With spring in the air and the weather getting warmer, now is the perfect time to enjoy home grown British produce. With many fruit and vegetables in season this spring, take full advantage with some delicious recipes that the whole family will enjoy. Seasonal food is fresher so it tastes better - which is why we say embrace the spring!
This month’s featured vegetables are asparagus and lettuce. We have some fantastic recipes which are centred around both of these delicious vegetables. Quick and easy to cook, simply select one of our recipes from the menu on the left hand side.
Lastly, take a little time to discover the story of the true food heroes: the British farmers who provide us with their delicious fruit and vegetables for your table throughout the spring.
“For over 35 years my family-run asparagus farms, based across the heart of England, have been supplying The Co-operative.
For us, the excitement grows towards the beginning of the season in April and continues until those delicious green spears keep appearing until June 21st. Then it's simply a matter of enjoying them."
"You could say our 400 acre farm on the west Lancashire coast is the perfect place for lettuces – they've been harvested on this site for over 150 years!
As a proud family-run business, we're delighted to be supplying The Co-operative with delicious crunchy lettuce.
Making sure we've grown enough for BBQ season is the big challenge as our lettuce is the perfect salad partner for a juicy British steak."
Every fruit or vegetable has a season when it is at its best. Use our interactive seasonal wheel and search either by month or by your favourite fruit or vegetable
The arrival of spring sees a whole host of fantastic fruit and vegetables come into their own.
Ranging from spicy radishes to tasty rhubarb, there is something for everybody in the family to enjoy.
Want to find the keys behind many of your favourite spring dishes?
Simply click on an image opposite to find out more.
Juicy, crunchy and crisp, radishes add some vibrant colour and fiery flavour to your spring dishes.
Radishes are fantastic in salads, especially when served with butter and sea salt. Radishes can be eaten raw, braised, roasted, sautéed or stir fried.
Clean, crisp, mild and refreshing, cucumber is usually served raw. However, once the seeds are removed, it’s also good cooked.
It's a great addition to stir-fries or roasts, in particular when sautéed with mint to accompany roast lamb. For a more comforting dish, pair cucumber with bacon or ham and onion to make a great soup that can be served hot or cold.
To enjoy the warmer weather, why not blend your cucumbers and serve as a dip with juicy homemade lamb burgers? Cucumber can also be surprisingly good in desserts too - try adding it to a sorbet of lime and mint.
Tender spinach leaves add freshness to summer cooking.
The best way to cook your spinach is to use quick cooking methods to retain maximum freshness and flavour. For a fuller flavour try adding a few toasted pine nuts and a sprinkling of raisins at the last minute to curries, risottos and creamy pasta dishes.
Versatile and tasty, spinach combines well with other ingredients such as cream, cheese and eggs.
A native of China, these leafy greens are similar to spring greens. They have a sweet flavour and crisp texture.
Pak choi is delicious stir fried with noodles and other Asian vegetables but can also be added to soups or wrapped around fish.
A strong, peppery leaf with jagged-edged indented leaves and a pleasant bite, a little goes a long way with this vegetable!
A fabulous ingredient to base warm salads; mix together a salad with sautéed red onions, pancetta and pine nuts. For an Asian inspired meal why not try a seared steak salad with lime juice, chilli, mint and coriander.
These delicious and nutritious leaves add a peppery edge to green salads and are brimming with vitamins and minerals.
Not many people know this but adding a handful of watercress to any salad or stir-fry gives the whole flavour of the dish a lift. Alternatively, blitz your watercress into a soup, or stir through pasta for some added bite.
Naturally high in vitamin C and bursting with sweetness, nothing sums up the British summer quite like succulent strawberries.
Whether dressed up in delicious desserts or just served simply with a dollop of cream, they’re the perfect sweet fix for a sunny day. Slice into your favourite cereal or yoghurt for a breakfast treat, or soften on the barbecue with marshmallows then dip in melted chocolate for a dreamy dessert. A dash of port or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar works wonders too.
When cooking spring onions, both the long, slender green tops and the small white bulb are edible. These can be eaten either raw or cooked.
If you decide to eat them raw, they add both heat and crispness to a salad. When cooked, they are fabulous in a stir fry with chillies, ginger and garlic.
In the warmer weather, spring onions can also be grilled or barbecued. Simply place them on the grill for ten minutes until the bulbs turn black and the stems soften.
British grown tomatoes are at their finest with a rich flavour, sweet scent and firm texture. Try thinly slicing vine tomatoes and layer with fresh basil onto a toasted ciabatta drizzled with some olive oil.
Tomatoes are one of the most versatile ingredients, ideal for cool summer soups, spicy salsas and fresh pasta sauces.
These fresh new potatoes are grown exclusively on Jersey and benefit from the local climate and carefully nurtured soil. With a delicate flesh and distinctive flavour, Jersey Royals are the perfect summer spud.
Traditionally, Jersey Royals are delicious when steamed and served with butter and herbs - or for a unique twist try them with fried bacon, parmesan shavings and chopped olives.
With the weather getting warmer and the time for BBQs just around the corner - why not make a tasty barbecue salad? Steam the potatoes until tender, toss in some olive oil and skewer them, then simply barbecue until crisp.
The delicate and slender shockingly pink stems of rhubarb are a welcome sight at the start of the year, bringing a sharp yet refreshingly clean tasting flavour to cleanse and invigorate.
The perfect accompaniments to sweet recipes, roast whole rhubarb with honey and serve with ice cream or alongside a delicious sticky ginger cake. Rhubarb’s sharpness works extremely well with rich meat and oily fish dishes.
Try serving your rhubarb alongside roast pork or grilled mackerel.
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