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December Seasonal News

December Seasonal News

January King Cabbage    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

January King Cabbage

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

December


Through November our shelves groaned with the weight of English Apples and Pears and colourful Crab Apple branches decorated the arch.  Pumpkin Squash varieties increased and nutty-flavoured Fenland Celery arrived for its short season.  A touch of early frost brought good flavour to Cabbages but we were happy too for the warmth of Italy where our Persimmons and Pomegranates had been grown.  


It’s now three short weeks to Christmas so, with your festive shopping needs in mind, our December Report concentrates on the zesty, tasty and colourful must-haves to take us into the holidays.  It’s definitely looking and smelling like Christmas here in our Spa Terminus arch. Here is the key short-season produce you can expect to find at Puntarelle & Co between now and Christmas along with all the usual staples:

Italian Citrus    Photo ©Puntarelle@CO

Italian Citrus

Photo ©Puntarelle@CO

Sicilian Grapefruits    Photo ©Puntarelle & Co

Sicilian Grapefruits

Photo ©Puntarelle & Co

Just arrived and filling the arch with zesty, festive aromas is our Citrus delivery from Italy.  Novelino Oranges are now perfectly sweet and juicy; the earlier delivery was a little underripe for our taste.  

We have our first, and only, delivery of new season unwaxed Sicilian Pink Grapefruits.  These are pretty special as it is difficult to find unwaxed Grapefruits in the UK.  The skins make the most delicious candied peel.  Get them while you can.

We have sweet, juicy Nova Clementine Mandarins too.  In our opinion, a box would make a wonderful Christmas present.  

Cavolo Nero/Black Cabbage    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Cavolo Nero/Black Cabbage

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

British grown greens are benefitting from the colder weather and we are getting particularly good Cabbages including purple/green hued January King, crinkle-leaved Savoy, juicy Red Cabbage and earthy Black Cabbage/Cavolo Nero.  Also expect to find Brussels Sprouts, Sprout Tops and Kalettes.  More greens available through to Christmas include Cima di Rapa, and heads of Puntarelle with their juicy centres that are perfect for salads (particularly with anchovies) and beautifully bitter outer leaves for adding to soups and stews.

Sicilian Flat Onions    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Sicilian Flat Onions

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Root vegetable offerings are Parsnips, Swede, Turnips, Salsify and several varieties of Potatoes are here.  Carrots too, including easy to prepare baby Heritage and the French Sand-grown Carrots which are sweet and store really well.  Silky-textured British Leeks are alongside sweet, flat Sicilian OnionsCipolla Ramata - that are so good roasted whole. 


Castelfranco Radicchio    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Castelfranco Radicchio

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

For salads, new season Chicories are arriving, including members of the Endive group like large-leaved Escarole and tight-leaved Belgian Endive along with some of the Radicchio group - Tardivo whose red and white leaves curl into a twist at the top, looser-leaved Treviso and yellow, red-speckled Castelfranco which is the mildest of the bitter-leaved chicories.   


We have Cranberries, both fresh and dried, Vacuum-packed Chestnuts, Walnuts in their shells and a selection of other Nuts and Dried Fruits.

Christmas specials from London Fermentary

Christmas specials from London Fermentary

London Fermentary news:

As usual we have a range of Water Kefir flavours in our fridges but, for Christmas, we have created two special edition Water Kefirs available in one-litre bottles.  You can choose between flavours of Mulled Wine or Mince Pie, both created with a mix of warming and uplifting natural seasonal spices.  We will also have our Cranberry and Chilli Water Kefir available in the run-up to Christmas for those who like their Water Kefir hot!  We also have a Fermented Sauce made from fresh and dry cranberries fermented with chilli and garlic.  These are worth considering when you are looking for the perfect present for a food lover.


Our recipe suggestion this month is the perfect solution to when you just want a little something, rather than yet another big Christmas meal.  It uses Leeks, which are very much in season, for a delicious take on the dish ‘Welsh Rarebit’.  This recipe is based on the one in Rosie Sykes’ The Sunday Night Book which is full of easy, comforting recipes.  This one has a kick of mustard to wake up a jaded palate.


