Any restaurant worth its salt works with seasonal produce. Whether it’s a steakhouse in Blackpool like the Stone Grill or a Michelin starred eatery in the capital. Seasonal produce not only brings colour and variety to the table but the opportunity to experiment a bit too.
So this post is the first of what will become a regular monthly post showing the best of that month’s seasonal produce.
August is when British tomatoes are ready for eating. French ones ripen at this time too, but we like British best. Heirloom tomatoes are at their best while a range of salad, cherry and other varieties all ripen around this time. You don’t need us to tell you how to use this ingredient. Tomatoes can be used in everything from salad to gazpacho and there will definitely be something for every taste.
British sweetcorn also matures during August so it’s time to visit the greengrocers. Sweet and succulent and not just for barbecuing, sweetcorn has a range of dishes that can show it off at its best.
Turbot is an expensive fish that is at its most succulent during August. A more accessible brill is also coming into its prime around now too. Brill has a meaty but slightly sweet texture that lends itself well to frying or light sauces. If you can afford turbot, all very well but brill isn’t much of a compromise!
Grouse is a little old school but some restaurants can do amazing things with the game bird. As the season begins in 12th August there will be a plentiful supply too. It isn’t something we would serve here at the Stone Grill, but it is in many other restaurants.
Did you know they grow figs in Essex? Neither did I but apparently they do and apparently they are ready during August. The usual suppliers also pick and provide around this time too but from much further afield. You can do a lot with a fig and now is the time to experiment a little.
Greengages are a plum variant packed with sweetness. Ideal for fruit dishes, crumbles, preserves, sweet dressings and all sort of dishes, the humble greengage doesn’t have a very high profile but it is well worth trying.
Those are just a few of the many ingredients that really come into their own during August. I have probably missed quite a few others, but this should be enough to get your creativity rolling for now!