The last overwintered UK cabbages were delivered this week. We can pretty much say that marks the start of this year’s ‘hungry gap’. The ‘hungry gap’ is the hardest time of year for UK farmers. It comes at different times each year and tends to last a couple of months, usually over April, May and early June. It is the time after the winter crops have ended, but before the new season’s plantings are ready to harvest.
That said, new crops are starting to trickle through in the form of cucumbers from Humber Growers in Hull and true spinach in bags from Duncan Gielty in Ormskirk (Lancs).
UK Purple sprouting broccoli is the one crop that is thriving right now. Both supplies from Francis Sampson in Cornwall and Organic Pantry in Yorkshire are stunning. We tried some raw when it came in and were surprised how sweet it was…now imagine it stir-fried!
The Dutch, whose crops are always a bit ahead of ours due to their larger scale glass house production, have done an excellent job on new season aubergines. They are very creamy and contain no bitterness, so no pre salting is required. They’re versatile, but lend themselves best to grilling, roasting and charring. They make a delicious companion to tahini or as part of any other Middle Eastern inspired flavour pairings