• Feel Good
  • 9th Aug 2023
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The best ingredients for summer cooking, according to a head chef

Lindsay, head chef at Michelin Guide restaurant, rebel in Heaton, reveals his guide on seasonal cooking.

From clean eating to keto and plant-based diets, when it comes to healthy eating there always seems to be a new trend popping up, but are any of them actually that good for us?

Instead of looking forward, perhaps we should be looking back to one of the oldest methods in the book – seasonal eating. The method of eating that humanity has been practising since the dawn of time.

Not only is seasonal cooking better for you due to the food being fresher, therefore containing more nutrients, but it’s also better for the environment.

We caught up with Lindsay, head chef at Michelin Guide restaurant, rebel in Heaton to find out more…

HLN TOP TIP: Want to know more about rebel’s finest seasonal dishes? We go inside Heaton’s newest fine dining restaurant that’s already made it to the Michelin Guide

WHAT IS SEASONAL COOKING?

Seasonal cooking is using ingredients when they are at their best and in abundance, for example – asparagus in spring, tomatoes, berries and elderflower throughout the summer.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS ARE SEASONAL COOKING?

The benefits of seasonal cooking are endless; ingredients are at their very best, cheaper because of the abundance (which always helps) and better for the environment due to the locality.

TIPS FOR STARTING SEASONAL COOKING

Keep an eye on when you go out shopping for what’s new and what’s no longer available, this way you’ll start to learn about the different seasons. A really easy way to learn the seasons is to plant a few things in your garden and see when they come to fruit.

HOW TO KNOW WHEN INGREDIENTS ARE AT THEIR BEST

  • Berries are soft and sweet and fall off the plant easily
  • Fruit like peaches and apricots will be slightly soft
  • Vegetables should be nice and firm and more often than not at their biggest

INGREDIENTS IN SEASON RIGHT NOW

Vegetables

Artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, carrots, chillies, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, French beans, garlic, kohlrabi, lettuce and salad leaves, mangetout, new potatoes, onions, pak choi, peas, peppers, potatoes (maincrop), radishes, rocket, runner beans, spinach, spring onions, sweetcorn, tomatoes, turnips, watercress and wild nettles.

Fruit

Peaches, apricots, bilberries, blueberries, cherries, gooseberries, greengages, kiwi fruit, loganberries, melons, nectarines, peaches, raspberries, redcurrants and strawberries.

Herbs

Basil, chives, coriander, oregano, mint, parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leafed), rosemary, sage, sorrel, tarragon and thyme.

Meat

Beef, lamb, rabbit, venison and wood pigeon.

Fish

Cod, coley, crab, dab, dover sole, grey mullet, haddock, halibut, herring, langoustine, lemon sole, mackerel, pilchard, plaice, pollack, prawns, red mullet, salmon, sardines, scallops (queen), sea bass (wild), sea bream, sea trout, shrimp, squid, whelks and whitebait.

SUMMER RECIPE INSPIRATION

Rebel restaurant’s lobster crumpet

rebel restaurant’s lobster crumpet

Lobster is currently in full swing, and at its cheapest – around a third of the price it normally is, making it a lot more affordable. A perfect match with tomatoes, also currently in season. Quite often you’ll find that nature does a lot of the work for you and kindly lets harmonious ingredients be at their best together. Get the full recipe here.

BOOK A TABLE AT REBEL

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Rachael Nichol
Creative Solutions Manager

After gaining a first in her BA Media and Journalism degree at Northumbria University, Rachael worked at Newcastle’s leading regional newspaper with her stories being picked up in national and global newspapers She spent two very successful years giving a voice to those communities across the North East who otherwise…

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