Tuesday, 29 June 2010

What’s in Season for the Month of July

Eating seasonally and when possible locally, suggests eating food that is at its prime in terms of taste and nutritional contents, while at the same time cutting down on those food miles.
Every month, I hope to publish on my blog a guide to what's in season the main points are going to be about fresh and locally produced (specifically British) foodstuffs and what we are producing ourselves on the balcony.
To me July means long warm lazy days spent outside having picnics or barbeques, the variety and quality of the fresh food available, from home grown produce to the imported foods are simply the best.
The salad leaves such as lamb’s lettuce, lollo rosso, oak leaf lettuce, curly endive and frisee, is wonderful simply served with a little lemon juice and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or do as I do mix extra virgin olive oil with a little walnut oil for an extra special taste.
At their peak this month are carrots, fresh peas, fennel, lettuce, spinach, summer cabbage, salad onions and artichokes. While corn on the cob is just coming in from the Isle of Wight, plum tomatoes are now becoming quite flavoursome as are runner beans, beetroots and cauliflowers.
As for the fruits, strawberries, raspberries, all the currants and apricots are just about at their best.

Fruit at Its Best
Apricots, Blueberries, Cherries, Elderflowers, Gooseberries, Cantaloupe Melons, Raspberries, Strawberries, Blackcurrants, Plums, Redcurrants

Vegetables at Their Best
Artichokes, Globe Artichokes, Broad Beans, Aubergines, Courgettes, Cauliflower, Fennel, Mange tout, Onions, New Potatoes, Peas, Radishes, Runner beans, Spring Onions, Turnips, Watercress, Cucumbers, Kohlrabi, Salad leaves, Romaine Lettuce, Rocket, Samphire, Pak Choi, Spinach, Beetroot, Green Beans

Herbs etc at Their Best
Basil, Chervil, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Elderflowers, Mint, Nasturtium, Oregano, Parsley (Curly), Parsley (Flat-Leaf), Rosemary, Sage, Sorrel, Tarragon

Meat at Its Peak
Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Pork, Rabbit, Wood Pigeon

Fish and Seafood at Its Best
Mackerel is plentiful, not expensive and yummy, and perfect for the barbecue, as is the Cornish Sardines, Cod, Pollack, Crab, Dover Sole, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Lobster, Plaice, Salmon, Sardines, Sea Bass, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Sea Tout, Grey Mullet

Sonny’s Fruit and Veg Stall
(Tachbrook Street Market)
The Family Have Had A Stall On The Market For 80 Years Now And They Believe Very Strongly In Supplying The Best Quality Produce That Is In Season And At Its Best.
They Only Buy British Produce When Possible And In Season, And They Always Seem To Be The First To Obtain Fantastic British Produce Such As Jersey Royal Potatoes (They Still Have Some Now But Be Quick I Can’t See Them Lasting Long Before They Sell Out), Asparagus, Soft Fruits And Lovely Leafy Greens.

When Visiting Look Out For Artichokes, Globe Artichokes, Broad Beans, Aubergines, Courgettes, Cauliflower, Fennel, Mange Tout, Onions, New Potatoes, Peas, Radishes, Runner Beans, Spring Onions, Turnips, Watercress, Cucumbers, Kohlrabi, Salad Leaves, Romaine Lettuce, Rocket, British Summer Cabbage, British Strawberries And Plump Juicy Mangos Along Side Sweet Red Cherries, Plums And The Most Flavoursome Apricots.
In Fact Sonny’s Have All the Fruit, Veg and Herbs You Might Want and So Much Better Than the Local Supermarket’s Offerings.

Jonathan Norris, Fishmonger of Pimlico
(Tachbrook Street Market) Telephone: 0779-907-3060

Has Been Getting In Fantastic Sweet Juicy Spider Crabs (see my notes below) , Line Caught Mackerel, Live Lobsters And Crabs, His Display As Always Is A Picture Where You Can See Gilt Head Bream, Yellow Fin Tuna, Cornish Hake, Organic Irish Salmon, Plump Lemon Sole Along With South Coast Dover Sole, And Again From Cornwall Octopus, Squid, Clams, Sardines, And Turbot. The Classics Are There Too Cod, Haddock, Pollock and Plaice As Well As One of My Favourites John Dory.
Don’t Forget You Need To Get There Early As He Sells Out Pretty Quick.
Almost All Jon’s Fish Is from around the Cornish, Devon and Scottish Coasts.
On Saturday we took the opportunity to purchase sardines and shell on prawns the prawns were plump and sweet, the sardines though were the stars of the show we had them simply grilled for dinner with a mixed salad and a few Jersey Royal potatoes, the sardines had the sweetest meat and left us wishing that we had bought more.
Spider crabs are popular in France and Spain, and the Spanish, who understand about these things, will pay more for a large Spider Crab than for a Lobster of the same weight.
Spider Crabs live in deeper water in the winter in depths of up to 120 metres, but come closer inshore in the early summer months as water temperatures increase.
This sweet-flavoured crab has no large claws and, indeed, resembles a big spider, Spider crab is one of those undiscovered seafood delights with the meat being sweet with a great texture, it can be prepared and eaten in exactly the same way as a standard brown crab, but don't assume to get quite as much white meat out of it.
You'll also need to work a little harder at getting that white meat out of the body crevices, fresh crab on toast from a spider or brown crab makes a tasty nibble, or you can serve it as a starter for a dinner party with maybe a small herb salad. I personally would recommend a sourdough rye bread here to give a nice crisp, full-flavoured base for the crab.

  • 2 spider crabs, each about 600 grams, or 1 crab, 1 kilo or more, white and brown meat extracted
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon, good-quality mayonnaise
  • Squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
  • 4 slices of bread, about 1cm thick
  • Softened butter, for spreading
Season the white and brown crab separately and mix the brown meat with a little mayonnaise and lemon juice, or just mix the whole lot together if you like. Toast the bread on both sides and butter one side. If you've kept the brown and white meat separate, spread the brown on first and the white on top, or if it's mixed simply spoon on top of the toasts. Serve and Enjoy.

Try These Neat Tools for Crab and Lobster

From Our Own Little Garden on the Balcony
We Have Just Cut Mizuna, Pea Shoots, Rocket, Red And Green Leaves, Mixed Salad, Lambs Lettuce and a Good Picking of Basil to Make a Tasty Green Pesto Which Will Go Nicely With the Quick and Easy Mediterranean Lamb
July’s Recipe

Mediterranean Lamb (Quick and Easy)
This dish is quick to prepare and delicious with either red or green pesto
Serves / Makes: 2 servings
Prep-Time: 2 minutes
Cook-Time: 12 minutes
  • 2 lean lamb leg steaks, about 100 grams each
  • 1 tablespoon, red or green pesto
  • 1 whole, tomato sliced
  • 1 tablespoon, fresh basil, chopped
  • 50 grams, mozzarella cheese or mature cheddar
Place the lamb steaks under a pre-heated grill for 3 to 4 minutes each side, turning once, half way through the cooking time on the second side brush the pesto onto each steak and top with tomato, basil and mozzarella, continue cooking for the final 2 to 3 minutes Serve and Enjoy! With a jacket potato and mixed salad

Find more delicious ways to cook British Lamb