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Seasonal Produce News-February 2018

Seasonal Produce News-February 2018

January King Cabbages    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands       FEBRUARY      January was a month when no two days seemed alike with oddly fluctuating temperatures but British-grown Brassicas and roots seemed to cope well.  In our January Report, we promised you Sicilian Citrus and it was worth waiting for.  Tarocco blood oranges, Nova Mandarins and Pink Grapefruits came on our direct-sourced pallets, and there is more citrus to look forward to this month.  Vibrant pink spears of Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb brought more colour and acidity to our shelves and the first fronds of crunchy, salty Agretti arrived too.            

January King Cabbages

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

 

FEBRUARY

 

January was a month when no two days seemed alike with oddly fluctuating temperatures but British-grown Brassicas and roots seemed to cope well.  In our January Report, we promised you Sicilian Citrus and it was worth waiting for.  Tarocco blood oranges, Nova Mandarins and Pink Grapefruits came on our direct-sourced pallets, and there is more citrus to look forward to this month.  Vibrant pink spears of Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb brought more colour and acidity to our shelves and the first fronds of crunchy, salty Agretti arrived too.

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   As we enter the last full month of winter, British-grown Brassicas and Root Vegetables are our seasonal staples and we look to southern Europe for more tender crops.  Far from just a variation on green and brown, February’s colour palette is a vibrant one in the Puntarelle arch.   Right now   we have:   Vibrant pink-stemmed  Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb .   Probably the last of the  Seville Oranges  for making bitter marmalade and buttery curd but there will be common  Mandarins  that work well too.  Un-treated, un-waxed  Tarocco Blood Oranges ,  Nova Mandarins  and  Pink Grapefruits .  Deep red, sweet-sharp,  Pomegranates .  English  Purple Sprouting Broccoli , which is particularly good right now, and, creamy  Cauliflowers .   From Portugal, we have  Hispi Cabbage .  Crunchy, salty Italian  Camone and Marinda Winter Tomatoes .  From Italy too, bunches of the Mediterranean succulent  Barba di Frate/Agretti/Monk’s Beard ,  Purple Cauliflowers ,  Rainbow Chard ,  Bulb Fennel ,  Roman Artichokes  and spikey  Sardinian Artichokes .  Bitter-sweet Italian Greens this week are  Puntarelle  and  Cime di Rapa  and we have the first of the new season  Courgettes .  Several varieties of colourful bitter-sweet pink and red  Radicchio  and milder-leaved yellow/green  Endive .  Vitamin and mineral-rich British  Brassicas  including  Savoy Cabbage , green and purple hued  January King , blistered-leaved  Black Cabbage/Cavolo Nero ,  Kale ,  Brussels Sprouts  and  Brussels Tops .   Orange-skinned  Onion Squash .  Root vegetables including  Celeriac ,  Jerusalem Artichokes ,  Swede ,  Beetroot  and   organic  Heritage Carrots  are all British grown this week, as are the  Leeks .   Potato  varieties this week are  Cyprus  and  Desiree ,  Maris Piper , and waxy-fleshed  La Ratte .  Fresh organic  Ginger Root  and  Turmeric Root .  A freshly-stocked      londonfermentary.com   fridge.

Cauliflower

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

As we enter the last full month of winter, British-grown Brassicas and Root Vegetables are our seasonal staples and we look to southern Europe for more tender crops.  Far from just a variation on green and brown, February’s colour palette is a vibrant one in the Puntarelle arch.  Right now we have:

Vibrant pink-stemmed Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb

Probably the last of the Seville Oranges for making bitter marmalade and buttery curd but there will be common Mandarins that work well too.

Un-treated, un-waxed Tarocco Blood Oranges, Nova Mandarins and Pink Grapefruits.

Deep red, sweet-sharp, Pomegranates.

English Purple Sprouting Broccoli, which is particularly good right now, and, creamy Cauliflowers

From Portugal, we have Hispi Cabbage.

Crunchy, salty Italian Camone and Marinda Winter Tomatoes.

From Italy too, bunches of the Mediterranean succulent Barba di Frate/Agretti/Monk’s Beard, Purple Cauliflowers, Rainbow Chard, Bulb Fennel, Roman Artichokes and spikey Sardinian Artichokes.

Bitter-sweet Italian Greens this week are Puntarelle and Cime di Rapa and we have the first of the new season Courgettes.

Several varieties of colourful bitter-sweet pink and red Radicchio and milder-leaved yellow/green Endive.

Vitamin and mineral-rich British Brassicas including Savoy Cabbage, green and purple hued January King, blistered-leaved Black Cabbage/Cavolo Nero, Kale, Brussels Sprouts and Brussels Tops

Orange-skinned Onion Squash.

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

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

Fresh organic Ginger Root and Turmeric Root.

A freshly-stocked  londonfermentary.com fridge.

Our Ferments        Photo ©Puntarelle&Co

Our Ferments    

 Photo ©Puntarelle&Co

Spikey Sardinian Artichokes    Photo ©Puntarelle&Co       Writing in the first few days of February, here is the  produce we     expect to have for you before this last full month of winter comes to a close:        Vibrant pink-stemmed  Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb  will continue throughout the month.   Un-treated, un-waxed  Tarocco Blood Oranges ,  Nova Mandarins , common  Mandarins  and  Pink Grapefruits  will be joined by  Lemons ,  Cedro  and  Kumquats .  Deep red sweet-sharp  Pomegranates .  English  Purple Sprouting Broccoli , which is particularly good in February, and creamy  Cauliflowers .  Hispi Cabbage  from southern Europe.  Crunchy, salty Italian  Camone and Marinda Winter Tomatoes .  From Italy too, bunches of the Mediterranean succulent  Barba di Frate/Agretti/Monk’s Beard ,  Purple Cauliflowers ,  Rainbow Chard ,  Bulb Fennel ,  Roman Artichokes  and spikey  Sardinian Artichokes .  Bitter-sweet Italian Greens like  Puntarelle  and  Cime di Rapa  and new season  Courgettes .  A variety of colourful, bitter-sweet pink and red  Radicchio  and milder-leaved yellow/green  Endive .  Vitamin and mineral-rich British  Brassicas  including  Savoy Cabbage , green and purple hued  January King , blistered-leaved  Black Cabbage/Cavolo Nero ,  Kale ,  Brussels Sprouts  and  Brussels Tops .  Orange-skinned  Onion Squash .  Root vegetables including  Celeriac ,  Jerusalem Artichokes ,  Swede ,  Beetroot  and   organic  Heritage Carrots  are all British grown this week.  English  Leeks  and Spanish  Calçot onions .   Potato  varieties this week are  Cyprus  and  Desiree ,  Maris Piper , and waxy-fleshed  La Ratte .  Fresh organic  Ginger Root  and  Turmeric Root .  A freshly-stocked   londonfermentary.com   fridge.

Spikey Sardinian Artichokes

Photo ©Puntarelle&Co

 

Writing in the first few days of February, here is the produce we expect to have for you before this last full month of winter comes to a close:  

 

Vibrant pink-stemmed Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb will continue throughout the month. 

Un-treated, un-waxed Tarocco Blood Oranges, Nova Mandarins, common Mandarins and Pink Grapefruits will be joined by Lemons, Cedro and Kumquats.

Deep red sweet-sharp Pomegranates.

English Purple Sprouting Broccoli, which is particularly good in February, and creamy Cauliflowers. Hispi Cabbage from southern Europe.

Crunchy, salty Italian Camone and Marinda Winter Tomatoes.

From Italy too, bunches of the Mediterranean succulent Barba di Frate/Agretti/Monk’s Beard, Purple Cauliflowers, Rainbow Chard, Bulb Fennel, Roman Artichokes and spikey Sardinian Artichokes.

Bitter-sweet Italian Greens like Puntarelle and Cime di Rapa and new season Courgettes.

A variety of colourful, bitter-sweet pink and red Radicchio and milder-leaved yellow/green Endive.

Vitamin and mineral-rich British Brassicas including Savoy Cabbage, green and purple hued January King, blistered-leaved Black Cabbage/Cavolo Nero, Kale, Brussels Sprouts and Brussels Tops.

Orange-skinned Onion Squash.

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

English Leeks and Spanish Calçot onions.

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

Fresh organic Ginger Root and Turmeric Root.

A freshly-stocked londonfermentary.com fridge.

