In season

May 19

In now: Grate fresh horseradish direct onto steak or fish, or lighten its punch by mixing through crème fraiche, or sour cream and natural yoghurt.

At its best: Delicious, fat-bottomed packham pears are ripe when just starting to give to gentle pressure. Use firm fruit to poach for dessert; or slice, roast and add to a salad. Roasted pears and roasted parsnips are especially pairs with roasted duck.

Best buy: Green capsicum are usually unripe red fruit (one variety stays green when ripe). That unripe edge lends a bitterness that works perfectly with a spicy stuffing.

In the vegie patch: For a constant supply of peppery radish sow a row every fortnight. The first harvest will be ready to eat in a month.

What else:

  • friends were struggling with a nutcracker on fresh walnuts last week. As regular readers will know, the easiest way to open a walnut is to insert a butter knife into the dimple where the nut was attached to its branch. Apply a small of pressure in a twist to split the nut into two hemispheres, then use the knife to prise out the two halves of the nut.
  • poached quinces on porridge for breakfast this week?
  • celeriac is a versatile buy – use it grated raw, cooked into soups, or roasted in chunks
  • try a big, creamy pink mammoth custard apple




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