PUBLISHED: 12:42 08 August 2013 | UPDATED: 12:43 08 August 2013
June heralds the beginning of summer and a time to harvest or buy early cauliflowers, beetroot, spinach, broccoli, new potatoes and salad leaves, but best of all fruit - delicious strawberries, gooseberries and maybe even some early cherries.
Temperatures are on the up and days are long. Pests are on the increase too, so keep an eye out for aphids, slugs and snails in your fruit and veg patch.
Florence fennel is ready in June. Buy small young bulbs to enjoy raw in salads or larger ones to cook. Calabrese and sprouting broccoli will be ready too - buy calabrese which are bright green and tightly budded, they are one of the best vegetables nutritionally.
June is strawberry month and a quintessential bowl of Norfolk strawberries and cream on a warm English midsummer’s day is just perfect. If you see any Cambridge Favourite for sale, which isn’t often, do buy them – they have the most wonderful flavour, the best of all in my view.
Gooseberries aren’t as popular as strawberries, probably because they are quite tart and you can’t simply pick one and eat it raw - they continue to ripen after picking. They are a very old-fashioned fruit and in England traditionally associated with Whitsuntide, when they were made into pies. They are very high in pectin so great for jam making. Buy shiny, firm berries with so sign of bruising.
The Taylor taste test
Dressings to drip over the fresh salad leaves and tomatoes which are in abundance.
Yare Valley Oils’ Norfolk Honey Mustard Dressing is made by the Macks on their Surlingham farm using home produced rape seed oil and local honey with nothing artificial added. It is tangy to begin with, becoming much sweeter and very well balanced; www.yarevalleyoils.co.uk.
Scarlett and Mustard’s Big Bear’s Honey Dressing is made at Earl Soham from locally sourced rapeseed oil, honey and basil plus Dijon mustard. It is very yellow with bits of basil, and has a definite mustard flavour. See the website for some great recipe ideas; www.scarlettandmustard.co.uk.
Crush’s Zingy Lemon Dressing is certainly adds excitement to your iceberg! Made using rapeseed oil, Norfolk honey, English mustard and lemon juice, Crush is based at Swannington,with a range of yummy and useful oils and dressings; www.crush-foods.com
The Norfolk cheeseboard
I love Brie and searched for quite some time for a really good British alternative. Mrs Temple’s Copys Cloud, made from the milk of her herds of Hostein Friesians and Swiss Brown cows at Copys Green Farm at Wighton is just that! Eat it at room temperature with a simple savoury biscuit or crusty bread to enjoy the true flavour of this delicious, exceptionally creamy cheese which simply melts in the mouth with a little tang followed by a sweetness that says “eat me all up!” Copys Cloud is available at farm shops, delis and farmers’ markets throughout Norfolk and beyond.