Summer is finally here! Marked of course by the return of wetter weather as per every British summer, but with occasional sun comes an array of wonderful British produce and some tasty recipes to let these seasonal foods shine. Firstly we must talk about Cornish asparagus; that wonderful earthy, fresh and decadent vegetable treat. Serve it on its own with butter or hollandaise, as a side to a summery chicken dish or even use it to dip in your eggs wrapped in crispy pancetta. Delicious! For more asparagus inspiration The Guardian has rounded up 10 of the best recipes posted here.
Cornish new potatoes are on our plates too, fresh from the fields, as well as lettuce, beans and early tomatoes, all available from local shops and as the evenings get warmer the berries ripen, raspeberries, gooseberries, cherries and blackcurrants, to name a few, spring up in farmers markets, farm shops and layby sellers. A firm favourite to make these berries shine is a champagne summer fruit jelly, made with local bubbles (such as Polgoon or Camel Valley) and berries, Jamie Olivers recipe found here is a wonderfully simple version for a summers evening with friends.
This time of year sees the sweetest Cornish strawberries (St Agnes fruit and veg are renowned for their variety!) or even spot them wild in hedgerows too! Strawberries are such a classic British summertime treat, in jams and cakes, puddings and pies here is a wonderful recipe from The Cornish Food Book for wild strawberry and elderflower frozen nougat.
Elderflower cordial, as used in the recipe, can be made from the wonderful elderflowers also springing up all over Cornwall and Devon at this time of year; spot it in hedgerows with its clusters of small creamy flowers and beautiful floral smell.
The Cornish Food Books are a great series of cook books that utilise local and seasonal produce with delicious recipes from chefs all over the South West. Try Paul Ripley’s (The Mariners, Rock) stuffed sardines or perfect the Cornish crab sandwish with the help of Stuart Mcguire’s recipe from the Rum and Crab Shack. These books can be found locally to buy or are sold on their website along with some extra recipes for inspiration here. http://www.greatcornishfood.co.uk/
So if you’ve been inspired to cook great produce from Cornwall or Devon in the sun there are a number of lovely local stockists that supply these wonderful ingredients, some also deliver nationwide if you fancy a taste of the West Country from afar! These are:
The Cornish Food Box Company – http://www.thecornishfoodboxcompany.co.uk/food-boxes.html
Argal Farm Shop, Falmouth – https://www.facebook.com/Argal-Farm-Shop-100746576707421/info/?tab=page_info
Bailey’s Country Store, Falmouth – http://www.baileyscountrystore.co.uk/
Great Cornish Food Store, Truro – Newly opened next to Waitrose showcasing local produce – http://www.greatcornishfood.co.uk/store/
Carnon Downs Garden Centre – A great selection of local produce and a pop up fruit and veg store! – https://www.facebook.com/CarnonDownsGC/
Trevaskis Farm – A lovely farm shop with variouss Cornish goodies and a pick your own – http://trevaskisfarm.co.uk/