Seasonal Fruit and Vegetable Guide – Spring

by sophie on April 5, 2009 · 15 comments

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Seasonal Eating Guide - Spring, PDF versionThis post is the second in a set of seasonal guides on Mostly Eating. 
The guides are quarterly, aiming to accomodate those uncertainties induced by geography and climate
which easily throw growing schedules out by a few weeks. 

Here’s what you will find here:

  • a list of fruits and vegetables in season between late March and early June.  I’ve developed my list from a consensus opinion across a variety of sources including Eat the seasons, River Cottage and the Scottish What’s on your plate guide.  It’s good for the UK and also for much of Northern Europe and the less sunny parts of the USA (for a State by State guide check out the Sustainable Table). For you antipodeans, Kathryn usually has a list for New South Wales.
  • Recipe and snack suggestions that center around using the seasonal produce listed to help you to base your diet around fruits and vegetables.
  • Spring seasonal fruit and vegetables PDFThere’s a pretty PDF version of the list to stick on your fridge, or tuck into the front of your favourite vegetable cookbook as a quick reminder of what to look out for when you go shopping. The Spring recipe and meal suggestions are on the back.

Spring produce guide
Spring has to be the most anticipated of the seasons, particularly after the unusually cold and snowy winter we’ve just had.  Many spring vegetables are brief visitors (blink and you’ll miss the asparagus and purple sprouting broccoli) but all the more appreciated because of this.  With the exception of rhubarb, local seasonal fruits are few and far between – we have been supplementing our kitchen with delicious frozen berries, canned soft fruits.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables for Spring

asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, potatoes, chicory, cabbage, rhubarb, leeks, spinach, spring onions, purple-sprouting broccoli, new potatoes, cauliflower, radishes, carrots, watercress


Meal and snack ideas for Spring

Treat asparagus simply; griddled and topped with a few shavings of parmesan and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Dress sliced radishes, drained white beans and crumbled Wensleydale cheese in a honey and mustard dressing for a tasty lunch

Make a frittata using sautéed sliced spring onions, mushrooms, aparagus and eggs.  Finish the frittata under the grill with a light scattering of feta cheese.

Blend humous with watercress using a food processor for a spread to use in sandwiches and as a dip for the new season’s baby vegetables

Start your day with a “thickie” style smoothie made with yogurt, rhubarb compote, ginger and oats

Top steamed purple sprouting broccoli with a poached egg

Make a lighter cottage pie using minced chicken or lentils flavoured with lemon zest, tarragon and crème fraiche.  Top with a mix of mashed potato, spring onions and splash of milk

Roast heads of chicory in a oven tray coated in olive oil, orange juice, orange zest, salt and pepper

Steam or boil a head of broccoli and a roughly chopped onion.   Puree the cooked vegetables in a blender, adding lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve the hot puree over pasta sprinkled with a mix of crumbled feta cheese, lemon zest and chopped mint

Stir chopped spinach leaves into any curry, casserole or soup for a nutritional boost.

Accompany grilled trout with a side dish of baby carrots with plums and chilli

Marinade firm tofu in a honey, chilli and five spice marinade and serve with a thai-inspired hot and sour rhubarb sauce

Enjoy the last of the brussels sprouts in a quick stir-fry with leftover brown rice, egg, chilli, ginger and garlic

Make a classic Soup au Pistou.  Sauté onion, garlic, carrot, celery and leek in a little olive oil. Add vegetable stock, white beans, canned tomatoes, chopped parsley and thyme. and simmer gently.  Top with homemade or bought pesto

Mix canned salmon with low fat yogurt and horseradish sauce. Use this salmon mixture and watercress for a peppery sandwich filling.

Local fruit options are limited at this time of year so try nutritious defrosted frozen berries with yogurt and flaked almonds

I hope you enjoy the list and find a few new suggestions for eating seasonal fruit and vegetables. My lovely Australian blog
readers might enjoy the Autumn seasonal fruit and vegetable guide published on Mostly Eating last year.
 

I’m hoping to post a Summer guide in late June.  If you don’t already subscribe to Mostly Eating but would like to hear about the Summer edition, look for the “Get our updates free” notice near the top of the page to subscribe for new posts by email or in your RSS reader.

