Head for the woods and put the spring back in your cooking
Finally. There’s light in the sky when the working day begins, there’s a glow when it ends. True, it’s still as chilly as ever but as we leave Winter behind it’s time to put some seasonal seasonings into our larders and make the most of what spring has to offer your kitchen.
A trip into the woods gives you an abundance of ingredients to get cracking on with. However, if you want to get cooking with wild garlic flowers, you need to be quick. Their season is a relatively short one (they’ve all but disappeared by the time June comes around) but if you manage to catch them, you’ll be mightily glad that you did.
They’re pleasing on a number of levels. Firstly, they’re darn tasty. Combining a sweetness with an edge of tartness, the leaves of the wild garlic flower go beautifully with Jersey Royal potatoes if you’re roasting a chicken or a joint of lamb. They make a fabulous addition to a spring risotto and give a delightful kick to soups too.
They’re also incredibly pretty to look at (although they’re enjoyed at their best before too many flowers appear) and are packed with a variety of health-boosting elements.
Wild garlic flowers also team up nicely with a fellow springtime woodland favourite, Morel mushrooms. A distant relative of the truffle, this fungaliscious little fella is a little on the elusive side but again, once you happen across it you’ll love what it brings to your cooking. Found among herbs and grass in forests, they’re intriguing in their appearance with pitted and irregular honeycomb crowns, tapering upwards.
The morel is a spring favourite and they’re delicious when sautéed with onion, shallots, garlic, butter and a pinch of herbs. Again, get your skates on if you’re wanting to enjoy them for yourself – they’re around from March through to May.
The spring trio is completed with the addition of the English asparagus. When it’s in season, it’s hard to beat. It tends to arrive around the end of April and sticks around until Midsummer’s Day. High in vitamin C and folic acid, English asparagus spears are full of health benefits but it’s the taste that makes all the difference. It’s incredibly versatile and tastes fantastic whether grilled, steamed, roasted or boiled – or even on the barbecue if the weather’s decent enough for you to get outside.
English asparagus is best eaten within a week of being picked as it deteriorates rapidly, and goes beautifully with seafood and fish such as crab or smoked salmon, is delicious alongside chicken as part of a pasta dish, and is an absolute delight when baked into tartlets or on pizzas with sun-dried tomatoes, goats cheese and rocket.
Spring-start your larder
There’s an abundance of ingredients set to add a splash of freshness and flavour to your kitchen this Spring, and at Sauce Fine Foods we’re ready to help you make the most of the season. If you want to know more about the fabulous food, spices and oils that we have on offer in our high calibre online deli then why not have a look around at www.saucefinefoods.com or give us a call on 01543 261 928.