Season’s eatings: What to cook and eat in March

March 15, 2024

Spring has sprung, and with it a bounty of seasonal ingredients ready to take centre stage. From the crisp crunch of spring onions to the earthy allure of morel mushrooms, these culinary treasures are at their peak, and it’s time to make the most of them.

Eating seasonally isn’t just about savouring the best flavours nature has to offer; it’s also a nod to and environmental stewardship. By choosing ingredients that are in season around us, we reduce the need for extensive transportation and storage, minimising our carbon footprints and supporting local farmers. Plus, there’s something inherently satisfying about embracing the rhythm of the seasons and eagerly anticipating the arrival of each new crop.

So, as spring onions, artichokes, morel mushrooms, purple sprouting broccoli and spinach return to the culinary spotlight, let’s celebrate their arrival with that showcase them in all their ephemeral glory.

Spring onions

Spring onions, with their slender, vibrant green stalks, are not only visually appealing but also bursting with flavour and culinary potential. Also known as scallions or green onions, they thrive in the cooler temperatures of early spring and are at their peak from March to June, resulting in a crisp and mild flavour that distinguishes them for their fully matured counterparts.

The versatility of spring onions knows no bounds. They can be finely chopped and sprinkled over salads to add a refreshing crunch, grilled to perfection as a standalone side dish to accompany any main course, or incorporated into a wide range of savoury recipes, from stir-fries to soups. Their delicate flavour effortlessly enhances every dish they grace.

Spring onions pair exceptionally well with a variety of ingredients, adding depth and complexity to any culinary creation. They complement the earthy sweetness of root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, balance the richness of meats and seafood, and provide a fresh contrast to creamy sauces and dressings. Additionally, they can be pickled or marinated to intensify their flavour profile and extend their shelf life.

For those seeking culinary inspiration, a spring onion, purple sprouting broccoli and goat’s cheese quiche is a stellar example of how to showcase the delectable flavours of spring onions. By combining them with seasonal ingredients like purple sprouting broccoli and tangy goat’s cheese, this dish celebrates the essence of spring and highlights the versatility of spring onions.

Spring onion, purple sprouting broccoli and goat’s cheese quiche

There’s no better way to celebrate the fresh produce of springtime than our March medley quiche, featuring spring onions, purple sprouting broccoli and tangy goat’s cheese, all of which are stepping into the limelight this month. This quiche is your ticket to savouring the best of the season in a flaky, cheesy embrace, with the best of springtime in every bite.

Serves: 6


500g (shop-bought or homemade) shortcrust pastry

6 spring onions, thinly sliced

15ml olive oil

100g purple sprouting broccoli, chopped into small florets

100g crumbled goat’s cheese

4 large eggs

240ml milk or half-and-half

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)


1. Preheat your oven to 190C. Place the prepared pie crust in a pie dish and set aside.

2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced spring onions and chopped purple sprouting broccoli florets. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

3. Spread the sautéed spring onions and broccoli evenly over the bottom of the pie crust. Sprinkle the crumbled goat’s cheese on top of the vegetables.

4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk (or half-and-half), salt, pepper, and nutmeg (if using) until well combined.

5. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and goat’s cheese in the pie crust.

6. Carefully transfer the quiche to the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.

7. Once baked, remove the quiche from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

8. Serve warm or at room temperature, accompanied by a fresh green salad or your favourite side dishes.


Look for firm, heavy artichokes with tightly closed leaves

Renowned for their versatility, artichokes, with their thistle-like appearance and tender hearts, lend themselves to myriad delectable dishes.

There are countless ways to prepare and cook artichokes, each highlighting their unique flavour and texture. They can be steamed or boiled under tender, then served with a dipping sauce or vinaigrette for a simple yet satisfying appetiser. Alternatively, they can be roasted or grilled to enhance their natural sweetness and add a smoky depth of flavour. Artichokes also make a delightful addition to soups, salads, pasta dishes and dips, where their subtle, slightly nutty taste adds a delightful complexity.

When it comes to pairing, artichokes harmonise beautifully with a variety of ingredients. Their mild flavour complements the richness of cheeses and cream-based sauces, while their tender texture contrasts wonderfully with the crispness of fresh vegetables and the richness of meat and seafood. Additionally, they pair well with herbs like garlic, thyme and parsley, as well as citrusy flavours like lemon and orange, adding brightness and depth to any dish.

