Asparagus is made up of 93% water, is low in sodium and calories and only in season for a few weeks. The stalks should be fresh and straight with the tips tightly furled and fresh looking. Cut off the bottom of the stalk as this tends to be woody. Usually served with a hollandaise sauce or melted butter it also can be served with scrambled eggs or as a starter wrapped in Parma ham.
Did you know: In California, in the city of Stockton they hold a yearly festival to celebrate Asparagus even with a parade and a asparagus queen!
Our recipe tip: Panko poached egg with grilled asparagus
Radish adds a punchy flavour to savory dishes. To choose the best look for plump bulbs with bright green leaves. If the bulbs feel soft, they are likely to be spongy inside. The peppery flavour is most concentrated in the skin – just cut it off to soften the spiciness. Radish can be cooked but is mostly eaten raw, added in salad or marinated in vinaigrette.
Our recipe tip: Apple and raddish slaw
Rhubarb is versatile enough to be able to be used in puddings and also works well with meat. When buying, choose crisp stalks and stand in water for an hour or so before use. It is quite acidic in taste which is why most recipes for it are for dishes containing sugar. Surprisingly, it also goes well with oily fish such as tuna or mackerel. Rhubarb is actually a vegetable but in the kitchen it is usually prepared as if it were a fruit, cooked in sugar and used in tarts and other desserts. Only the stalks are eaten as some compounds of the leaves can be toxic.
Our recipe tip: Rhubarb and orange posset
Spinach can be eaten cooked or raw and shrinks a lot when cooked. It is rich in Vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C & E, Folic Acid, Calcium and iron. It can be chopped and served as a vegetable or used raw in salads. Spinach is in season from May to October.
Did you know: The water that remains on spinach after washing is sufficient enough to boil it as it will steam in its own liquid retaining valuable nutrients.
Our recipe tip: Pan fried trout with almonds and spinach