What’s In Season – April

April seasonal produce

1. Radishes

Mud covered radishes

Look for radishes that are firm and feel heavy for their size. If they come with their leafy tops on, all the better because you can eat those, too. If you’ve got trimmed radishes and still want to make this radish smørrebrød recipe, just substitute the rest of the radishes with a small handful of soft herbs like chives, tarragon or basil.

Bread with spread and radish topping

Tip

Try adding halved radishes to a stir-fry.They’ll need about 3-5 mins so add them towards the end of cooking. Great with pork and black bean sauce.

More like this

Visit our radish recipes for more ideas.

2. Rocket

Rocket on a yellow background next to a knife

This peppery leaf is easy to grow and extremely versatile. Use in a pesto, cook like spinach in quiches or frittatas or add generously to salads like this shaved fennel & rocket salad.

Shaved fennel & rocket salad on a plate with a spoon and half a lemon

How to grow rocket

“Sow seeds in pots or in the ground, covered with a thin layer of soil, and water well. Within a few weeks you’ll be able to snip off leaves. They grow back about three or four times. Keep watering and cut flowering stems. Both flowers and seeds are edible.” Miranda Janatka, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

For more inspiration, this quick and easy peppery pesto is delicious dolloped on pasta or drizzled over summer salads.

3. Edible flowers

Edible flowers on a white background

If you’re out picking, not all flowers are edible and some can be very toxic. Check the RHS website and if in doubt, leave them. If buying flowers, check they’re unsprayed (organic) and free from chemicals, or opt for packs of edible flowers available online or from some larger supermarkets. They make a showstopping finishing touch to lots of dishes, but you’ll need to add them at the last minute as they wilt quickly. Alternatively, try crystallising them for a more stable decoration.

How to crystallise flowers

Holding a flower or petal with tweezers, use a small paintbrush to paint both sides with lightly beaten egg white. Spoon over caster sugar and shake off the excess. Leave to dry for 3 hrs or overnight. Will keep for up to four weeks.

Two glasses of violet creams with edible flower decoration

Try making our violet creams, topped with crystallised roses and violets or these delicate floral shortbread biscuits.

4. Round lettuce

Round lettuce floating over a hand sticking out from a wall

With its crispness and subtle sweetness, round lettuce is well complemented by bitter cousins like little gem or endive in a salad, dressed in a mustard vinaigrette. Lots of lettuces cook well, too, so on a colder day try this light and flavourful soup.

How to make mustard vinaigrette

Whisk 2 tsp Dijon mustard with 3 tsp red wine vinegar. Season, then slowly add 2 tbsp sunflower oil, whisking as you go until the mixture is thick and smooth. Stir in 4-5 chopped chives, then dress your salad.

Try these gochujang pork belly lettuce wraps or sticky pork lettuce wraps for another delicious way to enjoy this type of lettuce.

Pork lettice wrap spread with people helping themselves

5. Rhubarb

Sticks of fresh rhubarb for sale at a fruit and vegetable market.

Botanically, rhubarb is a vegetable (it’s related to sorrel and dock) but its thick, fleshy stalks are treated as a fruit, despite their tart flavour. Rhubarb grows in two crops. Forced rhubarb arrives earlier in the year and is grown in darkness, giving a more tender and delicate flavour of the two.

The second, called maincrop rhubarb, is grown outdoors and arrives in spring. Its stalks are deeper red and tinged with green, while its leaves are bright green. It has a more intense flavour and robust texture than the forced variety. Try recipes with spring rhubarb.

A filled sponge cake with elderflowers on top and a jar next to it

More seasonal fruit and veg in April

Seasonal food dates in April

Squares of fudge with mini eggs inside on a wooden board

4 April – International Carrot Day
Celebrate with our favourite carrot recipes.

7 April – World Health Day
Find lots of health and nutrition advice on our health hub.

21 April – National Tea Day
Brew fragrant flavours from our tea recipes.

Other dates for your diary:

29 March – Good Friday

31 March – Easter Sunday
Check out our best Easter recipes.

1 April – April Fool’s Day

9th or 10th April – Eid

21 April – Virgin Money London Marathon
Fuel yourself for the event with our Friday marathon training meal plan.

22 – 30 April – Passover

23 April – St Georges’ Day
Mark the day with traditional English recipes.

See our seasonal calendar for more inspiration.

More seasonal recipes and information

Our top 20 spring recipes
Foraging: a beginner’s guide
Spring greens recipe collection
10 recipes to make you feel like spring is here
Healthy spring recipes
Top 10 rhubarb recipes
Easter hub page

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