The month of June is laden with expectations. Soft fruits are in their prime and the range of stone fruits starts to increase. Strawberries go from a couple of early varieties from southern Europe to English abundance, Raspberries and Gooseberries arrive and Apricots turn from good-for-jam to sweet enough to pick up and eat. Rainier Cherries from France start the season and there are English Cherries to look forward to. This month we turn more to our local growers. English Asparagus is still king, but there are sweet English Peas, Broad Beans and small crunchy Cucumbers coming through our doors. There are also cooling Melons from France and, hopefully, luscious Green Figs from Italy. And there are Herbs aplenty this month.
Here is a taster of the things you can expect to find here at Puntarelle & Co in the month of June:
Asparagus from our Kent grower continues into June.
Artichokes, Peas, Broad Beans, Cucumbers, Radishes, Spring. Onions and Spinach start to come from the UK rather than the rest of Europe.
We welcome more varieties of sun-ripened Tomatoes from Italy and southern France.
Lots of Herbs including English-grown – Mint, Coriander, Parsley and Dill in particular this month.
From Italy comes Green and Purple Ligurian Basil and Lemon Verbena from France
There are Italian Borlotti Beans and Courgettes – Round, Romano, Yellow and Green.
French Grelot Onions, Italian Tropea Onions and English Spring Onions
Early Corn-on-the-Cob arrives from France.
English Strawberries, Raspberries and the first of the Gooseberries arrive.
There are French Rainier Cherries and the English Cherries arrive late in the month
Small red/yellow Watermelons, Cantaloupe Melons and new season Sicilian Green Lemons - prized in particular for their highly fragrant zest.
White and Blood varieties of both Peaches and Nectarines (pêche de vigne & nectavigne) start to arrive.
Apricots start to arrive from Spain in May but June sees riper, sweeter and juicier fruits arriving from France and Italy.
Green Almonds in their furry coats sometimes arrive from France this month and we’ll be on the lookout for luscious pale-fleshed Italian Green Figs.
In case you haven’t yet spotted it, we now have a small La Grotta Ices freezer so you can buy Kitty Travers’ very special ice creams every Saturday at the Puntarelle & Co arch. It’s re-stocked every week by Kitty with her ever-changing seasonal ice cream and sorbet flavours.
Our London Fermentary fridges are nearby stocked with seasonal ferments including our very popular Water Kefirs. Expect flavours like Elderflower & Lemon, Summer Raspberry, Apricot and later in the month Peach & Lemon Verbena.
We’ve mentioned this recipe for Apricots before but as the Apricot season is underway, and it’s such a good one, it’s the perfect time to point you to it again. It comes from one of our favourite food books Honey & Co: The Baking Book by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich.
Baked Apricots with marzipan filling
& almond crumble
12 ripe apricots
60g soft butter
100g demerara sugar
For the crumble:
100g almonds, roughly chopped
20g sesame seeds
a pinch of fennel seeds
a pinch of ground mahleb or cardamom
a pinch of sea salt
50g runny honey
1 tsp oil
Cream to serve
Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan).
Cut the marzipan into 12 pieces. Partially halve the fruits and remove the stones. Stuff each fruit with a slice of marzipan and reclose it. Brush each with soft butter and roll in demerara sugar before roasting for around 10 minutes until soft. Mix the crumble topping ingredients and spread it thinly on a baking tray. Roast in the oven until crisp. Serve two apricots per person, with cream (their suggestion is for a 50/50 mix of double and soured cream whipped with a little brandy) and scatter some crumble over the top.