Seasonal Recipes For An April Harvest

One of the joys of growing your own food is being able to feed yourself and your family and friends with the crops that you have grown. Foraged crops can provide an extra bounty in the spring when your own crops are mostly still growing. Here are just a few recipes that should inspire you to create your own culinary treats from an April harvest:

SpanakopitaNettle and Spring Onion Spanakopita

Nettles are one of the main foraged greens of the spring. The tender tops of these plants, carefully harvested, can be used in a wide range of recipes. Simply wash and then wilt the nettles in boiling water to get rid of the sting and then use them as you would use spinach. Spanakopita is a good recipe for both spinach and nettles. Use nettles along with some spring onions layered with some filo pastry for a fairly simple yet delicious meal.

Purple sprouting broccoliPurple Sprouting Broccoli Bake

You may be enjoying the last of your harvest of purple sprouting broccoli this month. If you are, give them the starring role in this simple bake. Simply place purple sprouting broccoli and a little butter sauce into a casserole dish and top them with a lovely, crunchy oat and mixed seed topping.

Potato CakesWild Garlic and Mixed Greens Potato Cakes

For a hearty meal that will please the whole family, mash some stored potatoes with wild garlic (or garlic stored from last year) and some seasoning and fill them with mixed greens. There should be plenty of spring greens to choose from. If you are not growing enough, foraging can be a wonderful way to increase the green veg in your diet at this time of year. Try ground elder, sorrels, young plantain, chickweed, Good King Henry, galium aparine, sea beet and many more leafy bonus crops.

Radish and salad leavesSimple Radish and Mixed Leaf Salad

Radishes and simple mixed-leaves can be sown at the end of March or beginning of April and enjoyed in baby leaf salads before the end of the month. Make the most of these quick growing favourites for a light, healthy and nutritious meal.

Dandelion frittersDandelion Fritters

Dandelions are not the pest that lawn perfectionists consider them to be. Dandelions are a useful bonus food at this time of year. Young leaves are perfect for adding a hint of bitterness to a mixed salad or can be cooked with other mixed greens and the flowers can also be eaten. Try chopping up leaves and adding them to a pancake batter mix into which you can then dip the flowers, to make tasty fritters that can be enjoyed with a range of sauces and dips. For a sweeter treat, add a little honey to the batter mix.