February - a funny time of year
Updated: Feb 19, 2019
The season's produce lies just a month or two behind people's appetites.
February is an odd month in the kitchen.
The days are getting longer and brighter, but that change in the weather is yet to be reflected in the produce coming from the farms. After the excesses of Christmas and the doldrums of January, guests are starting to crave fresh fruit and green leafy vegetables - which are what come to mind when we think of spring - but are in fact really not in abundance until the early days of summer.
Truth is there are still plenty of tasty veg options, such as brussel sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli, cavolo nero and cima di rapa - we've just got to hang on for a couple of months until we can get our hands on all the peas and beans, salad leaves and orchard fruit that everyone's missing!
I find the change in the seasons one of the most exciting parts of cooking (with my personal highlight being the bounty of wild mushrooms from late summer through autumn) and I relish the challenge of designing menus and dishes that highlight the best of the season.
In these early days of spring the challenge is that really you're still working with winter produce, but people want to eat food that reflects the promise of the summer that's just around the corner. With that in mind I've put together an example of a spring time / February menu that I think showcases the huge variety of produce still available to us, even in this potentially dreary time of year. I've tried to offer a mix of dishes that might be thought of as 'winter warmers' for those chilly, rainy February days, and some lighter and more vibrant options for when the sun shows its face.
As ever I love hearing your thoughts and feedback so have a look and let me know what you think!
What's your take on cooking at this time of year? And your favourite dish for the season? Let me know in the comments.