food seasonal eating

Seasonal eating in April

I can’t believe it’s April already, but the clocks have gone forward and it’s light in the evenings and time to eat more of the following things:

Lots of leafy things to enjoy, like spinach, kale, spring greens, green cabbages, and lettuce. Liven up those leaves with some radish and spring onion.

Roots from the cold store include swede, parsnips, carrots and potatoes, with new season potatoes and carrots to enjoy very soon.

On the herb front, rosemary and tarragon are good to go, and rocket and parsley. I just planted those last two on the window sill the other week, and the rocket is growing at unstoppable pace.

If you want to eat for free, get out in the garden and gather up some dandelions. They’re one of the most common weeds, but are highly nutritious. It’s the easiest way to try a bit of foraging, because you can do it in your garden. The leaves are rich in Vitamin C, and work well in salads. They can be a little bitter, so mix it up with other leaves, or lightly fry them in butter. You can eat the flower buds too, and even the roots, which contain more Vitamin A than carrots. Just dig them up, scrub them and add them to roast vegetables or stir-frys. I’m reliably informed that you can also bake the roots and grind them for a coffee substitute, although the recession will have to get considerably worse before I resort to that. Here’s a recipe for dandelion risotto to get you started.

Other wild food to look out for at this time of year include fairy-ring champignon, hop shoots, morels, and fresh young nettles.

st-georges-mushroomForaging update:
I’m wouldn’t recommend tucking into any old mushroom that you find growing in your garden, but I found this one on the lawn yesterday. It’s called the St George’s Mushroom, because it appears on or near St George’s Day, April 23rd. It’s the only large white mushroom to grow on lawns at this time of year, which makes it easy to identify. Very tasty it is too.

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