Enjoy the fresh flavours of spring with our favourite seasonal recipes.
Savoury spring dishes
Make a warming spring pie from freshly foraged nettles. Choose an ovenproof saucepan for this dish and you’ll have minimal washing up! Serve with lots of steamed spring vegetables on the side.
Don’t forget to put gloves on before you pick nettles. Once cooked, nettles thankfully lose their sting and have a light spinach flavour. Thanks to the abundance of nettles on our doorsteps, this soup is incredibly cheap to make.
To make the bhajis, combine the gram flour with the ground coriander, cumin, curry powder and salt in a bowl. Onion seeds, wild garlic and sliced onions add texture and flavour to these delicious garden snacks.
This Easter, why not try Scotch eggs with a twist? Wrap your eggs in horseradish, parsley, potato and sustainably sourced smoked mackerel for the perfect picnic bite.
Peppery, crunchy and bursting with colour, radishes are delicious fried in a pan with butter or thrown into a spring salad. They are also perfect for pickling.
Reduce food waste by whipping up this easy carrot-top pesto – delicious with pasta, in soup and on salads.
In spring, stinging nettles are at their sweetest, making May one of the best times of year to forage for the abundant leaf. Pick a handful on your next walk and try this simple and delicious recipe.
Onions are high in fibre and packed with minerals and vitamins. They are thought to reduce anxiety and depression, and can help you sleep – make the most of this abundant vegetable with this delicious autumn soup recipe.
Nettle pesto can be made very simply – all you need to do is substitute cooked nettle leaves for the basil or baby spinach you’d normally use.
Nettle Pesto will keep for a week or so if stored in an air-tight jar
A classic dish from the region of Picardy in northern France, flamiche is a robust version of a quiche and a notch up from pizza. It can be made with a pastry crust or a bread-dough base. However, making pastry comes with heartache for some, and rather too much butter for others.
I love making bread dough and find the activity of kneading and resting the dough immensely satisfying. So let’s use bread dough for the base and keep the filling a sweet and heady mix of leeks, thyme, eggs and cream. Perfect for relaxed lunches or picnics.
Sweet spring dishes
Great Dixter is one of Britain’s most famous gardens, celebrated for is exuberant flower borders. Now a new book by Aaron Bertelson reveals the fruit and vegetables grown at the east Sussex garden, and the delicious recipes cooked there. Here is how to make one of our favourites – the Great Dixter rhubarb tart
These fruit-filled teatime treats are thought to be a refinement of the original ‘handbread’: a shaped roll made on a flat tin. You can add a teaspoon of allspice to the flour, if you like. Serve them split and buttered, either warm from the oven or toasted. Perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast or a lazy afternoon tea.
Made with a yeast batter and cooked quickly in metal rings on a griddle, crumpets are a particularly traditional English teatime food with an unusual dense and spongy texture. They are best served fresh and hot, with plenty of good butter and perhaps some jam.
Whip up a fresh batch of homemade scones for a cream tea with this easy recipe. Serve with lashings of cream and jam.
Elderflowers are the last of the great tree flower displays of the year (late May and June). The umbrellas of dense, tiny white flowers send out an alluring sweet smell. The floral taste of this traditional syrup is great with water, but also complements pastries, cakes, ice-cream and champagne or prosecco.
The humble dandelion is an extraordinary flower, and is in its prime during spring. Although this vibrant flower is popular amongst insects, did you know it can also be used as a salad plant or to make coffee?
The most versatile part of the dandelion is surely the root. It is used in beers and cordials, often alongside that of burdock, while if dry-roasted and ground it offers a surprisingly tasty alternative to coffee. This drink may be caffeine-free but might still wake you up at night as the dandelion often has a diuretic effect.