Let’s take a look at what’s in season this March so you can pimp up your plate with the tastiest food on offer that doesn’t cost the earth. Plus, we’ve got three great recipes to get you salivating on the season’s harvest.
Perfect if you’re looking for any Mother’s Day plans, hot dates or to eat more seasonally
Seasonal Veg in March
It’s the season for foraging. Both nettles and wild garlic are easy forage starters. You’ll find wild garlic in damp, wooded areas. Think of local riverside walks where you amble through trees, woods with babbling streams. Usually, you can smell the wild garlic before you see it but look for green shoots with delicate white flowers on top. You can cook up the flowers and the stems but leave the root in the ground.
How to tell which wild garlic leaves to pick
Beware of imposter wild garlic - the best way to check what you're picking is by the smell. Rub the leaf between your fingers and you should smell garlic. If not, leave well alone.
Nettles are probably more synonymous with childhood stings and scrapes than foraging for seasonal foods. Yet, this abundant plant is packed full of flavour and nutrients. Either go prepared and take a thick pair of gloves with you, or tackle the nettle with a firm grasp on the stems using the palm of your hand.
We can’t advise you go nettle picking without some kind of hand cover so best take some thick or rubber gloves. But nettles are easy to spot and plentiful. Rules of foraging are to only take what you will use and make sure you wash well before cooking.
For those heading to the shops and farmers markets rather than the footpaths and fields, beetroot and purple sprouting broccoli will add more rainbow colour to your plate this March. Spring greens, kale, leeks, spinach, chervil and chicory are also still in season.
Seasonal Fish in March
Shellfish including mussels, oysters, langoustine and lobster are plentiful for your March plates. Red mullet, which you might also know by goatfish, is our March catch with its delicate flavour and perfect for Mediterranean dishes.
For a more traditional flavour, hake are in season throughout March. Hake are a great sustainable alternative to cod for your Friday night dinner.
Finally, if you want an impressive centrepiece or a seafood pasta, opt for spider crab. Yes, you can get these in the UK. They are often pot-caught which means they are sustainable and have a low impact on the sea bed.
Seasonal meat in March
Venison is the meat of choice for March and goes well with nettles. Both work especially well in a stew while we’re waiting for the last of the frost to pass. Have a look at this venison stew with wild nettle dumpling recipe taken from Gather by Gill Meller.
Seasonal Fruit in MarchMarch brings such beautiful fruits with the brightness of blood oranges still fruiting and the start of the rhubarb season. You should start seeing Yorkshire Forced rhubarb around now. Rhubarb grows particularly well in West Yorkshire, around Wakefield (known as the rhubarb triangle) so keep an eye out for fruit coming from farms in this area.
You can also expect a glut on grapefruit and lemons. Perfect for zesty spring salads.
We’ve got a trio of seasonal March recipes to tempt you. Use together for a three-course meal or serve separately throughout the month.
Braised Chicory with pomegranate molasses and hazelnuts
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 2 x chicory
- Drizzle of Pomegranate mollasses
- Handful of hazlenuts
- Olive oil
- Get a frying pan onto medium heat and toast off the hazelnuts. Once they have released an aroma, take off the heat and roughly chop with a knife.
- Slice the chicory in half lengthways and make diagonal scores in the root.
- Using the same pan, add a good drizzle of olive oil and then when hot, add a decent sprinkle of sea salt.
- Once the oil is hot, place the chicory cut side down into the pan and leave for a few minutes until brown.
- Drizzle some olive oil over the top to stop the chicory from sticking and then cover with a lid or a sheet of foil to allow to cook through. (About 5 mins)
- Take off the lid or foil and gently place the chicory cut side up onto a serving plate. They should be soft and caramelised.
- Drizzle with pomegranate molasses and the chopped hazelnuts.
Wild Garlic PestoIngredients
- 100g Wild garlic
- 50g grated parmesan cheese (use pecorino if you like)
- 50g Hazelnuts or pine nuts
- Lemon Juice (to taste)
- Salt and Pepper (to season)
- Olive Oil
- Wash your wild garlic and put into a blender and blitz. If you don’t have a blender you can put into a pestle and mortar and grind until broken.
- Add the parmesan and blitz down (this will help break down the leaves further)
- Add the nuts of choice and slowly add the olive oil to the mix to help break it down
- Add salt, lemon juice and pepper to taste.
- Make in batches and either freeze or use during the week
Wild garlic pesto goes with EVERYTHING!
Stewed Yorkshire rhubarb with blood orangeIngredients
- 750g Forced Yorkshire rhubarb
- 1 blood orange
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- 250 ml natural yoghurt
- Roughly chop the rhubarb and put into a pan with the sugar, zest and juice of the orange and 2 tablespoons of water
- Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and then let simmer for 4-5 minutes until the rhubarb has softened but still has its shape
- Finally, scrape the vanilla pod into the pan and add the yoghurt and mix
- Serve with porridge.
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