The darling buds of May - or is April the cruellest month? Whatever your opinion, if you're in the middle of Spring menu planning, we've got some seasonal vegetable options for you...

 

Here are the top five for your pub:

1) Asparagus

 

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Available from late February until the early summer, asparagus is a versatile veggie that can be put to use premiumising a number of dishes.

Tasty starter options include simply grilling the veg and adding some herby butter – you could also wrap it in bacon – or maybe wizz it up and produce a warming soup for the chilly days of early spring? It is also makes an interesting side dish to mains when looking for a decent seasonal upsell item.

 

2) Cauliflower

 

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It's been the "it" vegetable of the winter - cauliflower steak anyone? But it also has a role to play as the weather warms up.

Similar to asparagus, this veg is great throughout the Spring months, whether you would like to knock up some cauliflower cheese or make a soup, this veg can be applied in a number of dishes as a core ingredient.

 

3) Chicory

 

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A vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked, this unusual ingredient can add a real sparkle to a number of dishes, and works well with fish and rich cheeses like Roquefort.

Try out a chicory gratin or a salad with walnuts and cheeses as two premium side dishes for your menu.

 

4) Sweet potato

 

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Although now a year round ingredient due to its popularity as an alternative to white potato, if you are looking to get sweet potato at the best moment, aim for the early Spring.

Bursting with flavour, the creamy, sweet and spicy veg will not need many other ingredients to show off its full potential. Fries, mash and soups are the staples for pub side dishes – but also try making it the star of the show with a sweet potato chilli or curry.

 

5) Jerusalem artichoke

 

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This vegetable is not really an artichoke at all – and nothing to do with Jerusalem. But this root vegetable is an interesting ingredient – full of iron - which can be added to a number of dishes like pasta, gratins, salads and as a side dish for roasts served with garlic and herbs.