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may

May 2018  Seasonal News

May 2018 Seasonal News

English Asparagus     Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands       MAY       This time last year we were talking of having had English Asparagus at the beginning of April, only for it then to be hit by late frosts.  This year we collected our first Kent-grown crop last week.  Despite it feeling late, it was around St George’s Day which is the traditional time for starting to cut the crop.  It’s hard to resist people’s desire for earlier harvests but nature knows best and this year’s first cut of English Asparagus from our preferred grower was definitely worth the wait.       April passed in the UK feeling very similar to March.  Save for a few days of warmth mid-month, conditions have been unseasonably cold in most of Europe delaying spring planting.  Italy did provide us with Broad Beans, Peas and Cucumbers; France delivered Wet Garlic and Fraise Clery Strawberries; and the UK produced Jersey Royals, Wild Garlic, Sprouting Broccoli, field-grown Rhubarb and the first good Asparagus.  A burst of sun arrived in the form of Mangoes from India, including Alphonso.  We are definitely overdue some good growing weather.        

English Asparagus

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

 

MAY

 

This time last year we were talking of having had English Asparagus at the beginning of April, only for it then to be hit by late frosts.  This year we collected our first Kent-grown crop last week.  Despite it feeling late, it was around St George’s Day which is the traditional time for starting to cut the crop.  It’s hard to resist people’s desire for earlier harvests but nature knows best and this year’s first cut of English Asparagus from our preferred grower was definitely worth the wait.  

 

April passed in the UK feeling very similar to March.  Save for a few days of warmth mid-month, conditions have been unseasonably cold in most of Europe delaying spring planting.  Italy did provide us with Broad Beans, Peas and Cucumbers; France delivered Wet Garlic and Fraise Clery Strawberries; and the UK produced Jersey Royals, Wild Garlic, Sprouting Broccoli, field-grown Rhubarb and the first good Asparagus.  A burst of sun arrived in the form of Mangoes from India, including Alphonso.  We are definitely overdue some good growing weather.     

 

Wet Garlic    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands      As a result of the weather, now  at the beginning of   MAY , you will find the following at Puntarelle & Co:     Earthy, saline  Jersey Royal Potatoes  and versatile  Cypress Potatoes .  Vitamin C, iron and calcium-rich Spring  Nettle Tops , both English and French (bag with care!).  Some late English  Wild Garlic  leaves.   Watercress  from our preferred English grower, Kingfisher.   UK-grown sweet, juicy  Cucumbers  and mild, crunchy  Spring Onions .  Italian  Ridged Cucumbers    From Italy,  Romano  and  Tondo Courgettes .   Wispy  Wild Asparagus  and  Bruscandoli  (hop shoots) from Italy.  From our Kent Grower, English green  Asparagus , both fat-speared and thin sprue, tasting really delicious this year.  Also European purple and white  Asparagus  varieties.  New Spring season  Rainbow Chard  from Italy.    Italian  Peas    and  Broad Beans .  Fat, sweet, stems of  Wet Garlic  from France (don’t forget most of the stalk is useable too.   Outdoor-grown Rhubarb , picked up from our preferred farmer in Kent who also grows our Asparagus.   Strawberries  this week are from France and Italy.  We expect English ones in a couple of weeks’ time.  There are  French Heritage Tomatoes  along with large  Pineapple Tomatoes , and the salty, crunchy  Marinda  and  Camone   Tomatoes    that have seen us   through winter are still with us.  Spring varieties of  Radish .  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 .   Spinach  varieties including French.  New season  Aubergines  from Italy are now coming in more variety of sizes and shapes.   Green and Purple Artichokes , large and small.     St George’s Mushrooms  again (one thing that wasn’t late this year) and  Morel Mushrooms  too.  As always, we have seasonal herbs but we have pots of growing  Spring Herbs  as well.  It’s a lean time for European fruits but the  Nespole  from Italy are in.   

Wet Garlic

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

 

As a result of the weather, now at the beginning of MAY, you will find the following at Puntarelle & Co:

 

Earthy, saline Jersey Royal Potatoes and versatile Cypress Potatoes.

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

Some late English Wild Garlic leaves.

Watercress from our preferred English grower, Kingfisher. 

UK-grown sweet, juicy Cucumbers and mild, crunchy Spring Onions.

Italian Ridged Cucumbers 

From Italy, Romano and Tondo Courgettes

Wispy Wild Asparagus and Bruscandoli (hop shoots) from Italy.

From our Kent Grower, English green Asparagus, both fat-speared and thin sprue, tasting really delicious this year.  Also European purple and white Asparagus varieties.

