Farming

What to eat this month: June

22nd June 2014

Eating with the seasons is at the very heart of FarmDrop. Seasons form the natural backdrop for eating – there’s something about seasonal eating that seems natural and instinctive. Each fruit or vegetable has a prime time when it’s at its seasonal best, which means better value, better taste and a better deal for the planet.

But occasionally this means coming face to face with produce with which we might be unfamiliar. This is a fantastic time of year for British fruit and vegetables and, with sunshine and sporting events galore, it’s perfect for getting together with friends and family and creating feasts that you can experiment with, savour and enjoy.

Of course, warm weather says “salad days” even more enticingly than Cleopatra herself, and our London FarmDrop’s producers Chegworth Valley have some leafy delights in store at the moment:

  • Summer purslane has a vibrant, lemony, salty taste that works brilliantly just as it is – well-washed and tossed into a salad – but for a tasty twist on brunch, we like the sound of this recipe, which combines it with scrambled egg and feta. Alternatively, just use it as you would any other green, lightly steamed or stir-fried.
  • Nettle tips are also abundant right now and although many of us tend to see nettles as pesky, painful weeds, they’re actually chock full of health benefits (no dock leaves required). They contain more iron than spinach and are brilliant boiled into a soup or used instead of basil in pesto http://honest-food.net/foraging-recipes/greens-and-herbs/nettle-pesto/

Rhubarb should also be wildly available at the moment, but if you’re wary of the amount of sugar that most rhubarb recipes call for, try this: soaking cut rhubarb in cold water and baking soda will neutralise its acidity, meaning that you’ll be able to rinse a great deal of that tartness away. And if it seems a shame to smother all of that glorious colour with crumble topping and you’ve ever despaired of how its rosy hue gets leeched away by boiling, you might like to try baking it in the oven instead, which will also help it to keep its shape. This recipe shows you how to.

Strawberries continue to herald British summer and blueberries have also made their first appearance this week. Gorgeous as they come, or just topped with some yoghurt and honey, you could also try whipping up a batch of blueberry muffins with the little people in your life – perfect for lunch boxes or after school snacks – or kickstarting your day with a blueberry Bircher muesli.

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