Fennel bulbs from Spain and Italy are offering excellent value for money this week and, as such, are a firm favourite amongst veg team members. Fennel undergoes such a transformation between raw and cooked, it can almost be thought of as two different vegetables. The crisp, white, delicately-anise flesh yields to an amazing sweetness and subtle flavour when slowly roasted in the oven or left to caramelise on the hob. Raw fennel makes for a great salad addition, but be sure to slice it as fine as possible to get the most of its flavour. Pair with lemon, capers, olives or blood orange for an enlivening winter salad. Don’t forget to save the feathery green fronds for a herb garnish too.
For anyone who grows their own veg (or fancies starting) seed potatoes are now available for the season ahead. We have several varieties to choose from, including ‘early’ crops which are ready to harvest a little sooner than the others. They are all from Newfields Farm in North Yorkshire, from whom we source a great many of the potatoes we ourselves. Potatoes are a great crop for beginner growers, requiring no fancy equipment or specialised knowledge. They will grow happily in compost bags, containers or beds and demand little attention once they’re in the ground. Start by chitting your spuds in the light so they develop sprouts, this will help speed up the growing process once they’re planted.
There’s some unusual beetroot varieties available at the moment from local growers Royal Oak in Ormskirk: cylindra beetroot’s long and thin shape makes it ideal for slicing while white beetroot offers the benefits of beetroot minus the stained hands, its flavour is slightly less earthy too than the traditional red variety. UK kale is making a welcome comeback this week and we’re expecting a decent delivery of purple sprouting broccoli for the weekend too from Organic Pantry in Yorkshire.