With spring finally here bringing about longer days and milder temperatures, there’s a whole new crop of spring fruits and veg that are in season! Vibrant, healthy and tasty – there sure is a fine range and we stock a lot of fresh fruit and veg in our chilled section. Here’s our top pickings of spring fruit and veg!
What’s in season: spring fruit and veg
There are a number of good reasons to eat more seasonal food but, most importantly, this is when fruit and vegetables are at their freshest, so they tend to be tastier and more nutritious.
Spring often means lamb, fish and chicken are on the menu, and at this time of year there’s plenty of inspiration for delicious accompaniments: freshly boiled new potatoes, leafy salad leaves or even juicy grapefruit for a fruity, citrus twist to your dish.
The largest of citrus fruits, grapefruits are actually available all year round, though they tend to be juicier and sweeter during the spring months.
Tart and tangy, with an underlying sweetness, they have a juiciness that rivals oranges. What’s more, not only do they taste delicious, they are also a good source of fibre and vitamin C.
Although delicious eaten raw on its own, it’s also a great addition to fruit and vegetables salads. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, why not use it to create a fruity relish to accompany salmon or chicken?
Spring greens are the first cabbages of the year and, as their name suggests, are at their best in the spring and early summer months.
These young cabbages are harvested before they form a hard ‘heart’ and so are simply a bundle of leaves connected at the root. With rich dark leaves and a strong flavour, they work well with most other ingredients as an accompaniment.
Try sweating the leaves gently with a little oil in a frying pan and adding a squeeze of lemon juice. Alternatively, they can be added at the end of a stir fry, into spring casseroles alongside other spring vegetables, or added to soups.
In season from April to July, new potatoes are a sweeter potato and simply sing of springtime. Harvested from the early crop, they have thin, wispy skins; a crisp, waxy texture; and are smaller than their main crop counterparts.
By far the best known variety are Jersey Royals, as the combination of the gentle climate, steep slopes and seaweed fertiliser on the island of Jersey provides optimum growing conditions.
Although delicious simply boiled and dressed with a knob of butter, new potatoes are also well-suited for roasting. Try adding a teaspoon of sea salt and freshly chopped rosemary to the roasting pan for potatoes that are crisp and flavourful on the outside, and soft and fully on the inside.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
This wilder, leafier cousin of regular broccoli is at its best between February and April. With deep greeny-purple leaves and florets, it’s a cheap and cheerful ingredient at this time of year.
Usually served as an accompanying vegetable, we love that it adds a crunch and a splash of colour to any meal. Although it works well with subtle accompaniments, purple sprouting broccoli can also handle more robust flavours such as anchovy, chilli, garlic, strong cheeses, and bacon.
To prepare, simply trim the woody stems and remove tough leaves. Divide into small, individual florets and rinse under cold water. Purple sprouting broccoli will take around 3-6 minutes to cook when steaming or boiling, depending on the thickness of the floret. Alternatively, you can add the florets to stir fries and cook for a couple of minutes until tender.
Although often overshadowed by rocket, don’t underestimate watercress. It is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be added to soups, salads, sauces and sandwiches. It is available all year round, but is at its most flavourful from April until September.
Related to mustard, watercress is a strong-tasting salad leaf with a pungent, peppery flavour. It’s also a natural superfood, bursting with iron, calcium, vitamins A, C and E.
Try combining with milder leaves and grapefruit segments to make a delicious spring time salad; use in tarts and omelettes; or use with new potatoes and spring greens in a soup.
What’s your favourite spring fruit and veg? Let us know below!