With the worst of winter hopefully now behind us, it’s fair to say that, as we hurtle towards March, Spring is on its way, with daffodils beginning to pop from the ground and tree branches just ready and waiting for new buds to emerge.
So what sort of foodie treats and goodies does this mean is in store, in addition to the Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies that are lining the supermarket shelves?
There are lots of fruit and vegetables which come into season late March, at the beginning of Spring. Here are some of our favourites and the sort of goodness that they provide.
Smashing spring greens
These are the first cabbages of the year and the most flavoursome, coming without the bitter hard heart of other cabbages and perfect in quick dishes, such as stir fries. The secret to these is not to over cook them, as this makes them taste far too bitter, just give them a quick dash of heat and a drizzle with butter to make them taste perfect.
Pepper – the overlooked Vit C giant
Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, these vegetables offer more vitamin C than oranges. Here we’re talking specifically about the red and green varieties but remember not to overlook the yellow and orange ones too – these have plenty of vitamin content and taste great in spring/ summer salads. Just 100 grams of bell peppers contains 142% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C (oranges contain 59% per 100g).
Potato – so many ways to have them!
These versatile staples of the UK dinner table start coming into season in March and offer an excellent source of potassium, B vitamins, Vitamin C and fibre, not to mention tasting yummy whether roasted, mashed, baked or fried. Every year the end of March signals the harvesting of the delicious Jersey Royal potatoes, which have been grown on the island using seaweed harvested from Jersey beaches as a natural fertilizer. This seems to make them taste, frankly, amazing when served with delicious leafy greens. Remember that sweet potatoes are still well and truly in season too!
Sorrel – they love it across The Channel!
Just coming in to season towards the end of March, sorrel has a sharp, lemony flavour – look out for the bright green, crisp and fresh younger leaves, available in the springtime, which are gorgeous when used in salads and if the weather is that bit chillier, sorrel also tastes great in sauce or soup.
Spinach and Watercress – because we love dark leafy greens
These two bright, leafy greens are coming in at the end of March, just in time to be at their very best throughout the Spring and Summer months. Spinach, known as Popeye’s secret weapon for its high iron content which gives him super strength and bags of energy comes packed full of just about every healthy vitamin and mineral your body needs. Meanwhile, the peppery deliciousness of watercress offers much of the same containing significant amounts of iron, calcium, vitamins A, C and E. Again they’re best in salads and served with as little cooking involved as possible!