In now: Oxheart tomatoes are soft-skinned so are picked immature and need to be ripened on the kitchen bench or windowsill, out of direct sun.
Not at its best: Radicchio is not a fan of warm weather, and neither it, nor its partner trevisso, are at their best right now. When a salad needs a bitter crunch, look for radish instead.
Best buy: What a cool relief to have cucumbers at affordable prices again. I love them:
– smashed with the back of a knife till they shatter, cut into chunks and doused with soy sauce, black vinegar and a drizzle of sesame oil.
– or cut into chunks, tossed with chunks of radish, halved cherry tomatoes, lots of parsley, and a sherry vinegar dressing.
– or peeled, deseeded and cut into thin slivers atop butter lettuce. Scatter over nigella seeds and roasted pine nuts, and drizzle with a lemon and olive oil dressing.
In the vegie patch: As the weather heats sow lettuce where they will get a little protection from hot afternoon sun, such as in the shade of taller-growing vegetables.
- last chance for the blood oranges
- zucchini flowers are abundant
- field-grown eggplant tends to be marked so is cheaper than the glasshouse-grown produce. Tastes the same.
- broad beans are a bargain