New Spring season Rainbow Chard from Italy.  

Italian Peas and Broad Beans.

Fat, sweet, stems of Wet Garlic from France (don’t forget most of the stalk is useable too.

Outdoor-grown Rhubarb, picked up from our preferred farmer in Kent who also grows our Asparagus.

Strawberries this week are from France and Italy.  We expect English ones in a couple of weeks’ time.

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

Spring varieties of Radish.

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.

Spinach varieties including French.

New season Aubergines from Italy are now coming in more variety of sizes and shapes.

Green and Purple Artichokes, large and small.  

St George’s Mushrooms again (one thing that wasn’t late this year) and Morel Mushrooms too.

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

It’s a lean time for European fruits but the Nespole from Italy are in.

 

Broad Beans    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands      So, what produce can we  expect  to come through our doors  in MAY ?     Earthy, saline  Jersey Royal Potatoes  and some  French new potatoes  too.   Vitamin C, iron and calcium-rich Spring  Nettle Tops , both English and French (bag with care!).   Watercress  from our preferred English grower, Kingfisher.   UK-grown sweet, juicy  Cucumbers  and mild, crunchy  Spring Onions  will continue.   Ridged Cucumbers  for preserving from Eastern Europe.  Increasing varieties of  Courgettes  from Italy.  Wispy  Wild Asparagus  from Italy.  From our Kent Grower, English green  Asparagus , both fat-speared and thin sprue.  Also European purple and white  Asparagus  varieties.   Rainbow Chard .    Italian  Peas    and  Broad Beans .  Fat, sweet, stems of  Wet Garlic  from France (don’t forget most of the stalk is useable too).   Outdoor-grown Rhubarb , picked up from our preferred farmer in Kent who also grows our Asparagus.   Strawberries  from France and Italy.  Early English ones from our favourite grower should be with us by the third week in May.   French Heritage Tomatoes , large  Pineapple Tomatoes  and, hopefully, some other interesting varieties.  Spring varieties of  Radish .  Italian  Tropea Onions  and French  Grelot Onions .   Spinach  varieties including French.  New season  Aubergines  from Italy in a variety of shapes and sizes.   Seasonal herbs including pots of growing  Spring Herbs .  It’s still a lean time for European fruits but expect  Nespole  from Italy throughout the month.   

Broad Beans

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

 

So, what produce can we expect to come through our doors in MAY?

 

Earthy, saline Jersey Royal Potatoes and some French new potatoes too. 

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

Watercress from our preferred English grower, Kingfisher. 

UK-grown sweet, juicy Cucumbers and mild, crunchy Spring Onions will continue.

Ridged Cucumbers for preserving from Eastern Europe.

Increasing varieties of Courgettes from Italy.

Wispy Wild Asparagus from Italy.

From our Kent Grower, English green Asparagus, both fat-speared and thin sprue.  Also European purple and white Asparagus varieties.

Rainbow Chard.  

Italian Peas and Broad Beans.

Fat, sweet, stems of Wet Garlic from France (don’t forget most of the stalk is useable too).

Outdoor-grown Rhubarb, picked up from our preferred farmer in Kent who also grows our Asparagus.

Strawberries from France and Italy.  Early English ones from our favourite grower should be with us by the third week in May.

French Heritage Tomatoes, large Pineapple Tomatoes and, hopefully, some other interesting varieties.

Spring varieties of Radish.

Italian Tropea Onions and French Grelot Onions.

Spinach varieties including French.

New season Aubergines from Italy in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

Seasonal herbs including pots of growing Spring Herbs.

It’s still a lean time for European fruits but expect Nespole from Italy throughout the month.

 

Nespole/Loquats    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands       Focus on:       Nespole  have   arrived from Italy.  In early spring, just as our stores of apples are emptying and before strawberries come good, they are a welcome sight.  Looking a little like apricots, they can be smooth or slightly downy-skinned and vary from yellow to orange.  They have a succulent flesh, a little tart, a little sweet with a tropical fragrance.  They are a fragile fruit that keep only a couple of days at room temperature but up to a week in a cool place.  They can be poached in sugar syrup and simply served with yogurt or ice cream, or added to a fruit salad.  Under-ripe fruits make good jam and jelly, or chutney which goes well with fatty meats like roast pork.     

