French apricots are delicious now, well flavoured and arriving with good ripeness and colour. Italian black figs have also just started. The fruits are large, still very pale inside, but are eating really well.
UK celeriac is back on the market along with the new-crop Chantenay carrots from Cornwall. British new-season Maris Peer potatoes are now beginning to be lifted. These new-crop potatoes need to be consumed quickly as the skins are not set and the shelf life is short. Boxed leeks are beautiful at present. Watercress, however, has been in short supply as much of the crop flowered in the recent hot weather.
The British currant season is just around the corner. Look out for red, white and blackcurrants soon. Gooseberries have a relatively short season, so use them again now.
Source: Chef's Connection 020 7627 4809 www.chefs-connection.com
Fish Fish from Iceland have been scarce after national holidays kept the boats in harbour. There have been fewer cod and haddock landed in Scotland and the Faroes, adding to the problem. Sea bass is also in short supply and expensive. Prices are now falling, however, on native halibut.
The monsoon season has held off, so there are still good landings of exotics from the Indian ocean.
Source: M&J Seafood 01296 333848 www.mjseafoods.com
Meat The event season is putting more pressure on already expensive beef prices, with prime steaks especially high. As a result, lamb prices are also being kept high, and are not experiencing the usual seasonal drop, although there is plenty of meat on the market. Veal is also expensive at this time of year, but again slightly more so this year than usual.
Compared with beef and lamb, good quality, free-range poultry is very good value, as is pork.
Source: Aubrey Allen 024 7642 2222 www.aubreyallenwholesale.co.uk
Watermelon terrine with orange segments and ham
Ingredients (Serves eight to 10)
4 oranges, segmented
12 leaves of gelatine
Fresh mint, handful
250ml white wine
8-10 slices Parma ham
Take the melon, cut into four quarters, then peel and remove visible seeds. Cut lengthways into 1/2in (12mm) thick slices to the shape of the terrine mould of your choice. Line the terrine mould with clingfilm, pressing tight against the surface. Then line with melon along the bottom and side. Peel oranges, take out segments with sharp knife. Save leftover juice for later.
Heat the white wine and sugar. Infuse the mint leaf in it. Strain, add gelatine, dissolve and allow to cool. Place some of the orange segments on top of the melon in the terrine and add a bit of the gelatine stock so that it just covers the segments. Place in fridge until the gelatine has set.
Take from fridge, place slice of melon of top of orange segments, then place more orange segments, cover with gelatine stock, put back in fridge until gelatine has set. Once again remove terrine from fridge, place melon on top of orange segments, cover with remaining gelatine stock and place back in fridge for a good two hours until completely set.
Remove from the mould, remove clingfilm, slice and place on plate. Add a slice of Parma ham to the right of the terrine and serve.
Michael Moore, chef-proprietor, Michael Moore restaurant, London