• In season now: May

    New this month: Asparagus! The food of gods... and carrots are back.

    Still in season from last month: cauliflower, chard, green cabbage, salad leaves, main-crop potatoes (from store), salad leaves, sea kale, spring greens, rhubarb

    Goodbye till next year to: Purple sprouting broccoli (sniff, sniff), leeks, stored parsnips, forced rhubarb

  • What I’m doing here

    This all started when I picked the first strawberries from my new allotment.

    I'd never been so enraptured or so excited by food. It was a shock to find that anything could taste so good.

    So what - I'd never had strawberries before?

    No - all the strawberries I'd had were shop-bought, like as not flown in from intensive growers in Spain or Chile, and eaten in winter when strawberries should be a distant summer memory.

    It revolutionised my thinking about the fresh food we eat every day. I started to wonder if you got the same amazing taste from all types of food grown and eaten in season. And then I decided to do something about it.

    The Year of Eating Seasonally is my little experiment to find out what it's really like not to have it all. The only fruit and veg I and my family are going to eat in 2008 will be what's growing in the ground at the time (or, in winter, what I can get out of store).

    I want to find out if the hungry gap is really as hungry as everyone says it is: whether you're really eating nothing but cabbage all winter; and whether you miss strawberries in December.

    Along the way I hope I'll save a few tons of carbon being released into the atmosphere on my behalf, as I won't be requiring those French beans flown from Chile, thanks very much. And I hope I'll be rediscovering what food can really taste like.

    If you have any comments, please feel free to post them anywhere you like - or you can email me at sallywhite@hotmail.com.

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Beans ‘n’ greens

A truly tasty recipe that looks and tastes great.

4oz (120g) chorizo

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tins cannellini beans (haricot beans will do just as well)

2 cloves garlic

a heart of spring greens – about 8oz worth (240g)

Fill the bottom half of a steamer with water and bring it to the boil. Chop the greens roughly and put them in the top half – but don’t cook just yet.

Slice the chorizo and cut the slices in half again, then heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and fry for 5-10 minutes.  The chorizo should start to brown, and the olive oil turns a rusty red colour.

Set a kettle to boil, then chop the garlic finely and add to the chorizo along with the beans. Mix it up well, then pour over enough hot water from the kettle so that the beans are almost covered. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

As soon as you’ve done this, put the greens on to steam. When both greens and bean mixture are cooked, simply stir in the greens, flavour with a grind of pepper and some sea salt, and serve. Goes well with boiled or mashed potatoes, rice or just some crusty white bread.


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