• 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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PSB pasta

Quite a simple recipe, but the purple sprouting broccoli makes a nice crunch contrast with the pasta. Oh yes, and it’s pink.

12oz (325g) pasta – spaghetti works well, or you could try tagliatelle, or pretty much anything that takes your fancy really

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

8oz (225g) purple sprouting broccoli

10 fl oz (200 ml) white wine

6 fl oz (170 ml) double cream

2oz (55g) grated parmesan cheese

salt and black pepper

Start by putting a large pan of water on to boil. When it’s bubbling away nicely, add the pasta and cook for 12 minutes until soft.

While that’s happening, prepare the PSB. Wash, and then strip the florets from the stems, discarding thicker stems and chopping thinner ones into short lengths.

Heat the oil in a saucepan, then add the garlic, PSB and white wine. Bring to a simmer and then cook until the wine has reduced and the broccoli is tender – about 10-15 minutes.

Stir in the double cream and simmer again until the sauce thickens up (this shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes – if it does, remove the broccoli and give the liquid a fast boil until it reduces further and turns creamier). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the pasta and stir into the PSB sauce. Add the parmesan, and serve.

1tbsp olive oil


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