Leeks with Caerphilly and mustard    made according to the recipe in The Sunday Night Book by Rosie Sykes    Photo and recipe ©Evie Saffron Strands

Leeks with Caerphilly and mustard

made according to the recipe in The Sunday Night Book by Rosie Sykes

Photo and recipe ©Evie Saffron Strands

Leeks with Caerphilly and mustard

(serves 2)


2 medium size leeks

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 few sprigs of thyme

1-2 tablespoons grain mustard

100g grated Caerphilly cheese

2 thick slices of bread

1 clove of garlic

Salt and pepper

Ketchup or chutney to serve (optional)


Trim and cut the leeks into 2cm slices, wash well.  Heat the olive oil in a large pan with a lid on medium heat, add leeks, thyme and 3 tablespoons of water, salt and pepper.  Stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the leeks are very tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking (add a little more water if necessary to soften but you want them just juicy, not watery).  

Pre-heat your grill.  

Lift out the thyme sprigs and stir the mustard and cheese into the leeks. 

Toast the bread lightly, both sides.  Rub one side with the cut garlic clove.  Pile the leek and cheese mixture on top and toast under the grill until it bubbles and starts to brown.




***CHRISTMAS OPEN DATES***

We will be open at Spa Terminus Thursday 20, Friday 21 & Saturday 22 December 08.00-13.00 each day.

We will be closed between Christmas and the New Year and 

Re-open on Saturday 5 January at 08.00


Seasonal news October

Seasonal news October

SWISS CHARD    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

SWISS CHARD

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

October


Summer holidays have come to an end but summer seems reluctant to morph into Autumn here.  Apples and pears are coming through the doors in abundance, yet Sweetcorn is still arriving.  


But now October is here we can see a seasonal shift.  Here is the key short-season produce you can expect to find at Puntarelle & Co this month along with all the usual staples:

English Quince    Photo © Puntarelle & Co

English Quince

Photo © Puntarelle & Co

British Produce

Apples coming from our favoured farm in Kent include Early Windsor, Greensleeves, Spartan, Orange Pippin, and Worcesters.  Pears too are plentiful and include Doyenne du Comice, Conference and Triumph of Vienna - an old French variety with red flush, russet-patched skin and smooth, juicy white flesh.  

The English Quince crop is looking particularly good this year and you will find them on our shelves now.

We have fantastic Rainbow Chard, Swiss Chard, and Purple Sprouting Broccoli right now along with Cavolo Nero/Black Cabbage, Cauliflowers and crunchy Kohlrabi.  

Brussels Sprouts seem to appear earlier and earlier each year and, yes, they are in already.  Some Pumpkin and Winter Squash are starting to arrive too. 

We have Chanterelles and Girolles from Scotland and expect to have them throughout the month. 

French Produce

Wet Walnuts arrived in late September and we expect to have them through October.  Black Figs are still coming in although, surprisingly, the crop hasn’t been good this year.

Coco de Paimpol beans are still with us.

Some of our Autumn Mushrooms may come in from France too.

Porcini from Italy    Photo © Puntarelle&Co

Porcini from Italy

Photo © Puntarelle&Co

Pomegranates from Puglia     Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Pomegranates from Puglia

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Italian Produce

This month Italian Peaches and melons give way to strawberry/exotic fruits-flavoured Fragola Grapes and delicate-pink Pomegranates from Puglia.  They may not be as eye-catching as the deep-red Turkish variety but are a beautiful lead-in to the full pomegranate season.

The start of the new citrus season always excites and, happily, zingy Miyagawa Mandarins and early, unwaxed, Navelina Oranges are already in . We’ll have to wait for the new season Italian lemons but expect Bergamots to be in this month.

Persimmons are just beginning to arrive as I write.  

New season Artichokes, bitter-leaved Chicoria and Cima di Rapa are on the shelves and we can expect to have them throughout October.


In our London Fermentary fridges in October you can expect to find seasonal Water Kefir flavours like Fragola Grape and zingy Green Mandarin.  

Water Kefir London Fermentary    Photo © London Fermentary

Water Kefir London Fermentary

Photo © London Fermentary

Pears with maple syrup and vanilla    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Pears with maple syrup and vanilla

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

With such an amazing crop of Apples and Pears coming into the arch right now, we have to point you to this simple recipe that tastes so perfectly seasonal.  You can find a full version in Nigel Slater’s book Tender: Volume II.  It’s delicious but if you want to add a little texture, a scattering of a few toasted almonds is good.

Pears with maple syrup and vanilla

(serves 4)

4 large pears

4 tablespoons sugar

750ml water

4 tablespoons maple syrup

2-3 drops vanilla extract


Peels the pears, cut in half and scoop out the cores.  Bring sugar and water to the boil, add the pears and reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 10-15 minutes until just beginning to feel tender.  Lift the pear halves from the syrup and discard the liquid.

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/Gas 4.  

Place the pears in a shallow baking dish.  Drizzle them with the maple syrup and the vanilla extract.  Bake them for around 1 hour or until the pears are meltingly soft and pale gold here and there.

Serve with or without cream.

Broad Beans

Broad Beans

Broad Beans    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    BROAD BEANS   Our first  Broad Beans  of spring usually come from Italy and, this year, they began to arrive in the first week of March.  Now English Broad Beans are with us.    Very early small bean pods can be cooked whole and eaten simply smothered in melted butter.  As they become larger, they need to be removed from their pods.  Late Broad Beans are best podded, boiled and then popped out of their grey-green outer skins to reveal the vibrant green kernel.  This removes not just toughness but the bitterness that can become more pronounced when the season is ending.  Even late crops can be tasty if treated right.  By this time the kernels may have taken on a mealy texture but can be pureed and spread on warm toast, used for a pasta sauce or be added to soups.  Broad Beans have a particular affinity with bacon so what’s nicer than a warm salad of cooked beans with new potatoes, bacon and peppery rocket or English watercress.

Broad Beans

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

BROAD BEANS

Our first Broad Beans of spring usually come from Italy and, this year, they began to arrive in the first week of March.  Now English Broad Beans are with us.  

Very early small bean pods can be cooked whole and eaten simply smothered in melted butter.  As they become larger, they need to be removed from their pods.  Late Broad Beans are best podded, boiled and then popped out of their grey-green outer skins to reveal the vibrant green kernel.  This removes not just toughness but the bitterness that can become more pronounced when the season is ending.  Even late crops can be tasty if treated right.  By this time the kernels may have taken on a mealy texture but can be pureed and spread on warm toast, used for a pasta sauce or be added to soups.  Broad Beans have a particular affinity with bacon so what’s nicer than a warm salad of cooked beans with new potatoes, bacon and peppery rocket or English watercress.

Seasonal Produce News

Seasonal Produce News

Kohlrabi                      Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    JUNE    May was the month of Artichokes, Tropea Onions, Fennel, Fine Beans and Courgettes from Italy; Grelot Onions, Wet Garlic, radishes and Watercress from France; English Asparagus, recovering from everything the weather could throw at it, and early Strawberries with real flavour arriving from Kent.   We had wonderful English foraged Sea Vegetables too.  The second half of the month brought the first tender English Artichokes and, in the final week, the first picking of English peas, so sweet we just wanted to eat them straight from their pods.

Kohlrabi                    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

JUNE

May was the month of Artichokes, Tropea Onions, Fennel, Fine Beans and Courgettes from Italy; Grelot Onions, Wet Garlic, radishes and Watercress from France; English Asparagus, recovering from everything the weather could throw at it, and early Strawberries with real flavour arriving from Kent.   We had wonderful English foraged Sea Vegetables too.  The second half of the month brought the first tender English Artichokes and, in the final week, the first picking of English peas, so sweet we just wanted to eat them straight from their pods.

Purple Ligurian Basil            Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd    In the first week of   JUNE , as I write, this is what stands out for us on the shelves of  Puntarelle & Co :  Several varieties of sun-ripened Italian  Tomatoes  along with flat, pink  Cipollini Onions  which roast so well, great quality new season  Garlic  for keeping.    Italian  Borlotti Beans ,  Fennel  and  Courgettes  –  Round,   Romano, Yellow  and  Green .  A number of forms of Italian  Cicoria  and  Aubergines  and both  Green  and  Purple Ligurian Basil .  We also have the first supply of  Tenerumi  (leaves of the Cucuzza Zucchini) from Italy for pasta and soups.  English new season produce is becoming more available.  We have  Asparagus  from our Kent grower coming in at better prices now we are well into the season.  We have English  Watercress  direct from the grower,  Artichokes ,  Peas ,  Broad Beans ,  Cucumbers ,  Radishes ,  Spring Onions  ,   Spinach  and juicy  Kohlrabi .    Small red/yellow  Watermelons  and the large Greek variety liked so much by our customers.    The special thin-skinned, orange-fleshed Melons from Italy now join the  Cantaloupe Melons .  We have new season  Sicilian Green Lemons , prized in particular for their highly fragrant zest.  We also have the first large, plump  Green Figs  from Italy.  There are various vibrant  Fresh Herbs  along with English  Strawberries, Raspberries  and the first of the  Gooseberries.   Italian  Peaches ,  Nectarines  and  Apricots  are already plentiful and French  Cherries  are starting to arrive.  

Purple Ligurian Basil          Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd

In the first week of JUNE, as I write, this is what stands out for us on the shelves of Puntarelle & Co:

Several varieties of sun-ripened Italian Tomatoes along with flat, pink Cipollini Onions which roast so well, great quality new season Garlic for keeping.  

Italian Borlotti Beans, Fennel and Courgettes Round, Romano, Yellow and Green.  A number of forms of Italian Cicoria and Aubergines and both Green and Purple Ligurian Basil.  We also have the first supply of Tenerumi (leaves of the Cucuzza Zucchini) from Italy for pasta and soups.

English new season produce is becoming more available.  We have Asparagus from our Kent grower coming in at better prices now we are well into the season.  We have English Watercress direct from the grower, Artichokes, Peas, Broad Beans, Cucumbers, Radishes, Spring Onions, Spinach and juicy Kohlrabi.  

Small red/yellow Watermelons and the large Greek variety liked so much by our customers.  The special thin-skinned, orange-fleshed Melons from Italy now join the Cantaloupe Melons.  We have new season Sicilian Green Lemons, prized in particular for their highly fragrant zest.  We also have the first large, plump Green Figs from Italy.  There are various vibrant Fresh Herbs along with English Strawberries, Raspberries and the first of the Gooseberries.  Italian Peaches, Nectarines and Apricots are already plentiful and French Cherries are starting to arrive.  

Tenerumi / Leaves of the Cucuzza Zucchini     Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd   So, what new season produce can we  expect  to come through our doors through  JUNE ?  English  Broad Beans  and  Peas  and, perhaps, the first English  Fennel bulbs .  The  Asparagus  from our Kent grower will take us up to the last week of June with lower prices than in May.   Watercress  sourced direct from Kingfisher Farm in Surrey, who have been growing watercress for more than 150 years, should be with us throughout the month.    New Potatoes  from Jersey, France and Cornwall.  British  Strawberries ,  Raspberries    and  Gooseberries  will be benefiting from some summer sun in June.  English-grown  Herbs  –  Mint, Coriander, Parsley and Dill  in particular as well as  Cucumbers ,  Radishes ,  Spring Onions  and  Spinach .  Crunchy French  Grelot Onions  will continue through the month and we will have a good supply of  Round ,  Romana ,  Trompetta ,  White ,  Yellow  and  Green   Courgettes  and  Tenerumi  (leaves of the Cucuzza Zucchini) from Italy.  There will be  Borlotti Beans  and a greater variety of  Aubergines  this month.    Even sweeter varieties of sun-ripened Italian  Tomatoes .  The supply of flat, pink  Cipollini Onions  for roasting should continue as should quality new season  Garlic  and crunchy  Kohlrabi .    We should continue to have small red/yellow  Watermelons ,  Cantaloupe Melons  and new season  Sicilian Green Lemons , prized in particular for their highly fragrant zest.   Peaches ,  Flat Peaches ,  Nectarines, Apricots  and  Green Figs  from Italy.  We expect both Red and Rainier  Cherries  from France as well as  White  and  Blood  varieties of both  Peaches  and  Nectarines   (pêche de vigne & nectavigne) .     Plums  from France and Italy should be arriving and Green Almonds are now in season.    By late June we should have  English Cherries  arriving.

Tenerumi / Leaves of the Cucuzza Zucchini    Photo ©Puntarelle&Co Ltd

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

English Broad Beans and Peas and, perhaps, the first English Fennel bulbs.  The Asparagus from our Kent grower will take us up to the last week of June with lower prices than in May.

Watercress sourced direct from Kingfisher Farm in Surrey, who have been growing watercress for more than 150 years, should be with us throughout the month. 

New Potatoes from Jersey, France and Cornwall.

British Strawberries, Raspberries and Gooseberries will be benefiting from some summer sun in June.

English-grown Herbs Mint, Coriander, Parsley and Dill in particular as well as Cucumbers, Radishes, Spring Onions and Spinach.

Crunchy French Grelot Onions will continue through the month and we will have a good supply of Round, Romana, Trompetta, White, Yellow and Green Courgettes and Tenerumi (leaves of the Cucuzza Zucchini) from Italy.  There will be Borlotti Beans and a greater variety of Aubergines this month.  

Even sweeter varieties of sun-ripened Italian Tomatoes.  The supply of flat, pink Cipollini Onions for roasting should continue as should quality new season Garlic and crunchy Kohlrabi.  

We should continue to have small red/yellow Watermelons, Cantaloupe Melons and new season Sicilian Green Lemons, prized in particular for their highly fragrant zest.

Peaches, Flat Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots and Green Figs from Italy.

We expect both Red and Rainier Cherries from France as well as White and Blood varieties of both Peaches and Nectarines (pêche de vigne & nectavigne).  

Plums from France and Italy should be arriving and Green Almonds are now in season.  

By late June we should have English Cherries arriving.

Smoky Leekchi Ferments                                      Photo ©Puntarelle@Co    NEW on our shelves:   Focusing on our  Fermented Vegetables    range this month we have ‘Smoky Leekchi’, a ferment of Leeks, smoked chilli, garlic and ginger.  Particularly delicious paired with dishes involving chicken or pulses.   

Smoky Leekchi Ferments                                    Photo ©Puntarelle@Co

NEW on our shelves:

Focusing on our Fermented Vegetables range this month we have ‘Smoky Leekchi’, a ferment of Leeks, smoked chilli, garlic and ginger.  Particularly delicious paired with dishes involving chicken or pulses.   

Flat Peaches               Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands       We select the best peaches we can get but early peaches can be a little less yielding than you might like.  Their season arrives along with a vibrant array of fresh herbs including Lemon Verbena.  Peaches have a particular affinity with the ‘sherbet lemon’ quality of this herb.  Here is a recipe that’s perfect for those peaches that need a little heat to bring out their best but works for ripe peaches too:   Baked Peaches with Lemon Verbena  (serves 4)  4 Unripe round or flat peaches 100ml water + the same volume of caster sugar 4 leaves of tender fresh lemon verbena (or 2-3 basil leaves) A handful of raspberries for each plate (optional)   Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/Gas 4.  Lightly butter an ovenproof dish.     Cut the peaches in half and remove the stones.  Place the fruit cut-side up in the dish.   Dissolve the sugar in the water over a medium heat and add the lemon verbena leaves.  Pour the contents of the pan over the cut peaches.  Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the peaches.  If the fruits are particularly hard, you can cover the dish with foil to speed up cooking.  Baste the peaches a couple of times during cooking and, if they are not softening, turn them a couple of times in the syrup.     Serve with the cooking juices spooned over and, maybe, a fresh leaf of verbena.  If you have raspberries, add a few to each plate.  Cream to serve is good.

Flat Peaches               Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    

We select the best peaches we can get but early peaches can be a little less yielding than you might like.  Their season arrives along with a vibrant array of fresh herbs including Lemon Verbena.  Peaches have a particular affinity with the ‘sherbet lemon’ quality of this herb.  Here is a recipe that’s perfect for those peaches that need a little heat to bring out their best but works for ripe peaches too:

Baked Peaches with Lemon Verbena
(serves 4)

4 Unripe round or flat peaches
100ml water + the same volume of caster sugar
4 leaves of tender fresh lemon verbena (or 2-3 basil leaves)
A handful of raspberries for each plate (optional)

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/Gas 4.  Lightly butter an ovenproof dish.  
Cut the peaches in half and remove the stones.  Place the fruit cut-side up in the dish.
Dissolve the sugar in the water over a medium heat and add the lemon verbena leaves.  Pour the contents of the pan over the cut peaches.  Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the peaches.  If the fruits are particularly hard, you can cover the dish with foil to speed up cooking.  Baste the peaches a couple of times during cooking and, if they are not softening, turn them a couple of times in the syrup.  

Serve with the cooking juices spooned over and, maybe, a fresh leaf of verbena.  If you have raspberries, add a few to each plate.  Cream to serve is good.

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.