Fruit-in-the-Spotlight: Tomatoes

23 05 2010

sauces, salads, tarts, soups, stews...

Tomatoes are a delicious and welcome sign that summer is here!

And they crop right through until the first frosts of autumn.

Anyone who has tried home-grown / veg box tomatoes will know their flavour and texture is vastly superior to standard supermarket tomatoes.

This is because the home-grown / veg box are left to ripen on the plant, rather than being picked too early, ripened artificially and then transported for days or even weeks, in cold storage. That’s why supermarket tomatoes often have a “floury” texture.

Read on for tips on storing, ripening and skinning, and for our brand new selection of recipes for:

and more…


Funny Hurried Yummy Summer Honey Kohl Rabi Stir-Fry

16 06 2009
yours in 15 minutes!

yours in 15 minutes!

Last night’s dilemma:

We have 30 minutes before we have to leave the house.

We’re starving.

Cue “Flight of the Bumble-Bee” and chopping for my life…

It was stir fry time!

Anyone for tennis? Wimbledon Juice Recipe

16 06 2009
wimbledon juice

wimbledon juice

Well the men’s qualifiers have started, and the first day of Wimbledon (22nd June) is approaching fast.

If you’re planning on tuning in, and if the idea of coughing up for champagne is less than appealing, how about trying a British seasonal fruit juice perfect for mid-Summer?

We’ve called it Wimbledon Juice in honour of the sporting season.

July’s Fourth Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Runner Beans

15 06 2009

Late summer and early autumn are the classic “runner bean season”, although harvesting can start as early as June in some areas.

what to do with runner beans?

what to do with runner beans?

The season starts with fresh, young beans, with delicious, soft pods that simply need to be topped and tailed and briefly steamed. The season ends, however, with rather tough, stringy pods and oversized beans.

Chances are you’ll love your runner beans early in the season but might not be quite so keen by the end. Which is why we’ve recruited the talents of regular VBR reader, Steve in KL, to provide us with a solution for end-of-season bean fatigue ūüėČ Read on.

July’s First Veggie in the Spotlight: Tenderstem Broccoli

1 06 2009
a new veggie?

a "new" veggie?

We were recently contacted by the marketers of Tenderstem¬ģ broccoli. And I have to confess that I had never heard of it!

It turns out that Tenderstem¬ģ broccoli has its origins in Japan where it was developed using classical plant breeding techniques. The idea was to breed a more flavoursome Brassica by crossing Broccoli and Chinese Kale.

I’m told that British crops of this veggie are mostly grown in Kent and Jersey, and its season runs from June through to December.

Read on to find out how to buy, store and prepare this “new” veggie on the chopping block, and to access the brand new recipe for Barbecued Tenderstem with Melting Goats Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing, created by TV chef and food writer Jo Pratt and provided for us to use by the UK marketers of Tenderstem broccoli.

REMINDER: In Season in June

1 06 2009
looking forward to raspberries...

looking forward to raspberries...

Oh my, but June is an amazing month when it comes to cooking and eating. In fact, we don’t think there is another month when there is more new stuff to look forward to, so here’s hoping you’re hungry!

You can find the full “In Season in June” list here, and don’t miss the “Spotlight” features we’ve published on Apricots, Broad Beans, Cherries, Courgettes, Raspberries, Rocket and Samphire!

June’s Fourth Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Samphire

26 05 2009

The final veggie we’re featuring ready for June is Samphire – specifically Marsh Samphire.

Marsh Samphire

Marsh Samphire

And the main reason we wanted to feature it is because we didn’t know anything about it!

To our rescue … The utterly encyclopaedic Lee Hamilton of Hertfordshire Read on, over on our sister site for more information on this mysterious veggie, a simple recipe, and for more about to boot!

Photograph of Salicornia europaea, near Southhampton, UK, by Marco Schmidt.