Nespole/Loquats

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

 

Focus on:

 

Nespole have arrived from Italy.  In early spring, just as our stores of apples are emptying and before strawberries come good, they are a welcome sight.  Looking a little like apricots, they can be smooth or slightly downy-skinned and vary from yellow to orange.  They have a succulent flesh, a little tart, a little sweet with a tropical fragrance.  They are a fragile fruit that keep only a couple of days at room temperature but up to a week in a cool place.  They can be poached in sugar syrup and simply served with yogurt or ice cream, or added to a fruit salad.  Under-ripe fruits make good jam and jelly, or chutney which goes well with fatty meats like roast pork.  

 

Raw Asparagus Salad    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands         We collected the first cut of English Asparagus from our Kent Grower last week and, despite a return to lacklustre weather, the English season is definitely under way.  Here is a recipe, inspired by our friends at 40 Maltby Street, celebrating the early spears which are delicious eaten raw.  It also makes a few spears go a long way.        Raw Asparagus Salad   (Serves 4 as a starter)   8-12 asparagus spears A handful of pea-shoots  A few mint leaves 1 tbsp lemon juice 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Salt & pepper  Snap the tough ends off the asparagus.  Cut a diagonal slice off the bottom of each spear then slice them thinly.  Add salt and pepper to the lemon juice and mix.  Whisk in the olive oil to emulsify.  Toss the sliced asparagus and the pea shoots in the dressing.  Pile onto plates and serve.  (Add a few curls or a grating of Italian Parmesan or English Berkswell cheese if you like).     

Raw Asparagus Salad

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

 

 

We collected the first cut of English Asparagus from our Kent Grower last week and, despite a return to lacklustre weather, the English season is definitely under way.  Here is a recipe, inspired by our friends at 40 Maltby Street, celebrating the early spears which are delicious eaten raw.  It also makes a few spears go a long way.  

 

Raw Asparagus Salad

(Serves 4 as a starter)


8-12 asparagus spears
A handful of pea-shoots

A few mint leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

Snap the tough ends off the asparagus.  Cut a diagonal slice off the bottom of each spear then slice them thinly.  Add salt and pepper to the lemon juice and mix.  Whisk in the olive oil to emulsify.  Toss the sliced asparagus and the pea shoots in the dressing.  Pile onto plates and serve.  (Add a few curls or a grating of Italian Parmesan or English Berkswell cheese if you like).  

 

May News 2017

May News 2017

SEASONAL PRODUCE NEWS – MAY 2017

 

English Asparagus       Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    MAY    April proved to be a stop/start month for home-grown crops but English Wild Garlic and Nettle Tops were particular favourites of our customers.  The Asparagus harvest began a full three weeks earlier than normal, only for the crop in many parts of the country to then be hit by late frosts.  With conditions now improving, we should see English Asparagus from our Kent grower throughout May.  We had Broad Beans and Peas from Italy.  The peas in particular have been much fuller and sweeter over the past couple of weeks.  Glorious plump Wet Violet Garlic arrived on cue from France in the second half of April and, at last, we received some sweeter tomato varieties from both Italy and France. 

English Asparagus     Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

MAY

April proved to be a stop/start month for home-grown crops but English Wild Garlic and Nettle Tops were particular favourites of our customers.  The Asparagus harvest began a full three weeks earlier than normal, only for the crop in many parts of the country to then be hit by late frosts.  With conditions now improving, we should see English Asparagus from our Kent grower throughout May.  We had Broad Beans and Peas from Italy.  The peas in particular have been much fuller and sweeter over the past couple of weeks.  Glorious plump Wet Violet Garlic arrived on cue from France in the second half of April and, at last, we received some sweeter tomato varieties from both Italy and France. 

Sorrel    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    At the beginning of   MAY , as I write this, you will find at Puntarelle & Co:  Italian  Spinach  and  Chard  alongside particularly good  Sorrel .     New Potatoes  from Jersey, France and Cornwall.  New season  Purple Aubergines  from Italy, including the elongated purple and white striped variety, and fragrant  Fennel  bulbs.    Supplies of  Green and Purple Artichokes  from Italy are slowing, to be replaced by French crops this month.    Again, we have chosen  French Grelot Onions  this week.  Italian   Roman  Courgettes  and smooth-skinned Yellow and White varieties along with French round courgettes.   Broad Beans  and  Peas  from Italy are still arriving, the peas fuller and sweeter now.  These are joined by the first Italian  Fine Green Beans .  From Sicily we have firm, crunchy, spiky  Cucumbers    – perfect for pickling – and, in response to customer requests, the first of the  Melons  and small, sweet red-yellow  Watermelons .  English green  Asparagus  from our Kent grower, as well as white French and Italian varieties.  Outdoor-grown English  Rhubarb .  This fruit/vegetable is admittedly not as eye-catching as the early pink forced one, but is a far better proposition for a rhubarb crumble.    Early Spanish  Peaches  and  Nectarines  are in, as are Italian  Apricots  and French outdoor-grown  Strawberries , and Italian  Cherries  and  Nespoli .  Meaty, yellow ‘Pineapple’  Tomatoes  have arrived from France this week, and we also have other colourful Heritage varieties.  We have English harvests of  Spinach ,  Salad Leaves ,  Cucumbers  and  Radishes  as well as fresh  Herbs  -  Mint,   Coriander  and  Parsley .

