In season: April








The 1st April may be ‘officially’ a day concerned with fish (it’s called the poisson d’Avril over here, and the aim is to try and attach a paper fish to someone’s back without them noticing), but today it’s fruit and vegetables that are really stealing the headlines.

According to a new study, eating the hallowed five portions of fruit and vegetables a day just doesn’t quite cut it anymore – we’re now supposed to try and fit seven portions, up to ten if possible, into our bellies each and every day. This isn’t just some vegan punishment you understand, the health benefits are apparently quite considerable.

So… this being the new order of things, the time is er, ripe to hit Parisian markets to fill as many shopping bags as you can carry filled with nature’s candy. Given that eating ten portions of fruit and veg a day isn’t the cheapest undertaking in the world, eating seasonably becomes even more important, meaning eating well doesn’t have to smash a watermelon-shaped hole in your bank account.

Here are the best seasonal fruit and veg April has to offer:

Beetroot – betterave
Broccoli – broccoli
Cabbage – chou
Carrot – carrotte
Cauliflower – chou-fleur
Celeriac – céleri rave
Leeks – poireau
Lettuce – laitue
Potatoes – pomme de terre
Radishes – radis
Rhubarb – rhubarb
Spinach – épinards
Spring onion – oignons frais
Watercress – cresson

Now that it’s warm enough to eat salad, here’s a recipe for a traditional French vinaigrette, that no bowl of lush green leaves should be without.

3 tbs olive oil
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp good quality mustard
1 chopped shallot
salt and pepper

Keep a small jar handy in your kitchen – an empty caper jar for example – to shake the ingredients in. As long as you get the ratio of oil and acid right, you can play around with the additions as you fancy. Add some herbs, honey, anchovies – whatever you have handy in the cupboard (though not together… anchovies and honey anyone?). Any extra can be kept in the fridge. Simple sophistication that only the French can be responsible for…