As we start to usher in the warmer summer months, we are enjoying some of the best in Kentish produce…
Here’s a round up of our favourite seasonal picks for May & June…
Asparagus season is already upon us – a Kentish favourite with a short season that needs to be made the most of. Daniel, our Fruit & Vegetable Buyer, purchases ours from Dyas Farm in Thanet and suggests you snap it up quick. This beautifully sweet vegetable is not forced in any way, so it is very much weather dependent, and is unlikely to be around for much more than eight weeks. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to pick up some goose eggs too (in season April, May & June), which you can boil and dip the asparagus into.
New potatoes are also in full force and can be enjoyed in a multiple of ways… We love the local crop boiled with mint and finished with a good dollop of butter. Trevor Bradley of Boundary Farm supplies our new potatoes, along with cauliflowers and various other green veg… all the makings of the perfect Sunday roast.
Artichokes & Raspberries
Seasonal produce is hyper local to us at this time of year. Our globe, baby & bunched artichokes are all coming from Robin Fridd at Saffery Farm (the farm is on the same road as our Food Hall!) and our raspberries are coming from David Simmonds (another farmer in Faversham, based on the Brogdale Road).
We often get asked about how to prepare globe artichokes, as they look a bit daunting, but never fear… Simply bring a few inches of water to the boil and steam for about half an hour (depending on the size of the artichoke)… Peel back the outer leaves, scoop out the flesh and enjoy with melted butter or a simple dressing.
Strawberries & Salad
We are now in peak strawberry season (a British classic!) and are buying from Edward Vinson in Graveney. It simply isn’t summer if you haven’t enjoyed a bowl of English strawberries with cream or a Pimms & lemonade with all the trimmings. For the latter, we’ll be using our own mint (easily grown in a pot in the garden) and cucumbers from Walmestone Growers, who farm just outside Canterbury. Look out also for salad leaves & cucumbers from these guys too!
Now we move onto meat… Richard, our Head Butcher, is keen to talk about the myths around spring lamb. “Forget spring lamb” he says, “Buy lamb from mid-June onwards, when they’ve had ample time to graze outside, giving the meat a much deeper, stronger flavour”.
Our lamb is currently coming from Rob Palmer of Cock Farm, who farms over 400 ewes in Shottenden. We love cooking al fresco and our butchers swear by our Big Green Eggs (a ceramic BBQ and grill), which can cook just about anything. Try kebabs or koftas, or even a butterflied leg of lamb marinaded in olive oil, fresh garlic & herbs… and then throw on a berry crumble or chocolate brownie for pudding.