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IN BLOOM: WHAT’S IN SEASON THIS SPRING

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Is it just us, or has this winter seemed particularly long and particularly gloomy?

Either way, the arrival of spring can’t come quickly enough! The warmer weather and brighter evenings reduces both the urge to hibernate, and to consume only the most hearty and filling of meals.

Here’s a taster of the produce that will be in season this spring and at its best in the next few months, and the perfect dishes to create with it.

Artichokes

Andy McLeish - Beef Wellington

A great source of antioxidants, the artichoke is a fantastic addition to any dish and can offer a more exciting alternative to your average side of greens. In season from March to May, it is an extremely versatile vegetable, with both the leaves and heart each offering something different. Andy McLeish uses baby globe artichokes as the perfect finishing touch to his luxurious beef wellington.

Celeriac

pie

Coming into season in April, celeriac can provide a delicious and healthy twist on potato. When mashed, it has a creamy texture, while retaining its characteristic root-vegetable flavour. This steak, thyme and onion pie benefits from a celeriac mash topping in place of traditional potato.

Swiss Chard

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Similar to spinach, but with a more distinctive and some would say bitter flavour, chard is a great addition to a variety of spring dishes. We love the amount of greenery in this aromatic stir-fry. The inclusion of, not only chard, but sugar snap peas, French beans, mangetout and spinach, will mean you won’t be in danger of missing out on your five-a-day.

Morel Mushrooms

Helen Graves - Lasagne with Salad

The elusive morel mushroom has a honeycomb-like cap and a distinct earthy flavour. A favourite of wild mushroom hunters, it is so difficult to find that it has become something of a competitive sport. If you do manage to scavenge some yourself, add them to this tasty spin on a classic lasagne.

Savoy Cabbage

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Catch the Savoy Cabbage in early Spring for the vegetable at its absolute best. Although a winter cabbage and able to be grown in the harshest of conditions, it flourishes when grown in sunlight. Ross Lewis’s recipe for braised top rib of prime Hereford beef uses a whole Savoy cabbage with the core removed as a perfectly crisp accompaniment to the dish.