what's in season: march

My garden leeks - M.P.Bruin
Nigel Slater says that March is a terrible month for cooks, for the greedy and for those who take good care of their tummies; it is not often that I am forced to disagree with the Sainted Nigel, but it’s really not all dire, although perhaps a bit monotonous. I am beginning to hate the sight of rhubarb!
Spring has sprung and winter is running out of steam, but in food (and gardening terms) this is very much the “hungry gap”. Between last year’s store crops and the advent of early vegetables (grown in poly tunnels. It is still a bit early for spring vegetables, although there should be purple sprouting broccoli to hand, so not all bad).

Leeks are something of March’ saviour, in soups, stews, purees and my favourite Glamorgan Sausages. Watercress, spring greens and you could forage for young nettles if you’re feeling brave, they make a wonderful soup. Wild salmon from Scotland is coming into season. Talking of foraging, look out for “ramps” or wild garlic which adds a delicious mild garlic flavour to both soups and salads.

A good season for shellfish (it’s a cold month), so celebrate St Paddy’s Day on 17th March with a large bowl of mussels cooked in Guinness.

And finally let us not forget the potato; where would we be without it? (Probably a lot skinnier and less roly-poly!)

vegetables, herbs and wild greens:artichokes (Jerusalem), beetroot, broccoli (purple sprouting), Brussels sprouts, Brussels tops, cabbages (various green varieties), carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, chard, chicory, chives, endive, fat hen, greens (spring and winter), leeks, mint, mooli, nettles, parsley, potatoes, radishes, sea kale, sorrel, watercress, wild chervil (aka cow parsley)

fruit and nuts:apples (pippin and russets), pears, rhubarb (forced and early)
meat and game:beef, chicken, hare, mutton, pork, turkey
fish and shellfish:cockles, crab (brown, cock and hen),lobster, herring, mackerel, mussels, pilchards, pollack, oysters (rock), salmon (wild), sardines, sea trout, shrimps

1 comment:

mangocheeks said...

I so agree with you, as a seasonal cook I am surprised at what is around during the month of March - the Welsh girl in me is always thankful of leeks and also cauliflower, piles of it.

Can't wait for the wild garlic to start appearing though, that will be a real treat.