Seasonal food in Spring
The Isle of Wight, with its long-standing records of being one of the sunniest places in the UK, produces some of the best fruit and veg, not to mention fish and meat in the world.
We’re also being told that seasonal fruits and vegetables bought locally, retain more nutrients than their counterparts, which makes them a better choice for our health too, plus we can choose to support our local farmers who farm sustainably.
Now in the month of June, we can be enjoying a plethora of gorgeous produce, including but not limited to:
This long thin green veggie is delicious in any form, Great chopped up in a salad, lightly sauteed with a little butter, salt and pepper, boiled, steamed. However, you cook it this nutrient-packed little vegetable is always a welcome sight at the dinner table as we move from spring into early summer.
Pick up your bundle from local farm shops such as Farmer Jacks or Brownriggs or farmers markets.
Many of us grow courgettes in our garden, and at this time of year the flowers are blooming too. Don’t waste these beautiful, delicate yellow blooms as they can be eaten too. Pretty up your salad by adding these raw or fill them with something subtle like a honey/ soft cheese mix or a homemade tapenade. You can lightly pan fry them before serving but be careful not to overdo as it will damage the delicate taste.
Try local greengrocers such as Hunts fruit and vegetables or Farmhouse Fare.
Whether you love it or hate it, rhubarb season is upon us. These young stems can be tart so when cooking them down add a little sugar. Alternatively, for less sugar add strawberries to your crumble or compote. Naturally sweet these little berries lift the flavour of the rhubarb.
Here on the Isle of Wight we are lucky enough to have the renowned Tomato Stall based at Arreton – who are now working in conjunction with Pipers crisps on a new tomato flavour – which means we get great tomatoes all year round. If you’re a grower though, you’ll know that June is when these little green jewels ripen to juicy red ones. Perfect fresh in salads, sliced in your BBQ burger or popped under the grill to accompany your breakfast, for the next few months this versatile fruit is at its best.
There’s an abundance of seafood in our waters and with summer coming there’s no better time to try our local fare. Crab and mackerel are June’s offering. If you haven’t headed to Steephill Cove to try the crab pasties at the Crab Shack then make it your mission this summer. Pick up some fresh mackerel from local fishmongers such as Captain Stan’s in Bembridge or Haven Fishery in Ventnor. Pop them on the BBQ.
Here, we’ve found a recipe we think you might like, incorporating some of this season’s finest:
Seabass, Jersey Royals and Watercress created by James Martin. Who by the way, declared on ITV earlier this year, our very own butchers, Woodford and Sons, made ‘the best sausage rolls ever!’ And sang our praises in The Telegraph this week.
High praise indeed.
Check out James Martin’s recipe here