Tarocco Orange    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    NEWS:    Have you tried our  Pink Rhubarb Water Kefir ?  Also this week we have  Orange Water Kefir  made from some of our Sicilian Tarocco oranges.

Tarocco Orange

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

NEWS: 

Have you tried our Pink Rhubarb Water Kefir?  Also this week we have Orange Water Kefir made from some of our Sicilian Tarocco oranges.

Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb & Tarocco Blood Orange about to go in the oven    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands        Here is a recipe using fruits that are at their best right now – that beautiful pink forced Yorkshire Rhubarb and Sicilian Blood Oranges.  It’s adapted from  Nigel Slate r’s recipe in  Tender Volume II  and I can think of no simpler way to celebrate these two wonderful ingredients together.        Rhubarb with Blood Orange   (serves 4-6)     750g Rhubarb  4 Blood Oranges  Caster Sugar  1 vanilla pod  Heat the oven to 200C (180C Fan).  Rinse the rhubarb, cut off and discard the leaves.  Chop the stems into short lengths and place in an oven-proof dish.  Remove the peel from two of the oranges, cutting away any white pith, then slice the fruit thickly and add it to the rhubarb.  Squeeze the juice from the remaining two oranges, and pour over the rhubarb.  Add a good tablespoon of sugar and the vanilla pod.  Cover the dish with foil and cook in the oven until the rhubarb yields to the pressure of a fork.  Check and adjust the sweetness to your taste.  Allow to cool then spoon into serving glasses, cover with clingfilm, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour but will keep for 2-3 days.   

Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb & Tarocco Blood Orange about to go in the oven

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

 

Here is a recipe using fruits that are at their best right now – that beautiful pink forced Yorkshire Rhubarb and Sicilian Blood Oranges.  It’s adapted from Nigel Slater’s recipe in Tender Volume II and I can think of no simpler way to celebrate these two wonderful ingredients together.  

 

Rhubarb with Blood Orange

(serves 4-6)

 

750g Rhubarb

4 Blood Oranges

Caster Sugar

1 vanilla pod

Heat the oven to 200C (180C Fan).

Rinse the rhubarb, cut off and discard the leaves.  Chop the stems into short lengths and place in an oven-proof dish.

Remove the peel from two of the oranges, cutting away any white pith, then slice the fruit thickly and add it to the rhubarb.

Squeeze the juice from the remaining two oranges, and pour over the rhubarb.

Add a good tablespoon of sugar and the vanilla pod.

Cover the dish with foil and cook in the oven until the rhubarb yields to the pressure of a fork.

Check and adjust the sweetness to your taste.

Allow to cool then spoon into serving glasses, cover with clingfilm, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour but will keep for 2-3 days.

 

SEASONAL PRODUCE NEWS - SEPTEMBER 2017

SEASONAL PRODUCE NEWS - SEPTEMBER 2017

English Long Violette Aubergines    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    SEPTEMBER   August was the month Europe battled the elements.  Unseasonal heavy rains, lack of sun, excessive heat and hugely destructive fires all played a part throughout the continent.  Many crops peaked unusually early, particularly in Italy due to prolonged hot spells.  It proved to be a challenging month for growers, pickers and greengrocers alike.  We saw the end of the English Cherry harvest but the start of our Plums, Pears, and Kent Cobnuts.  Climbing Beans, Sweetcorn, Courgettes and Summer Squash arrived too.

English Long Violette Aubergines

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

SEPTEMBER

August was the month Europe battled the elements.  Unseasonal heavy rains, lack of sun, excessive heat and hugely destructive fires all played a part throughout the continent.  Many crops peaked unusually early, particularly in Italy due to prolonged hot spells.  It proved to be a challenging month for growers, pickers and greengrocers alike.  We saw the end of the English Cherry harvest but the start of our Plums, Pears, and Kent Cobnuts.  Climbing Beans, Sweetcorn, Courgettes and Summer Squash arrived too.

