spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can be

Nicola Milne-Malone of Giddens & Thompson Greengrocers in Bungay is ready for spring and all that it brings, with her eye on one vegetable in particular. 

“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”
Miles Kington

It is with a joyful flutter in my heart that I say goodbye to winter. It’s not that I dislike winter, on the contrary, I love all our beautiful seasons. I love the warm, cosy nights in by the fire, and big hearty pots of loveliness on the stove.

But I am ready for spring with its sunshine, green grass, daffodils, tulips, baby animals, and buds on
the trees. But most of all, I cannot wait to fill our lovely little shop with gorgeous, colourful, local and
seasonal fruit and vegetables.    

Spring brings so many beautiful fruit and vegetables. Between now and May, we will see broad beans, peas, sweetheart cabbage, watercress, rocket, spring greens, leeks, aubergines, chicory, radishes, new potatoes, Suffolk salads, spinach, sorrel, kale, beetroot, rhubarb, strawberries, and much more.  

However, what I am most looking forward to is asparagus! There really is nothing like English asparagus, and we grow some amazing asparagus locally. British asparagus has a good reputation as being the best and rightly so. Young spears are sweet and tender, and we will see it in our shop from April, hopefully, through to June.  

Not only does asparagus taste absolutely wonderful, it is also jam packed with fabulous health benefits such as anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant as well as being rich in vitamins C and E, aids gut health, and helps lower blood pressure.

For a fabulous lazy Sunday brunch, why not simply bake the asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil or butter, sea salt, a little parmesan, wrapped in a foil parcel in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve with some beautiful salmon from Cliff at the Earsham St Fish Company, a soft poached egg from our lovely Clinks Farm eggs in the shop, and sourdough toast. Enjoy it with a lovely glass of orange juice that we freshly squeeze every day in our shop. That sounds like the perfect Sunday to me! 

For a super healthy lunch or supper that looks and tastes stunning, we have everything you need to pack all the colours and flavours to make a truly wonderful dish. I made this little bowl of gorgeousness using produce from our shop – watercress, red chicory, flat leaf parsley, Cherokee tomatoes, red pepper, and, of course, tender young asparagus. You can add lentils and/or feta to make a more substantial meal. Drizzled with a homemade dressing using olive oil, white wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, and mustard, this is a vitamin-packed lunch that will taste delicious.

So, while I love winter, I truly cannot wait for spring and for asparagus to become my everyday staple once more. I never tire of it! 

Giddens & Thompson Greengrocers are open Monday – Saturday 9am to 5pm

• giddensandthompson.co.uk

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