Season’s eatin’s: what to munch on this spring

Spring’s just around the corner. The days are getting longer, the daffs and crocuses are brightening up our lawns and delicious new produce is filling the shops and markets. Ditch the hearty soups and stews and embrace spring’s seasonal delights with an abundance of greens.

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Spring’s best veg

Purple sprouting broccoli leads the way for the vegetables. After months of root veg and almost bitter cabbage-like greens the soft green flesh of broccoli is a welcome change. Hot on its florets are a whole load of other greens. Amongst them spring greens, spinach, watercress, rocket, mint, cucumber and of course, the mighty spring onion.

Get ready to welcome back the smaller, new potatoes and cauliflowers are also at their best throughout the next few months. We’ll soon also be waving our spears of asparagus at the sun. The official start of the harvest is actually St George’s Day (23 April).

Wait to get fruity

Disappointingly British fruit is a bit thin on the ground in the spring. There will still be some apples around, and rhubarb remains at its best, but it can feel a bit like there is nothing new coming in. Late May might see some early gooseberries or strawberries but really you need to wait for summer to gorge on British berries.

Get foraging

You don’t just have to look in the shops for spring produce. It’s a great time to turn to foraging. Even inexperienced foragers can identify a stinging nettle. Pack some gloves and head down to your closest woodland or take a course with someone like Brecon Beacons Foraging (see our interview with owner Adele Nozedar here).

As March and April progress more seasonal recipes will call for wild garlic. Be brave, check some guides and follow your nose. The elderflower, also comes into season in late spring. Who can resist sweet elderflower cordial in a cocktail?! If you are feeling really brave this is the season to hunt for morels.

Want to eat more seasonally? E8 in Season is a great example of a local initiative (in Hackney, London) to encourage more people to cook, eat and buy the most sustainable monthly produce.