It’s time to pick out the best British seasonal food in February. It might be cold outside but it’s warm in the kitchen, with apple and rhubarb crumble, and casseroles filled with late winter root vegetables. Kale, winter cabbages, leeks and sprout tops can all be turned into healthy, hearty side dishes too.
Fruit in season in February
Apples (from store), rhubarb (forced).
Best imported seasonal fruit
Blood oranges, Caribbean pineapple, passion fruit, pomegranate, Seville oranges.
Vegetables in season in February
Brussels sprouts and sprout tops, cabbage (Savoy, other winter types), celeriac, chard, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, parsnips, purple sprouting broccoli, salsify, scorzonera.
You can also find some crops grown under cover (endive, lamb’s lettuce and other winter salad) and crops that can store or stand for a while (beetroot, swede, turnip, winter radish, winter squash).
Available most months in good condition: broccoli, button mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, maincrop potatoes, onions, rocket.
Herbs in season in February
Always available: chives, coriander, parsley grown under cover; older leaves of hardy perennials like bay, rosemary, sage, thyme.
Fish in season in February
Brill, clams, cockles, Cornish sardine / pilchard, dab, Dover sole, lemon sole, mussels, oysters (native), pike, pouting, red gurnard, scallops, sea bass, sprats, whelks, whiting, winkles.
To the best of my knowledge, the list above excludes critically endangered fish. Visit The Good Fish Guide from the Marine Conservation Society for latest lists.
Fish in season in February, less sustainable
Haddock, wild halibut, wild turbot.
In good condition almost all year: herring, farmed sea bream and turbot, megrim sole, sustainably-fished monkfish, rope-grown mussels, prawns.
Meat, poultry and game in season in February
Duck, guinea fowl, hare, venison.
Always available in good condition: beef, chicken, pork, rabbit, farmed venison, wood pigeon.
Cheese in season in February
Farmhouse Cheddar, blue cheeses (Stilton, blue Wensleydale, blue Cheshire). Imported: Morbier.
Many quality mature cheeses are available year-round.
Which seasonal ingredients will you be buying and cooking this February?