We asked our expert vegetarian food blogger Corrie Heale for advice on what veggies are coming into season this month. Here she is with her tips and tricks, along with some cracking veggie recipes to get us inspired.
As the weather warms up and we start to defrost a little, hearty winter stews begin to fall by the waste side in favour of lighter, fresher dishes. Although available all year round, spinach is at its best between March and June. Slightly bitter and with a metallic flavour, spinach can be an acquired taste – it’s the Marmite of the vegetable world. The leaves can be wilted down into stews and curries but are we aware of its high-water content – spinach reduces to around a quarter of its size when cooked. I like to wilt down an entire bag and serve it as an open lasagne, between layers or fresh pasta, cooked mushrooms and a drizzle of truffle oil.
Recipe: Open spinach and mushroom lasagne
In season from April to July these delicate green spears can be enjoyed dipped in soft boiled egg yolks, stirred into creamy risottos, tossed through leafy salads or simply grilled and drizzled in extra virgin olive oil and a good crack of black pepper. Harvested by hand when it reaches just the right height, this high-maintenance vegetable is best enjoyed a day or so after picking. I waste no time in spreading puff pastry with soft Abergavenny goats cheese and topping with a line of asparagus soldiers – goats cheese and asparagus make excellent bedfellows.
Recipe: Asparagus, goats cheese and lemon tart
Purple sprouting broccoli
A bit more exotic looking than its larger bushy haired cousin, purple sprouting broccoli can be used much in the same way. At its best during a short window between the end of February and April, this hardy green can be the star of all kinds of dishes – it doesn’t always have to play second fiddle. Blitzed into soups, baked with cheese, stir-fried, steamed and even roasted, this purple headed vegetable makes a great addition to almost any meal. Personally, I like to bake it in a cake tin along with some cheesy mash and eggs, to create a kind of giant pastry-less quiche.
Recipe: Broccoli and cheese potato cake
From March until the end of July, spring onions are adding a final flourish to salads across the land, but these salad onions aren’t just for, well, salad. I use spring onions in nearly all of the Asian inspired dishes I cook. Sliced and fried, they take nearly no time at all to soften compared to brown onions as well as adding a lighter, more fragrant flavour to my dishes. This spring green egg fried rice is a midweek staple in my house. We enjoy it topped with a fried egg and you guessed it, yet more spring onions.
Recipe: Spring green egg fried rice
Grown for its fleshy pink stalks, rhubarb is a vegetable (yes, a vegetable) that I’m always quick to order off a menu in a restaurant, but when it comes to cooking it myself. Crumble anyone? However, rhubarb isn’t a winter ingredient. It pops up mid-spring in March and can be enjoyed until the end of May. So, what else can we do with it? Poaching, pickling and even infusing alcohol with it are popular choices but, on this occasion, I opted to make rhubarb breakfast muffins. Sweet sharp and packed with oats and nuts, these little blighters make the perfect spring brekkie on the go.
Recipe: Rhubarb breakfast muffins
All recipes are from corriesrabbitfood.com @corrieheale