Madalene Bonvini-Hamel, who runs the British Larder pub and restaurant in Bromeswell, Suffolk, looks at February's prime ingredients
The season is slowly changing with the arrival of shoots of chickweed and Alexanders in the woods and countryside. Salmon, turbot, chard, forced rhubarb and blood oranges are all splendid in February.
For most chefs turbot is the king of the sea. It is an expensive flat fish with a firm flesh and a delicate flavour. The skin is tough, with hard knobbly bits and should be removed; take extra care when filleting turbot as the knife can get caught in these hard knobbles.
Kale comes from the brassaceacea family and is similar to wild cabbage; it does not form a head unlike the majority of cabbage varieties. Kale comes in two colours: green or purple.
Chicory & radicchio
A vegetable or salad leaf with many different names, it comes in red and white. The bitter leaves can either be cooked or eaten raw, and the roots can be ground and used as a coffee substitute. Radicchio is a variety of chicory.
Medjool dates are a seasonal favourite imported fruit around this time of year. Their fleshy texture makes them an interesting ingredient to pair with meat.
Blood oranges are a variety of orange with crimson-coloured flesh. Their colour is down to the presence of anthocyanins, which are commonly found in flowers but not in fruit, apart from this variety of orange.
Horseradish grows wild around Britain; the cultivated root can be bought fresh from most supermarkets and farmers' markets. The root itself has no aroma, but once cut or grated the enzyme sinigrin develops and produces allyl isothiocyanate, also known as mustard oil.
It's a well-known fact that the humble turnip is at the heart of the agricultural revolution. Turnip leaves can also be cooked and taste similar to mustard greens.
FEBRUARY'S SEASONAL FLAVOURS
Blood oranges, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, celeriac, chard, chicory, clams, duck, endive, forced rhubarb, haddock, hake, halibut, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, John Dory, kale, leeks, medjool dates, mussels, onions, oysters, parsnips, pears, pomegranate, parsnip, purple sprouting broccoli, salmon, sea bass, scallops, swede, turbot, turnips, walnuts.
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Flavours of January >>