What’s in sea­son at the Farm­ers Mar­ket: May

Kent Life - - Food And Drink -

Bob Tay­lor is Vice Chair­man of Kent Farm­ers’ Mar­ket As­so­ci­a­tion, man­ager of Ship­bourne Farm­ers’ Mar­ket, a board mem­ber of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Farm Shops and Farm­ers’ Mar­kets and a mem­ber of the Ton­bridge Town Team

May brings the first shoots of one of our sea­sonal treats – asparagus, so if you do find the first pale green spears at the mar­ket, buy them! Asparagus is at its best when picked and cooked within hours. Make the most of the dis­tinc­tive flavour by serv­ing sim­ply steamed with melted but­ter, grid­dled with shaved Parme­san or toss with crum­bled lo­cal goat’s cheese and a vinai­grette. Look out for ten­der lit­tle early English new pota­toes and early sum­mer leaves such as spinach, wa­ter­cress and let­tuces. Make the most of green out­door rhubarb this month in crumbles, pies and fools. By the end of the month the ear­li­est goose­ber­ries should be avail­able, ready to pair up with their per­fect part­ner, fra­grant el­der­flower. Add a head or two of the flow­ers to the goose­ber­ries for a few min­utes as they cook, then lift out and dis­card. Le­mon sole, cod, hal­ibut and sea bass are all good at this time of year and shell­fish fans should keep an eye out for ra­zor clams and cock­les. For meat eaters, spring lamb will start to ap­pear this month, while lo­cal reared beef and pork will be at its most suc­cu­lent as the graz­ing starts to green up. Splash out on steaks, chops and fil­lets and use them sim­ply cooked – grilled, stir fried or grid­dle cooked for lighter meals.

In­side St Mary’s Church, El­ham

A treat for May: the first asparagus

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