For years now chefs have talked about eating seasonal produce and how eating seasonally means we have to add less as the flavour is so darn good. I began to wonder…do we really need to season our seasonals?
I love to cook with ingredients when they are at their very best – who doesn’t?! But what we usually buy at supermarkets aren’t really at their very best. They are often imported, sprayed with all sorts and seem to last ages in the fridge. Now I know that our climate here in the UK doesn’t favour particular fruit and veg, and so our only option is buying from abroad, but it’s sad to see that some produce which we grow well is being sold alongside international ones that have food miles written all over them, and often with an offer sticker attached.
I remember the days when a favourite family summer time treat would be strawberry picking. My parents would take my brothers and I to a local farm in the North West where we would spend hours trawling through the strawberry fields trying to pick only the very best ones, and then compare who had the largest punnets. The eager anticipation of having them weighed to see who had the heaviest juiciest ones. We would eat half of them on the way home, and then the rest would be served traditionally British – dipped in lightly whipped cream. Most seasonal ingredients require little extra adding as their wonderful flavour shines through. Now that’s pretty bold coming from me, an advocate of adding spice to everything, but when they are delicious all on their own they don’t need loads of spices to bring out their inner yumminess. A pinch here and a twist there accents them beautifully.
With this in mind I wanted to highlight what lovely August seasonal ingredients we have, and how we can add a little extra something to them to make them even tastier. Hopefully it will give you some inspiration to try some recipes out using what is at it’s very best around this time of year.
Caraway Roasted Aubergines
Seared Sea Bass with fennel & radish
And for those preservers out there then this is a must make whilst beets are around:
Beetroot, Orange & Ginger Chutney
So have a look around your farmers markets and shops and see what we have to offer. You may be surprised just how much better it tastes if you eat locally.