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What's in season - July

This is the month for Salads, and we begin by looking at Cress. This line does not have to be ordinary, as there are many more exotic varieties available to add colour to your dish. At the higher end of the scale, the hot Daikon (radish cress) and Shiso (purple cress) are available, as is the small-leaved Basil Cress which has a very strong flavour.

New season English Radicchio joins the red veined Mustard Leaf in the markets and they should both be widely available and well priced. Summer herbs are also excellent, as are the thin English Spring Onions, which should be coming down in price.

Dutch Bell Peppers are at their most colourful now, with Yellow, Orange, Green, Black and Purple giving you a varied palette to play with. Also, new season Fennel can be chopped finely into salads for an unusual aniseed taste, or roasted with peppers and Thyme for a delicious exotic vegetable alternative. Jersey Courgettes and local pure white Cauliflowers will all be good value and at their peak for the forthcoming weeks. Fresh Peas and Broad beans are also excellent.

Melons are normally at their best at this time of year, both in terms of superb quality and excellent prices - not to mention high sugar levels! Pick of the crop are the Spanish Galia and French Charentais.

Softfruits are also reasonably priced at this time, with a new crop of English El Santa Strawberries from Kent and Norfolk as well as Blackcurrants and Blackberries towards the middle of the month. Dorset Blueberries will soon be entering the market.

Finally, Cape Hass Avocados are beginning to enter the market, and should be good quality and quite large; whilst Asparagus will no doubt be going up in price as supply shifts from local to Peruvian and American sources.


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