Seasonal Recipe Round Up: March – April
With spring on the horizon, there’s a whole host of fresh fruit and vegetables ready to be harvested. As well as being delicious, eating the produce that’s grown and harvested in the UK during March and April is good for the environment, and your pocket too.
Locally grown, seasonal veggies don’t need to be flown by plane from the other side of the world. This means they leave less of a carbon footprint, and they can be sold at a fraction of the cost of imported produce.
To help you make the most of the early spring crops, we’ve put together a list of some fresh fruits and veggies that you can expect to find in season in the UK throughout March and April. We’re also including some ideas for tasty meals that you can rustle up to make the most of those spring greens!
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
A leafier, longer stemmed and more colourful version of broccoli, you’ll find these purple-hued stalks ready for harvest much earlier in the year. With a nutty, slightly peppery taste, this violet veggie doesn’t just add colour to your plate – it’s full of flavour too.
Packing in even more antioxidants than the common green variety, purple sprouting broccoli is great for stir-frying or roasting, and it makes a delicious side dish for almost any dinner.
Try using it instead of the usual long stemmed broccoli in this Baked Garlic Salmon recipe. The delicate nutty flavour is the perfect accompaniment to the garlicky fish, and everything can be parcelled up in foil and roasted in the oven together – so it’s easy, as well as tasty.
How about celebrating the best the season has to offer with this yummy Broccoli and Mushroom Stir-fry? Mushrooms are in season all year round, so chop your purple sprouting broccoli into small florets and throw them into the pan together. Don’t forget you can eat the stalks and leaves, so cut them into bite size pieces and pop them in the pan with your other ingredients.
Leeks are a hearty winter vegetable that are coming to the end of their season during March. It’s the perfect time to make the most of them while locally grown versions are still on the supermarket shelves.
With a mild, onion-like flavour they’re a great base vegetable, so you’ll find them used in all kinds of soups, stews and casseroles. They give a little more bite than onion, with a more delicate flavour, so we love to pop them into pies and pasties – anywhere you fancy onion-y flavour with a little more texture.
While there’s still a chill in the air, a big batch of this Ham, Leek and Potato Soup is ideal for lunches and light dinners. You only need four ingredients and it’ll see you through until the weather starts warming up.
You can even use leeks in unexpected dishes like our Ham and Leek Cannelloni. This is a slimming friendly twist on the traditional cannelloni recipes, which can be fairly high in calories. The leeks are sauteed until they’re soft and then added into a creamy mixture of reduced fat soft cheese and ham.
Cooked inside the pasta tubes, in a rich tomato sauce with melty cheese on top, this has got to be one of our favourite ways to enjoy leeks!
From the end of March, the first of the year’s new potatoes will be ready for harvesting. Small and quick to cook, these miniature spuds are a firm favourite throughout spring.
You can boil them until they’re soft, or try baking or air frying them as a mini roast potato to skip the chopping!
Enjoy them cold in a Potato Salad alongside meat or fish, or try adding a spoonful onto a leafy green salad as the days get warmer. Our recipe is so much lighter than shop bought versions, delivering the same fresh, herby flavour for just 154 calories per serving.
If you’d rather enjoy your new potatoes piping hot, you NEED to try turning them into these Chipotle Hasselback Potatoes. You can make them in the oven or pop them in the air fryer for extra crispiness. Just be careful not to slice all the way through when you’re making the hasselback cuts – you still want the potatoes to hold their shape.
With this next veggie the clue is in the name! Spring is the perfect time to enjoy a bunch of fresh spring onions. Like leeks, they have a milder taste than your typical white or brown onions, but they’re super versatile and flavourful.
Not only can you enjoy them sprinkled on top of salads, you can also mix them into fillings for jacket potatoes and sandwiches. Don’t forget they work really well in Asian inspired dishes too, whether you cook them into the recipe or chop them up raw and use them as a garnish.
We love them in this Chicken with Ginger and Spring Onion dish. This recipe is a stir-fry at heart, so not only is it fresh and healthy, it’s so quick and easy to make too. We’ve thrown chunky slices of spring onion into the stir-fried ingredients and even sprinkled some shredded spring onions on the finished plate of food. Perfect!
If you really want to make the most of all your spring vegetables, this Chicken and Spring Vegetable Risotto is the ultimate recipe for March and April’s crops. Along with spring onions, you can put your leeks and spring greens to good use, turning them into this creamy yet low calorie dinner.
It’s hearty and healthy, packed with all that green goodness. Eating seasonally doesn’t get better than this!
Crisp and peppery, with an earthy flavour, radishes make the perfect addition to salads and sandwiches. They come into season from April, right around the time that the weather starts to promise that summer is on the way (and exactly when you start to fancy eating more fresh, crunchy salads).
You can slice them up and cook them into stir-fries or use them raw in all kinds of salad dishes. We’ve chopped them up and added them into a fluffy couscous mixture for this Moroccan Salmon Skewers with Couscous recipe.
They add such a pleasant crunch alongside the delicately spiced, flaky fish. Delicious!
If you’re still after a little bit of comfort food to get you through the spring, this Turkey Bun Cha is the perfect way to enjoy your radishes. It’s a big bowlful of comforting broth, but it’s jam-packed with veggies and finished off with slices of vibrant, crunchy radish.
While most fruits don’t start to be harvested until later on in the year, the spring months will see the shelves filled with locally grown rhubarb. At this time of year the rhubarb is grown indoors, producing what’s known as forced rhubarb. This is often softer and sweeter than the summer rhubarb and perfect for making some nostalgic puds!
For a cracking crumble, cook the rhubarb with a little sweetener and add a layer of the topping we’ve used in our Vegan Blackberry and Apple Crumble. Serve it hot with a scoop of ice cream if you’re feeling indulgent, or a good glug of custard.
Or why not bake your rhubarb in the oven and serve it on the side of these Oat Pancakes for a fruity boost at breakfastime? All you need to do is cut it into chunks, scatter some sweetener on top, cover it with foil and bake it in a medium oven for around 15 minutes until it softens.
Get started with seasonal cooking
What are your top tips for eating seasonally during March and April? We’d love to know, so head over to our Facebook group and tell us!