, saline Jersey Royal Potatoes should see us through April. 

Vitamin C, iron and calcium-rich Spring Nettle Tops (bag with care!).

English Wild Garlic leaves through most of the month.

Sweet, juicy UK-grown Cucumbers and Italian Ridged Cucumbers may be joined by pickling cucumbers from Eastern Europe this month.

Mild, crunchy English Spring Onions throughout the month.

Wispy Wild Asparagus from Italy may be joined by some English grown late in the month.  And, if we finally get some sun and warmth, fat spears of English Aparagus to look forward to.  There could be more Italian Wild Hop Shoots too.

This month sees the last of the Purple Sprouting Broccoli but there’s new Spring season Rainbow Chard from Italy, along with Italian Peas and Broad Beans and Romano Courgettes.

Bulbs of sweet, pungent Wet Garlic from France and Italy .

Outdoor-grown Rhubarb, from our preferred farmer in Kent will continue.

Strawberries from Italy, France and the UK will become more abundant and tastier.  Expect some French Gariguette Strawberries.  

Spring season English Heritage Tomatoes and some varieties from France and Italy will arrive this month, easing out the salty, crunchy Camone and Marinda Tomatoes that have seen us through winter.

Radishes are changing from winter varieties to spring ones this month and will arrive in greater quantities.

Watercress from our preferred English grower and, maybe, some from France.

New season Aubergines from Italy in more variety of size and shape.  

Green and Purple Artichokes, large and small.  

St George’s Mushrooms and Morel Mushrooms.

We expect Nespoli (Loquats) to arrive from Italy this month. 

There may be a chance of English-grown Broad Beans and Peas this month.  Given the unseasonal weather, we shall see.  

Pots of growing Spring Herbs along with our usual herb sprigs.

 

 Fermented Garlic with Lemon,Ginger,Tirmeric&Lemon   Photo ©Puntarelle&Co       NEWS:      Thanks to the feedback and support of our customers, our  London Fermentary  products have grown to the point where we feel it necessary to give them their own social media presence!  If you follow Puntarelle_Co on Instagram and/or on Twitter, we’d love it if you would show your support by also following us   @london_fermentary  on Instagram and/or  @LDNFermentary  on Twitter.  We’ll be able to keep you informed with news, like what seasonal Ferments you can expect to find each month.    And while we are on the subject, filling the gap between winter and spring this month we have a  Honey & Camomile with warming ginger and turmeric Water Kefir  for you.  And, by popular request, our immune-boosting jars of  Honey fermented with garlic, ginger, turmeric and lemon  are back in stock.     Apart from being delicious, these unpasteurised fermented drinks bring beneficial micro-organisms, B vitamins, minerals and enzymes in a slightly sour, zingy, low-sugar form.  More about our range of Fermented products at:   www.londonfermentary.com     

Fermented Garlic with Lemon,Ginger,Tirmeric&Lemon

Photo ©Puntarelle&Co

 

NEWS:

 

Thanks to the feedback and support of our customers, our London Fermentary products have grown to the point where we feel it necessary to give them their own social media presence!  If you follow Puntarelle_Co on Instagram and/or on Twitter, we’d love it if you would show your support by also following us  @london_fermentary on Instagram and/or @LDNFermentary on Twitter.  We’ll be able to keep you informed with news, like what seasonal Ferments you can expect to find each month.  

And while we are on the subject, filling the gap between winter and spring this month we have a Honey & Camomile with warming ginger and turmeric Water Kefir for you.  And, by popular request, our immune-boosting jars of Honey fermented with garlic, ginger, turmeric and lemon are back in stock.

 

Apart from being delicious, these unpasteurised fermented drinks bring beneficial micro-organisms, B vitamins, minerals and enzymes in a slightly sour, zingy, low-sugar form.  More about our range of Fermented products at: www.londonfermentary.com

 

  Spring Nettle Tops    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands      Rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, iron and calcium, considering  Nettles  as a weed seriously undervalues their nutritional benefits.  Here at Puntarelle & Co we have them in Spring and early Summer when they are at their vigorous best.  Like everything that grows wild, you need to be sure it has grown in a clean environment if you are going to eat it.  Buy from us or, if you have a trusted patch near you, go out and snip the tops.  Take care picking them or filling your bag as they pack a mighty sting until subjected to brief heat or cold.     Here is an idea for using them:      Nettle & Spinach Soup   (Serves 4)     Around 350g (12 oz) nettle tops  Around 350g (12 oz) spinach or chard  50g (2 oz) butter or olive oil  2 leeks or onions, sliced  1 medium potato, diced (optional)  Around 1 litre (1¾ pints) vegetable stock  Salt and pepper  Cream to serve     Wash the nettle tops carefully (they sting until cooked) and the spinach or chard and drain both.  In a large pan, melt the butter and add the sliced leeks or onions.  Cook, without colouring, for 5-10 minutes to soften.  (Add diced potato at this point if you want a heartier soup).  Add the nettles and spinach or chard, cover and cook until just wilted.  Pour in the stock, bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes.   Liquidise then reheat and season with salt and pepper.    Serve with a spoonful of cream atop each bowl of soup.

Spring Nettle Tops

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

 

Rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, iron and calcium, considering Nettles as a weed seriously undervalues their nutritional benefits.  Here at Puntarelle & Co we have them in Spring and early Summer when they are at their vigorous best.  Like everything that grows wild, you need to be sure it has grown in a clean environment if you are going to eat it.  Buy from us or, if you have a trusted patch near you, go out and snip the tops.  Take care picking them or filling your bag as they pack a mighty sting until subjected to brief heat or cold.

 

Here is an idea for using them:

 

Nettle & Spinach Soup

(Serves 4)

 

Around 350g (12 oz) nettle tops

Around 350g (12 oz) spinach or chard

50g (2 oz) butter or olive oil

2 leeks or onions, sliced

1 medium potato, diced (optional)

Around 1 litre (1¾ pints) vegetable stock

Salt and pepper

Cream to serve

 

Wash the nettle tops carefully (they sting until cooked) and the spinach or chard and drain both.

In a large pan, melt the butter and add the sliced leeks or onions.  Cook, without colouring, for 5-10 minutes to soften.  (Add diced potato at this point if you want a heartier soup).  Add the nettles and spinach or chard, cover and cook until just wilted.  Pour in the stock, bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes. 

Liquidise then reheat and season with salt and pepper.  

Serve with a spoonful of cream atop each bowl of soup.

  Nettle and Spinach Soup    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Nettle and Spinach Soup

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands