Seasonal Stuff

April

Radishes.

I remember making radish flowers when I was very young. Series of cuts in the radish almost to the bottom and then leaving in iced water for an hour or so while the radish opened up and resembled a lovely flower. A popular garnish for salads in the 70`s.

Now radishes are used in all sorts of different ways. For parties they make great healthy dippers to serve with flavoured mayonaises. The French are very keen on them and use them as part of a Provencal-style plate – radishes, bread, black olive tapenade and hard boiled eggs. As Waitrose describe it – ‘simple and chic’

Purple sprouting broccoli

Many people find this sweeter than the traditional broccoli plus I find it cooks quicker – maybe retaining more of those important vitamins.

Best things to serve it with? Well the only limit is your imagination. Dippers in lightly poached or coddled eggs. Perhaps heat some potted shrimps and pour over cooked broccoli. For the more adventurous they are great with homemade hollandaise sauce.

Waitrose suggest an Italian recipe. Fry onions and chunks of spicy Italian sausage in olive oil until coloured, then add purple sprouting broccoli and splash of white wine. Cover and cook on low heat until broccoli tender. Toss with pasta and don`t forget lots of grated parmigiano reggiano.

Tarragon

Not one of the popular herbs, perhaps because it is quite ‘assertive’ and needs careful matching. Aniseed also is perhaps not everyone`s favourite taste. However once experimented with it can very quickly become a regular visitor to the kitchen.

One suggestion with a difference is an Iranian Feast – a help yourself salad that has tarragon as a main component. Feta, salad onions, lettuce leaves and a bunch of tarragon on a platter with warm pitta bread and olive oil. Guests are then invited to ‘pick and mix’ with tarragon leaves and feta on warm bread drizzled with olive oil and real hit.

Lamb

Whilst many would automatically think of New Zealand lamb, in Essex we are really lucky with lamb from such places as Layer Marney near Colchester. Personally I believe good lamb should always be treated with respect and just a couple of ingredients to compliment it garlic and rosemary although the classic Greek Easter dish would replace rosemary with oregano.

March.

A lovely long list of things that are in season this month from A to Z, well A to T to be precise 🙂

Apples

Brussel Sprouts – did you get round to trying the shredded sprouts recipe from Heston? This is The Dragon`s Kitchen version. They went down so well that the 5 year old asked for more of ‘Tom`s sprouts’ 🙂 

Tom`s Sprouts

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 pack of  lardons
25g unsalted butter
400g brussels sprouts

cream to taste

Method

  1. Peel the outer leaves from the sproutsslice the bases off. Then slice the rest thinly.
  2. Fry the bacon in a frying pan over a medium heat until soft but not coloured. 
  3. Add the butter with the bacon in the frying pan over a medium to low heat. When the butter is foaming, add the brussels and stir to coat them. 
  4. Allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stir in the cream and season with pepper

Enjoy 🙂

Cabbage

Carrots – always prefer to peel, slice and then cook in small amount of butter – delicious

Cauliflower – a great ingredient in curries

Celeriac – not a favourite of The Dragon`s Kitchen team but we would love to hear of new recipes to change our minds

Chard

Chicory

Endive

Forced rhubarb

Kale

Leeks – great in soups

Lettuce – a great thing to for the children to grow – even impatient little one`s can see and taste the results without waiting to long

Onions

Parsnips

Pears – It may not be a popular view but I still think pears are best eaten as nature intended – cold and juicy

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Spinach – much under-rated – I often throw it into dishes to increase the iron intake of the everyone

Swede – mmmmmmmmmmm mashed with lots of freshly ground black pepper

Turnips

 

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Published on March 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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