English Damson Plums    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   English produce is to the fore again this month.    In the arch, as I write  on the first day of September, we have:   Plump cobs of the sweetest English  Sweetcorn .    Watercress ,  Runner Beans  and  Black Cabbage , direct from the Kent and Sussex farms we work with.  The first English Early Maincrop  Pink Fir Apple Potatoes  and a few early  Pumpkin Squash .    New season English  Pears , three varieties of  Apple  and purple streaked  Marjorie Seedling Plums  from our Kent grower too.   Damson Plums  and  Kent Cobnuts  again too.  English  Heritage Carrots , creamy white  Cauliflowers ,  Bobbi Beans,   Beetroot , several varieties of  English Tomatoes , organic  Courgettes  and  Squash  and several types of firm, weighty  Aubergines .  Beautiful quality English  Leeks  are here also.     Mushrooms  are becoming more available and, this week, we have Scottish  Chanterelles  and  Girolles  as well as  Ceps .  Happily, once again, we have those wonderful  Sorrento Vesuvio Tomatoes .  The  new season Onions  are welcome arrivals.  This week there are Strings of  Cipolla Rosa di Tropea  from Calabria and large, flat and sweet  Cipolla Bianca di Giarratana  from Sicily along with sweet, delicate-skinned French  Oignon Doux des Cevennes .    French  Black Figs  are particularly good and there are high season  Muscat Grapes  from France and strawberry perfumed  Fragola Grapes  from Italy.  Also from Italy are large, juicy, pink-blushed  Nectarines  and those sunny orange, highly fragrant  Percoca Peaches  which are so good for cooking.

English Damson Plums

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

English produce is to the fore again this month.  In the arch, as I write on the first day of September, we have:

Plump cobs of the sweetest English Sweetcorn.   Watercress, Runner Beans and Black Cabbage, direct from the Kent and Sussex farms we work with.  The first English Early Maincrop Pink Fir Apple Potatoes and a few early Pumpkin Squash.  

New season English Pears, three varieties of Apple and purple streaked Marjorie Seedling Plums from our Kent grower too.  Damson Plums and Kent Cobnuts again too.  English Heritage Carrots, creamy white Cauliflowers, Bobbi Beans, Beetroot, several varieties of English Tomatoes, organic Courgettes and Squash and several types of firm, weighty Aubergines.  Beautiful quality English Leeks are here also.  

Mushrooms are becoming more available and, this week, we have Scottish Chanterelles and Girolles as well as Ceps.

Happily, once again, we have those wonderful Sorrento Vesuvio Tomatoes.

The new season Onions are welcome arrivals.  This week there are Strings of Cipolla Rosa di Tropea from Calabria and large, flat and sweet Cipolla Bianca di Giarratana from Sicily along with sweet, delicate-skinned French Oignon Doux des Cevennes.  

French Black Figs are particularly good and there are high season Muscat Grapes from France and strawberry perfumed Fragola Grapes from Italy.  Also from Italy are large, juicy, pink-blushed Nectarines and those sunny orange, highly fragrant Percoca Peaches which are so good for cooking.

Kent Cobnuts    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   September marks the move into Autumn.  Our expectations and appetites move on too.  So, what new season produce can we     hope for during September?     We expect to have English  Sweetcorn ,  Runner Beans ,  Bobbi Beans ,   Aubergines ,  English Tomatoes ,  Courgettes  and  Squash  well into September.   Plums  from our Kent grower should arrive for a little longer, being replaced by the  Apple  and  Pear  harvest which is already underway.   Kent Cobnuts  will continue to be available too.    English  Heritage Carrots , creamy white  Cauliflowers,   Beetroot ,  Kohlrabi ,  Leeks ,  Watercress ,  Chard    and  Black Cabbage  will be here throughout the month.  We should also continue to have flavourful  Tomatoes  and new season  Onion  varieties from England and the rest of Europe.  Varieties of English  Maincrop Potatoes  will be becoming in to join the  Pink Fir Apple Potatoes  which arrived this week..   Mushrooms  should become more plentiful and varied this month with Scottish  Chanterelles  and  Girolles  as well as European  Ceps  leading.  We can expectEuropean  Black and Purple Figs  and  Muscat Grapes  to continue.     Autumn Squash  and early varieties of  Pumpkins  will definitely be in.  We may see some  Miyagawa Green Mandarins  and  Pomegranates  arrive.

Kent Cobnuts

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

September marks the move into Autumn.  Our expectations and appetites move on too. So, what new season produce can we hope for during September?  