Sorrel  Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

At the beginning of MAY, as I write this, you will find at Puntarelle & Co:

Italian Spinach and Chard alongside particularly good Sorrel.  

New Potatoes from Jersey, France and Cornwall.

New season Purple Aubergines from Italy, including the elongated purple and white striped variety, and fragrant Fennel bulbs.  

Supplies of Green and Purple Artichokes from Italy are slowing, to be replaced by French crops this month.  

Again, we have chosen French Grelot Onions this week.

Italian Roman Courgettes and smooth-skinned Yellow and White varieties along with French round courgettes.

Broad Beans and Peas from Italy are still arriving, the peas fuller and sweeter now.  These are joined by the first Italian Fine Green Beans.

From Sicily we have firm, crunchy, spiky Cucumbers – perfect for pickling – and, in response to customer requests, the first of the Melons and small, sweet red-yellow Watermelons.

English green Asparagus from our Kent grower, as well as white French and Italian varieties.

Outdoor-grown English Rhubarb.  This fruit/vegetable is admittedly not as eye-catching as the early pink forced one, but is a far better proposition for a rhubarb crumble.  

Early Spanish Peaches and Nectarines are in, as are Italian Apricots and French outdoor-grown Strawberries, and Italian Cherries and Nespoli.

Meaty, yellow ‘Pineapple’ Tomatoes have arrived from France this week, and we also have other colourful Heritage varieties.

We have English harvests of Spinach, Salad Leaves, Cucumbers and Radishes as well as fresh Herbs - Mint, Coriander and Parsley.

Radishes    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   So, what new season produce can we  expect  to come through our doors in  MAY ?   Asparagus  and outdoor-grown  Rhubarb  from our Kent grower throughout May.  English  Spring Onions  continue.  Given a little warm weather we will be welcoming English  Broad Beans  and    Peas , later in the month to take over from French and Italian varieties.    Small, crunchy English  Cucumbers  will be with us through May, along with  Radishes  and  Spinach .  We are particularly looking forward to introducing English  Watercress  direct from the grower later in the month.  You can expect lots of fresh, vibrant  Herbs .  Hopefully, we will see some English  Wild Hops  too, if we have some warmer weather, though these will be fleeting.    Meaty, yellow ‘Pineapple’  Tomatoes  and colourful Heritage ones are now here from France and we expect more varieties with real flavour as the month progresses.  French  Apricots , hopefully some Bergeron, take over from the Italian and Spanish ones later in the month.  We have had some promising English harvests over the past two years so we may have some for you in June/July.   Peaches  and  Nectarines  from Italy will follow the Spanish this month, later joined by French ‘blood’ varieties.   Strawberries  from Italy, Spain and France are tasting good, and we may have English-grown fruit from our Kent grower in mid-May.     Cherries  from Italy, Spain and, later, France.    Towards the end of the month we could have English  Gooseberries  and  Raspberries .   Courgette  fruits and flowers and  Fennel  from both Italy and France.   Wet Garlic from  France and Italy will continue, as will Italian  Tropea Onions  and French  Grelot Onions .   The first new season  Borlotti Beans  and  Yellow Fine Beans  from Italy.    We expect French  Artichokes  to take over from Italian chokes.     New Potatoes  from Jersey, France and Cornwall.   Morel Mushrooms  will be available.  We will have foraged  Sea Spinach  this month.

Radishes  Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

So, what new season produce can we expect to come through our doors in MAY?

Asparagus and outdoor-grown Rhubarb from our Kent grower throughout May.  English Spring Onions continue.

Given a little warm weather we will be welcoming English Broad Beans and Peas, later in the month to take over from French and Italian varieties.  

Small, crunchy English Cucumbers will be with us through May, along with Radishes and Spinach.  We are particularly looking forward to introducing English Watercress direct from the grower later in the month.  You can expect lots of fresh, vibrant Herbs.  Hopefully, we will see some English Wild Hops too, if we have some warmer weather, though these will be fleeting.  