Leave a Comment

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Meghan at Making Love In The Kitchen April 5, 2009 at 23:22

This guide is awesome. What a fantastic resource! And Rhubarb is amazing. Jammed, in crisps, crumbles, cooked up with oatmeal- and it has a higher concentration of calcium that almost any other food (including milk!).

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heather April 6, 2009 at 02:01

I loved your Autumn guide and have been patiently and hopefully waiting for your Spring guide! As a dietitian, I of course think this is a wonderful idea – many thanks!!
Cheers,
*Heather*

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Sophie April 6, 2009 at 09:17

aaah, I think it is a pity that we in Belgium, do not know Forced rhubarb!! It is in season in Britain now!! sigh! Because I like the taste of it!! It has a more subtle & yummie flavour than the normal rhubarb! I think that it is lovely that you showed what is in season, but here in Belgium, everything is different!

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claire April 6, 2009 at 17:00

What a great guide! I love the PDF file, informative and pretty and lots of great tips and ideas. I have been doing a monthly seasonal eating guide but yours is 100x better. Keep up the good work.

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Sophie April 6, 2009 at 21:35

Thanks Meghan! I’m a big rhubarb fan too, in both savoury and sweet dishes. Your calcium comment got me intrigued. I’ve just had a look in my “Composition of Foods” handbook and it suggests that cooked rhubarb has about 30 mg of calcium in it per 100g. That would put it in the same ballpark as cooked broccoli (40 mg/100g) and carrots (30 mg), so not bad but not quite as good as okra (160 mg) and kale (150 mg) as a vegetable-based source.
For anyone reading who wants the dairy information to put these numbers in context, cows milk contains around 120mg of highly absorbable calcium per 100g. I also posted a short piece on the health benefits of rhubarb last year: http://www.mostlyeating.com/2008/05/is_rhubarb_good_for_you.html
Hi Heather – thank you for the patient waiting :-) I meant to do a Winter guide but life got in the way, as it sometimes does.
Hi Sophie – it’s intriguing (and a little exasperating!) trying to work out who has a similar climate to the UK. You’d think Belgium wouldn’t be that different, but it apparently is, yet I’ve had readers in parts of the US write to say that they find my UK guides useful and representative of what is available where they are.
Thanks for your kind words Claire, I’m glad you like the PDF idea. I shall have to come and check out your monthly seasonal guide (I must admit I wimped out at the thought of doing a new guide every month, as you can tell)

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Elaine April 6, 2009 at 22:22

Thank you for creating another lovely, helpful seasonal eating guide, Sophie. I can use it here in Vancouver, Canada, too.
I’ll add myself to the list of rhubarb lovers. But is it a fruit or a vegetable? :-) (I really don’t need to know the answer to enjoy it.)
Are you familiar with this site about all things rhubarb? http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/rhubarb-food.html

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Martinxo April 7, 2009 at 14:04

Lovely! This is going on my fridge, cheers

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Maggie Green April 7, 2009 at 20:31

Beautiful blog, beautiful seasonal food guide. Go real food!

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Amanda April 13, 2009 at 04:31

That guide is fantastic! I’m trying to eat seasonally now, and it’s going permanently up on my fridge.

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Katie April 16, 2009 at 13:09

This is a lovely guide, thank you! Really great and informative website too.

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Coffee & Vanilla April 16, 2009 at 23:15

That sounds really good… never tried chestnuts in anything else than roasted itself…

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Coffee & Vanilla April 16, 2009 at 23:15

That sounds really good… never tried chestnuts in anything else than roasted itself…

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Coffee & Vanilla April 16, 2009 at 23:15

That sounds really good… never tried chestnuts in anything else than roasted itself…

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lindsey clare October 14, 2009 at 04:35

i just read your seasonal guide for autumn which led me to search for a similar guide to spring. and here it is! i’ve printed the PDF and look forward to trying some of your meal ideas. thanks Sophie!

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Mary November 28, 2010 at 19:41

I would love to get a copy of your summer edition and winter edition seasonal eating guides.

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