The seasonal delicacy of British asparagus is usually available for just eight weeks from April to June. They’re packed full of vitamins A, B, C and E, fibre, folic acid, iron and potassium which can help to boost the immune system, detox the body and keep hair, skin and nails healthy. As English asparagus is usually grown in a sandy soil, wash it thoroughly first and trim or peel any white ends, and if you won’t be eating it straight away, store it in a jug of water in the fridge to keep it in tip-top condition. Asparagus is a versatile vegetable and its unmistakable flavour pairs beautifully with eggs, bacon, ham or chorizo, cheeses, chilli, cream, seafood, herbs, capers and anchovies. You can eat it as a side or as a main, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with pasta, in risotto and even on pizza.
The Spanish Apricot is full of sweet and sunshine-ripened flavour. It one of the best sources of beta-carotene, you’ll need just one fresh apricot to full fill your recommended requirement for the day. Apricots are also a very good source of vitamins C and E and a good source of iron, potassium and dietary fibre. Best eaten at room temperature to enjoy all the subtle hints of the sweet taste and aroma, or slice over your breakfast yoghurt and granola, cook into brightly coloured preserves or use a luscious sauce for meats or desserts.
These French grown tomatoes are named after their signature unique look. An excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid. As this tomato uniquely ripens from the inside out, its skin may still be green even when the fruit is ripe enough to eat. The flesh is firm and meaty with few seeds and little juice, and it offers a mild, sweet and moderately acidic flavour. Cow Heart tomatoes can be used raw or cooked. As they have a firm texture they can be sautéed, grilled, roasted, or fried. Pair them with avocado, olive oil and toasted pine nuts or, because of their size, they are great for using on burgers.
These intensely aromatic melons come from the beautiful region of Charente-Maritime in south-west France, and they are an absolute delight. Fragrant, sweet and outstandingly flavoursome, these are certainly one of our favourites. They are fantastic when eaten on their own, but they are also fabulous as part of delicious appetisers. Try wrapping wedges in a high-quality Parma Ham or Serrano for a classic, elegant starter. Alternatively mix them into a salad with mint, feta and salty Parma Ham, served with a honey vinaigrette and crusty bread – perfect for a summer party!
White Peaches and Nectarines
From the outside, yellow and white peaches are distinguished by their skin colour – deep yellow with a red or pink blush for the former versus pale and pink for the latter. Inside, the golden flesh of the yellow peach is more acidic, with a tartness that mellows as the peach ripens and softens. White-fleshed peaches are lower in acid and taste sweet whether firm or soft. Some prefer yellow peaches, citing their “classic peachy flavour,” while others praise the sweetness of white peaches. As for cooking, the two types are interchangeable according to preference. We generally think the white fleshed, more delicate variety is superior for eating and should be enjoyed whilst they are around, as they have a shorter season lasting only until August.
Sweet cherries from the Provence region in France, the country’s largest producing region of the stone-fruit. One of the delights at this time of year, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour and sweet, juicy flesh. Enjoy them best as they are, paired with the summer sun!
English Strawberries are one of the best summer treats we are given. Locally grown, high quality berries with maximum freshness and maximum flavour. Of course, these are delicious enjoyed on their own, or you can enjoy the classic of strawberries and cream, or create an Eton Mess with English strawberries, cream and meringue as an indulgent dessert. But why not try them in your summer salads with feta cheese, balsamic vinegar and some black pepper – they offer a great burst of summer flavour to the plate.