British classics like new potatoes, spring lettuce and asparagus are in season right now. So why not make a meal of them with some fresh seasonal side dishes? Try roasted asparagus, crushed minted new potatoes and dressed green salad. Fresh, tasty, healthy - and all made with ingredients you’ll find at the Co-op.
Few vegetables taste more like spring than British asparagus. And with an all-too short season of under two months, it’s worth making the most of it. Great in summer tarts and with pasta, it’s also delicious eaten on its own with a simple dressing. Steam until it’s bright green and tender. Then add a dollop of hollandaise; brush with a bit of oil and roast in a hot oven; serve with a squeeze of lemon, or simply dip it in a soft-boiled egg. Delicious.
Asparagus has a lot going for it - it’s high in Folic acid and a good source of fibre, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin A.
Lettuce is often underrated - but its refreshing, delicate leaves are especially tasty when the lettuce is young. Little gem, iceberg and sweet romaine hearts make delicious salads. Toss them with walnut oil and chopped hazelnuts, or mix in a bowl of sliced avocado, parmesan shavings and balsamic dressing. They can make a quick, healthy alternative to bread wraps, too - try yours with prawns, salmon and crab, or spicy minced lamb.
Looking for more fibre and folic acid? Lettuce is just the thing.
Grab a punnet of strawberries, and you can almost smell the cut grass and hear the thunk of tennis balls. (Even if you’ve never been to a tennis match in your life). They’re the best thing about British summers, and are coming into their own right around now. Slice a few into your cereal or yogurt for breakfast. Or soften some on the barbecue with a few marshmallows, and dip them in melted chocolate for an amazing dessert. Eaten simply with cream, a dash of port or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar works well, too.
High in Vitamin C, strawberries are also a good source of fibre. And 7 of them counts as 1 of your 5 a day.
Although few of us are very familiar with pak choi, it’s well worth getting to grips with. These leafy Chinese greens are similar to spring greens, and are sweet and very crisp. Serve as a side dish cooked with ginger, soy sauce and garlic, or add to a stir fry. You can even use it in soups or wrap it around fish. And when veg is this versatile, it’s just crying out for you to try it.
As well as being delicious, Pak Choi is a good source of potassium, vitamin A and folic acid.
If there’s an excuse to sneak a bit of rocket into a dish, we’ll find it. Its crisp, peppery flavour means a little goes a long way, and it can really lift an otherwise ordinary salad. Give it an Asian twist by adding lime juice, chilli, mint and coriander. It’s delicious with mozzarella cheese and pine nuts, or with goat's cheese and plum tomatoes. Burgers and hotdogs taste even better with a few leaves stuffed inside. And you can even use rocket to top a risotto or hot pasta.
Like a spiky green powerhouse, rocket is a good source of fibre and folic acid
It’s time to stock up on wonderful, fruity, British-grown tomatoes. Their rich, sweet flavour means they taste amazing eaten hot or cold, whole or in sauces, as the main event or a side dish. (You might have noticed we’re big fans). Layer slices with fresh basil and mozzarella on toasted ciabatta drizzled with a bit of olive oil. Or use them to make cool summer soups, spicy salsas, fresh pasta sauces and rich ragus. You can even roast them, and serve them with grilled meats and fish. They have to be one of the most versatile fruits around.
Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin C