Growing in chalky brooks, watercress is best in the spring thanks to its tenderness. Equally, its nutritional credentials aren’t to be overlooked, as it’s packed with vitamins A and C, as well as iron and calcium. When shopping, look for either ‘Alresford’ or ‘Hampshire’ stamps on the packet. You’ll find the watercress season peaks from now until June, and then again in the autumn.
Step 1Blitz the watercress with the parmesan or pecorino in a food processor.
Step 2Scatter in the pine nuts, the lemon zest and half a garlic clove.
Step 3To ensure the pesto is a creamy texture, add a good glug of olive oil and some water, if necessary.
Step 4Blitz again until nearly smooth. Taste. Season accordingly.
Sustainable British trout caught by small producers often beats salmon at this time of year. Not only is it more flavourful, it’s also better for you. Thankfully, the season is long, kicking off from March and ending in the early autumn.
Step 1Preheat the oven to 180°C-200°C.
Step 2Cube the new potatoes and place in a baking tray. Drizzle with a little oil. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven. Season well with salt, pepper, lemon zest or a pinch of sumac if you wish.
Step 3Add to the tray whichever greens you wish and return to the oven for 10 minutes, until everything is nearly cooked.
Step 4For the final 10 minutes, carefully make space for 2 trout fillets. Season the fillets with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Bake again.
Step 5Meanwhile, make the sauce by blitzing the mint or dill with the garlic, capers and crème fraîche. Pour over the tray for the final two minutes of cooking.
Step 6Remove everything from the oven and serve.
British crabbing kicks off now and continues all the way through to October. Many chefs believe it should be considered a delicacy, given the meat from the Atlantic ocean is so superbly sweet.
Step 1Mix 250g crab meat with the mayo, mustard or wasabi paste, and plenty of freshly chopped basil or coriander and the lime’s juice and zest.
Step 2Halve 4 avocados, removing the stones. Stuff the halves with the crab.
Step 3Serve with couscous or rice, finely chopped ginger, a scattering of spring onions and a drizzle of soy sauce.
From Thailand to India, mangos are seriously succulent right now – in fact, you’ll even find festivals around the world are dedicated to them come April. You’ll find seasonal varieties like the coveted Alphonso at M&S or Ocado – worth looking out for during the next two months.
Step 1Peel the skin off the mangos and slice the flesh. Set aside.
Step 2Shred the cooked chicken and place in a bowl. Mix it with the coconut milk, Greek yoghurt, garam masala or curry powder and cumin seeds. Stir in the mango chutney and, to finish, add some finely chopped fresh coriander.
Step 3Stir in the celery sticks and shallot.
Step 4Slice the tortilla wraps into strips. To finish, pour the curried chicken in a salad bowl, top with the tortilla strips, then the mango slices.
COOK’S TIP: You can also stir a packet of Tilda’s coconut basmati rice into the curried chicken for a heartier meal.
British asparagus has one of the shortest peaks of any seasonal ingredient; it’s only good for around for six to eight weeks, so enjoy it while you can. You’ll find the window officially closes around the summer solstice (21st June).
Step 1Slice the asparagus spears on a slant. Set aside. In a saucepan, toast the sesame seeds for a few minutes.
Step 2Then, in a large frying pan, pan-fry the garlic and ginger for a few minutes. Throw in the asparagus. Stir fry on high heat for a further few minutes before mixing in the noodles.
Step 3For the sauce, mix the soy sauce with the ketjap manis. Stir, taste and season if you want.
Feeling inspired? Other ingredients in-season at the time of year include…
St George’s mushrooms