British seasonal food in February – what to eat now

Here’s the updated guide to the best British seasonal food in February, plus a few notable imports to brighten up your shopping baskets and tastebuds. We have fruit, vegetables, herbs, fish, meat, poultry, and a few cheeses to choose from.

British home grown produce tends to be hearty and filling this month, with lots of greens and root vegetables which lend themselves to soups, stews, casseroles and healthy side dishes. There are also a few treats in the imported fruit section, including fresh bittersweet Seville oranges if you’re interested in making your own marmalade.

Fruit in season in February

Penny Golightly guide to British seasonal fruit in February and imports
Clockwise from top left: apples, pineapple, forced rhubarb, Seville oranges

British grown seasonal fruit

  • apples (from store)
  • rhubarb (forced)

Best imported seasonal fruit

  • blood oranges
  • passion fruit
  • pineapple (Caribbean)
  • pomegranate
  • Seville oranges

Recommended seasonal fruit books

Vegetables in season in February

British seasonal vegetables veg veggies in February
Clockwise from top left: chicory, swede, sprouting broccoli, leeks

  • Brussels sprouts and sprout tops (last few)
  • 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

  • Winter savory

[Always available: chives, coriander, parsley grown under cover; older leaves of hardy perennials like bay, rosemary, sage, thyme.]

Get your FREE printable menu planner!

Recommended seasonal veg books & box delivery

Fish in season in February

British seasonal fish shellfish and seafood in February UK
Clockwise from top left: sprats, lemon sole, langoustines, monkfish

Fish stocks change from year to year, affected by overfishing, conservation efforts, and unusual weather for the season, but here’s a rough guide to what’s available.

Sustainable British fish

  • brill
  • clams (farmed Manila)
  • cockles
  • crab (spider)
  • dab
  • gurnard (grey, red)
  • herring / sild
  • European lobster
  • mackerel
  • monkfish
  • mussels
  • oyster (native, Pacific)
  • pollock
  • pouting/bib
  • prawns (Northern)
  • sardines / European pilchard
  • sole (Dover, lemon)
  • sprat / whitebait
  • trout (farmed rainbow)
  • wild turbot

[To the best of my knowledge the list above excludes critically endangered fish, but this can change at short notice. Visit The Good Fish Guide from the Marine Conservation Society for latest lists.]

Less sustainable seasonal fish

You should still be able to source most of the following from a responsible fishmonger.

  • cod
  • razor clams
  • langoustines/scampi
  • red mullet
  • scallops (king, queen)
  • seabream
  • whelks

[In good condition almost all year: herring, farmed sea bream and turbot, farmed rainbow trout, megrim sole, sustainably-fished monkfish, rope-grown mussels, prawns.]

Recommended fish & shellfish books

Meat, poultry & game in season in February

British Seasonal Food in February meat game and poultry UK
Left to right: brown hare, deer

  • hare
  • venison (all types except for roe bucks)

[Available year-round in good condition: beef, chicken, pork, rabbit, farmed venison, woodpigeon.]

Recommended meat, poultry & game books

Cheese in season in February

British Seasonal cheese in February UK and imported
Clockwise from top left: Blue Wensleydale, Farmhouse Cheddar, Blue Cheshire, Morbier

It’s a relatively quiet month for seasonal cheeses, with the last of the best blues coming to market.

British-made cheeses

  • mature blue cheeses (Stilton, blue Wensleydale, blue Cheshire)
  • mature Farmhouse Cheddar

Imported February cheese

  • Morbier

[Many quality mature cheeses are available year-round, especially the harder cheeses.]

Recommended cheese & wine books

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Our favourite British seasonal food in February

As Valentine’s Day is this month it’s good to know what’s available for special meals, whether you’re cooking at home or booking a quality restaurant. Your best options are in the fish, shellfish and imported fruits lists above – such as oysters, lobster, crab and passion fruit. Bon appetit!

On a slightly less romantic note, I’m looking forward to adding a big bunch of purple sprouting broccoli to my shopping list this week, for stir fries, side dishes, quiches and omelettes.

We’ll also be having a big bowl of homemade leek and potato soup with plenty of crusty bread on the side, and maybe a cheese and leek gratin on another midweek evening.

If we’re lucky, our kitchen garden might give us a small amount of early rhubarb, which I’ll serve lightly poached in stem ginger syrup. Here’s hoping. Otherwise I’m sure there will be plenty in March – come back next month for the latest updates.

Which seasonal ingredients will you be buying and cooking this February? Let us know in the comments below.

Recommended general seasonal books for inspiration

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  1. I like plenty of stews and casseroles. Not keen on game but venison, chicken, rabbit and all British fish is good. Vegetables are abundant at this time of year including all root veg, swede, turnips, leeks and brassicas. A bit of spice like a of bowl chili con carne topped with soured cream, delish!!!

    1. Hi James, you can’t beat a good casserole, that’s for sure. Same for stews and soups, lovely and warming when it’s cold outside.

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