Watercress is top of the crops this season

Watercress and pea risotto gives a fresh taste
Watercress and pea risotto gives a fresh taste
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Do you save salads for summer and casseroles for cold days?

If so you could be eating with the seasons, but the practice goes far beyond which meals you fancy in certain weather.

Different fruit and vegetables are usually at their best at certain times of the year. Current seasonal produce in the UK includes radishes, rhubarb, spring onions, spinach and watercress.

But Chichester cook and food author Rosemary Moon says it’s hard to tell which crops are ripe for the picking – and eating.

‘We live in this homogenised world where we have everything available in supermarkets and we don’t know whether we’re coming or going.’

She’s an advocate of eating with the seasons.

‘It just makes life so much more interesting if you wait to eat things at certain times of the year. And they have that freshness and immediacy about them. It’s all right to have all these things available, but it’s a bit like wearing your thickest jumper in the middle of summer.’

Watercress is currently top of the crops, so start some seasonal feasting by trying this recipe from watercress.co.uk

Watercress and pea risotto

Serves four

· Ingredients:

1tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic

400g risotto rice

150ml dry white wine

750ml hot vegetable stock

150g frozen peas

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 (100g) pack watercress, roughly chopped

25g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

· Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy pan, add the onion and sauté for four minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and rice and cook for one more minute, stirring.

2. Add the white wine and cook stirring for two to three minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add a ladle of the stock and cook for two to three minutes, gently stirring occasionally. Repeat until you have just a little stock left and the rice is almost tender.

3. Add the remaining stock, peas and nutmeg. Cook until the rice is soft and creamy. Remove from the heat. Add the watercress and cheese and seasoning to taste.