If we eat the vegetables and fruit that are in season, we can buy local ingredients. As many of us know, vegetables picked from our own gardens and allotments taste so much better than supermarket veggies. And if you cannot grow your own, the next best thing is to buy from your local farm shop or market stall.
Strawberries, Cherries, and an Angels kiss..
This year the Kent strawberries are already so sweet and delicious so eat them for breakfast, add them to salads and desserts, just get your fill of them and enjoy this delicious fruit.
The cherries are lovely too. I have been buying them from my local market stall, picked from their own trees. They are really early this year.
Broadbeans are in season this month. They lend themselves very well to risottos and salads.
Make a simple Broad bean salad:
Drop the broad beans into boiling salted water and cook for about 5 mins. Then drain.
When slightly cool, pop the pods out of the skins.
Fry bacon or pancetta in a little olive oil until crips and place in a bowl
Add the broad beans to the bowl
Chop a red onion or shallot finely and add it to the bowl
Pour any oil left from the fried bacon over the salad
Add finely chopped mint
Add sea salt, a pinch of pepper and the juice of half a lemon
Toss well and serve
A risotto made with bacon, broad beans, peas, asparagus if available and lots of mint will make a lovely supper.
This lovely oily fish is one of my favourites. In India the mackerel used to be quite large and we would cut it into steaks and either fry them or add them to a spicy hot fish curry with lots of curry leaves and tamarind. I am salivating just thinking about it!!!
I normally pan fry my mackerel with a few spices and serve it with boiled potatoes and spinach.
PAN FRIED MACKEREL
4 Mackerel fillets - butterflied and pin boned (so even the children will eat this!)
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
1/2 Teaspoon Chilli Powder - more if you like it
Sea salt to taste
2 Tablespoons Oil of your choice
Sprinkle the turmeric and chilli powder over the mackerel and rub it onto the fish.
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and sprinkle on some sea salt.
Heat a pan until it is sizzling hot
Add the oil and place the mackerel skin side down in the pan.
Let the skin crisp up and brown (about 2 minutes), and then flip the fillets over
Cook for a further 2 minutes and serve with slices of lemon and boiled new potatoes
I am not a 'sweet person' so I mostly work with savoury dishes and do not miss sweet at all. But I am a sucker for baked soft fruits, which I cook in the oven without measuring sugar etc., so bear with me.
Take a shallow oven tray or a lasagne dish
Half fill it with sliced peaches, strawberries, raspberries or any soft fruit that you fancy
Sprinkle over 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar (use vanilla sugar if you have it)
Grind 3 cardamom pods using a pestle and motar and sprinkle the cardamom over the fruit
Grate the rind of a lemon onto the fruit and add the juice
Bake in a hot oven at around 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes
Serve with warm cream infused with cardamom.