Meaty, yellow ‘Pineapple’ Tomatoes and colourful Heritage ones are now here from France and we expect more varieties with real flavour as the month progresses.

French Apricots, hopefully some Bergeron, take over from the Italian and Spanish ones later in the month.  We have had some promising English harvests over the past two years so we may have some for you in June/July.

Peaches and Nectarines from Italy will follow the Spanish this month, later joined by French ‘blood’ varieties.

Strawberries from Italy, Spain and France are tasting good, and we may have English-grown fruit from our Kent grower in mid-May. 

 Cherries from Italy, Spain and, later, France.  

Towards the end of the month we could have English Gooseberries and Raspberries.

Courgette fruits and flowers and Fennel from both Italy and France.

Wet Garlic from France and Italy will continue, as will Italian Tropea Onions and French Grelot Onions

The first new season Borlotti Beans and Yellow Fine Beans from Italy. 

 We expect French Artichokes to take over from Italian chokes.  

New Potatoes from Jersey, France and Cornwall.

Morel Mushrooms will be available.

We will have foraged Sea Spinach this month.

Tarragon     Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    NEW on our shelves:   Joining our  Fermented Vegetables    range this month are Tarragon Infused Mixed Vegetables; jars of Savoy Cabbage with lemon zest and dill; and Sicilian Kumquats which have fermented to a salty, freshness which we recommend for use in Stews and Tagines or sliced thinly into salads.   With the arrival of the first Italian Fine Beans and harvests of fine, young English Spinach and watercress joining the New Potato crops, we offer a warm salad recipe to take us into May.  This is one of those salads that can be adapted throughout spring and summer according to what produce is available.  You need green leaves, waxy potatoes, fresh beans (asparagus works too) and a little protein like Chorizo, bacon, pancetta, anchovy or boiled chopped egg.  Here is a suggestion using what is available on our shelves right now:

Tarragon   Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

NEW on our shelves:

Joining our Fermented Vegetables range this month are Tarragon Infused Mixed Vegetables; jars of Savoy Cabbage with lemon zest and dill; and Sicilian Kumquats which have fermented to a salty, freshness which we recommend for use in Stews and Tagines or sliced thinly into salads. 

With the arrival of the first Italian Fine Beans and harvests of fine, young English Spinach and watercress joining the New Potato crops, we offer a warm salad recipe to take us into May.  This is one of those salads that can be adapted throughout spring and summer according to what produce is available.  You need green leaves, waxy potatoes, fresh beans (asparagus works too) and a little protein like Chorizo, bacon, pancetta, anchovy or boiled chopped egg.  Here is a suggestion using what is available on our shelves right now:

A Late Spring Salad    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    A Late Spring Salad    (Serves 4)   300g Fine Green Beans  800g waxy potatoes (e.g. Jersey Royals, La Ratte)  250g cooking chorizo  2 good handfuls of young spinach leaves or watercress (or a mixture), washed and dried.  Dressing:  2 tablespoons of Sherry Vinegar  Salt and pepper to taste  6-7 tablespoons Olive Oil  Wash the potatoes (skin on or off, as you prefer) and boil for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Cut off the top of beans, wash and boil in salted water until just cooked(2-3 minutes).    Drain the beans and plunge them into cold water to retain the colour before cutting them in half and drying them. Thickly slice the chorizo and fry in a hot pan until softened and slightly coloured. Mix your Dressing in a large serving bowl. Drain and slice the potatoes thickly before adding them to the dressing while still warm.  Add the cooked beans and the chorizo and stir.    Add the spinach (or other) leaves.  Mix gently and serve.

A Late Spring Salad  Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

A Late Spring Salad

(Serves 4)

300g Fine Green Beans

800g waxy potatoes (e.g. Jersey Royals, La Ratte)

250g cooking chorizo

2 good handfuls of young spinach leaves or watercress (or a mixture), washed and dried.

Dressing:

2 tablespoons of Sherry Vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

6-7 tablespoons Olive Oil

Wash the potatoes (skin on or off, as you prefer) and boil for 15-20 minutes until cooked.
Cut off the top of beans, wash and boil in salted water until just cooked(2-3 minutes).  

Drain the beans and plunge them into cold water to retain the colour before cutting them in half and drying them.
Thickly slice the chorizo and fry in a hot pan until softened and slightly coloured.
Mix your Dressing in a large serving bowl.
Drain and slice the potatoes thickly before adding them to the dressing while still warm.  Add the cooked beans and the chorizo and stir.  

Add the spinach (or other) leaves.  Mix gently and serve.