Summer is fast approaching, and it is very easy to get carried away with what the sunshine will bring when it comes to local fresh produce, however April should not get over looked in any way as the turn of the season is bursting with some of the finest vegetables around.
Swede, parsnips, celeriac and carrots are still going strong, so make the most of these before the end of the winter season. And if you are looking for something to put a new spin on a classic dish, the French / English mixed Rainbow carrot will wow even the fussiest veg eater. Available in purple, pink white and yellow, they are excellent grated in salads or roasted with rosemary.
The versatile Red Stemster is now in stock, and these pale, oval shaped potatoes are perfect for boiling, mashing, baking, roasting or chipping, making them a kitchen must have this time of year. Keeping on the potato trend, the popular Jersey Royal has started to appear, however as it is the start of their season, prices are still quite high.
Spanish broad beans and Petit Pois have also begun and both are excellent at adding a little green to your recipes. Just as at home in hot dishes like fish pie or tossed into a salad, the crunchy bean and the sweet pea will be with us throughout the summer, moving to local crop in early summer.
April will bring with it local asparagus, which we personally like wrapped with pancetta and dipped in soft boiled eggs for breakfast, and with Heritage beetroot, Large Golden, Candy and Red & White still going strong, you can add some colour to your plate for a while yet. Baby Candy and Baby Golden beetroots will start again in May along with other local baby vegetables, just in time for BBQ season to nestle nicely in your side salads.
Our Wild Forager has been snooting about as well, and has uncovered the first of the leaf garlic that has just begun its spring season. Try adding some to your mashed Red Stemsters for a real treat.
Slightly sour and salty in taste, sea purslane is a great little leaf vegetable that compliments Asian and Mexican recipes perfectly, and Alexander’s parsley-like look and taste can be used in a wide range of recipes and we have scurvey grass available to order as well. Other local sea vegetables will appear soon, with marsh samphire making an appearance in June.
Brassicas and Brassion:
The selection of leafy vegetables that you can order in April is astounding; with local black cabbage being the first to phase out, so we suggest you try this strong flavoured, dark leaved variety whilst you still can.
Purple sprouting broccoli is still looking fantastic this time of year due to lack of frost, with white sprouting broccoli available alongside it. Chard, savoy and cauliflower are also holding on strong and sprouting tops will be available for a few more weeks of the calendar.
Local leeks love this time of year and you can enjoy their mild oniony taste for 2-3 months to come. Local spring cabbage will be available by the end of the month and we are likely to see some more leafy green vegetables making an appearance as we move towards summer.
If crumble and custard is your thing, forced rhubarb has finished but has been replaced by local outdoor crop, so stock up as the prices start to fall. As rhubarb can be frozen easily, buying now and storing means that you can enjoy it in your desserts all year round and at a very reasonable cost.
As of April, we will see the humble Bramley apple and conference pears pushing through the blossom, however we still have last years stored crop to see us through with the bramley best served cooked as can be quite sour if eaten raw, however the pear will be just as at home in your fruit bowl as it would be in your fruit salad or topping sweet pie or flan.
Blood oranges are also being harvested right through April, and their crimson colouring can bring a touch of vibrancy to your breakfast table until the end of spring, with frozen blood orange puree available all year round as a supplement.
For all of the above fresh local produce, contact Accent Fresh today on 01366 386633, where our expert team are ready to take your order and offer advice.