We expect to have English Sweetcorn, Runner Beans, Bobbi BeansAubergines, English Tomatoes, Courgettes and Squash well into September.  Plums from our Kent grower should arrive for a little longer, being replaced by the Apple and Pear harvest which is already underway.  Kent Cobnuts will continue to be available too.  

English Heritage Carrots, creamy white Cauliflowers, Beetroot, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Watercress, Chard and Black Cabbage will be here throughout the month.  We should also continue to have flavourful Tomatoes and new season Onion varieties from England and the rest of Europe.  Varieties of English Maincrop Potatoes will be becoming in to join the Pink Fir Apple Potatoes which arrived this week..

Mushrooms should become more plentiful and varied this month with Scottish Chanterelles and Girolles as well as European Ceps leading.

We can expectEuropean Black and Purple Figs and Muscat Grapes to continue.  

Autumn Squash and early varieties of Pumpkins will definitely be in.

We may see some Miyagawa Green Mandarins and Pomegranates arrive.

www.londonfermentary.com    Photo ©Punterelle&Co   Last month, in our August News, we mentioned we would soon be formerly launching our new brand  London Fermentary .  We have been working hard to achieve this and are pleased to let you know that all of our in-house made fermented products, which we have gradually been introducing, now bear our new labels ‘LONDON FERMENTARY ’ .  We have just launched a new website dedicated to our fermented products.  Please take a look at  LONDON FERMENTARY  for more information.    You will find all our ferments in our fridge as our Bermondsey business premises on Saturday, as usual.  Please continue to enjoy them and, if you haven’t yet discovered them, please ask us about them.  Any feedback you can give us will be welcomed.  This will help us focus on the ones we should keep.

www.londonfermentary.com   Photo ©Punterelle&Co

Last month, in our August News, we mentioned we would soon be formerly launching our new brand London Fermentary.  We have been working hard to achieve this and are pleased to let you know that all of our in-house made fermented products, which we have gradually been introducing, now bear our new labels ‘LONDON FERMENTARY.  We have just launched a new website dedicated to our fermented products.  Please take a look at LONDON FERMENTARY for more information.  

You will find all our ferments in our fridge as our Bermondsey business premises on Saturday, as usual.  Please continue to enjoy them and, if you haven’t yet discovered them, please ask us about them.  Any feedback you can give us will be welcomed.  This will help us focus on the ones we should keep.

English Sweetcorn/Corn on the Cob    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   Before those barbecues get stored away, here’s a suggestion for one last firing up.  English Sweetcorn is particularly good right now, so, roasted corn-on-the-cob with a chilli butter to temper its sweetness fits the bill.    TO ROAST:  Peel back the husks without removing and pull out the silk threads beneath.  Wash the cob and the husks and put the husks back to their original position, twisting them at the top as tightly as you can (a little water trapped within will help the cooking). Cook over hot coals for about 30-40 minutes depending on size until the husks are well charred and the kernels softened.    Meanwhile gently heat some butter and add thinly sliced red chilli to just soften then put to one side.    Serve the cooked cobs, peeled of their charred husks, with salt, pepper and the chilli butter.  (If you don’t want to cook over coals, strip off the husks and silks and cook the cobs in a pan of boiling water for 10-15 minutes (just remember not to add salt to the water as it toughens the kernels).

English Sweetcorn/Corn on the Cob

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Before those barbecues get stored away, here’s a suggestion for one last firing up.  English Sweetcorn is particularly good right now, so, roasted corn-on-the-cob with a chilli butter to temper its sweetness fits the bill.  

TO ROAST:

Peel back the husks without removing and pull out the silk threads beneath.  Wash the cob and the husks and put the husks back to their original position, twisting them at the top as tightly as you can (a little water trapped within will help the cooking). Cook over hot coals for about 30-40 minutes depending on size until the husks are well charred and the kernels softened.  

Meanwhile gently heat some butter and add thinly sliced red chilli to just soften then put to one side.  

Serve the cooked cobs, peeled of their charred husks, with salt, pepper and the chilli butter.

(If you don’t want to cook over coals, strip off the husks and silks and cook the cobs in a pan of boiling water for 10-15 minutes (just remember not to add salt to the water as it toughens the kernels).