During their peak season, which typically spans from March to May, artichokes can be readily found at farmers’ markets, specialty grocers and well-stocked supermarkets. Look for firm, heavy artichokes with tightly closed leaves, as these are indicative of freshness and quality. Alternatively, you can find them jarred or tinned for ease.

One delightful way to make the most of artichokes is in the vibrant artichoke and spinach pasta below. This recipe combines tender artichoke hearts with fresh spinach, garlic and zesty lemon for a comforting and flavourful meal that celebrates the best of the season’s harvest.

Seasonal artichoke and spinach pasta

Celebrate the flavours of the season with this delightful artichoke and spinach pasta dish. Fresh spinach and tender artichoke hearts come together with other seasonal ingredients to create a comforting and flavourful meal that’s perfect for spring. This recipe showcases the best of the season’s bounty in a satisfying pasta dish that will leave you craving more.

Serves: 4


250g pasta (such as penne or fusilli)

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red onion, finely chopped

200g fresh spinach leaves, washed and chopped

1 can (400g) artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1 lemon, zest and juice

¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

50g grated parmesan cheese

Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)


1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside, reserving ½ cup of pasta cooking water.

2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped red onion, and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the chopped spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.

4. Stir in the quartered artichoke hearts, lemon zest, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet along with the reserved pasta cooking water. Toss everything together until well combined and heated through, about 2-3 minutes.

6. Remove the skillet from heat and sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese over the pasta. Toss again to combine.

7. Serve the artichoke and spinach pasta hot, garnished with fresh basil leaves if desired.

Morel’s elusive nature and limited availability make them highly sought after

Morel mushrooms, with their distinctive honeycomb texture and rich, earthy flavour, are a true delicacy of the springtime forest, captivating the senses and elevating any dish they grace. This fleeting season is the perfect time to indulge in their ephemeral glory, when they are at their freshest and most flavourful.

The versatility of morel mushrooms knows no bounds, offering a wide array of culinary possibilities. They can be simply sauteed with butter and garlic to highlight their natural earthiness, or incorporated into more elaborate dishes to showcase their depth of flavour. Morels pair exceptionally well with a variety of ingredients, from tender meats like chicken and beef to creamy sauces, hearty grains and seasonal greens. Their unique texture and flavour add a touch of elegance to any dish they adorn.

One exceptional way to savour the essence of morel mushrooms is in a creamy morel mushroom chicken with seasonal greens recipe. This dish artfully combines the earthy notes of morels with tender chicken and a luxurious creamy sauce, creating a harmonious symphony of flavours and textures. Paired with seasonal greens such as spinach, asparagus or purple sprouting broccoli, each bites offers a tantalising glimpse into the magic of springtime cuisine.

Morel mushrooms are at their peak during the cool, damp conditions of early spring, typically appearing from March to May. Their elusive nature and limited availability make them highly sought after by chefs and enthusiasts alike, adding an air of excitement to their brief appearance on the culinary scene.

Whether enjoyed in a gourmet meal or simply sauteed with butter and garlic, morel mushrooms are a delicacy not to be missed during their brief appearance, offering a taste of the wild and a celebration of the bounties of springtime.

Creamy morel mushroom chicken with seasonal greens

With the earthy aroma of morel mushrooms, enhanced by hints of garlic, white wine and cream, this dish is a true celebration of the season’s bounty. For added freshness and colour, seasonal greens such as spinach, asparagus, spring onions or purple sprouting broccoli are the perfect accompaniment.

Serves: 4


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

200g fresh morel mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

60ml white wine

240ml chicken stock

240ml double cream

200g seasonal greens (spinach, asparagus, spring onions, purple sprouting broccoli), chopped

Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)


1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.

2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

3. In the same skillet, add the minced garlic and sliced morel mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

4. Deglaze the skillet with white wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Allow the wine to reduce by half.

5. Stir in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for 5 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld together.

6. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the double cream. Simmer gently until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3-4 minutes.

7. Return the chicken breasts to the skillet, nestling them into the sauce. Add the chopped seasonal greens to the skillet, allowing them to wilt and cook in the sauce for 2-3 minutes.

8. Once the chicken is heated through and the greens are tender, remove the skillet from the heat.

9. Serve the creamy morel mushroom chicken hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

Purple sprouting broccoli

Look for vibrant bunches with firm stalks and fresh, tightly packed florets

Purple sprouting broccoli, with its elegant stalks and delicate florets, is currently at its zenith and a versatile addition to a wide range of dishes.

The versatility of purple sprouting broccoli knows no bounds, allowing chefs to explore its endless culinary possibilities. It can be enjoyed raw in salads for a refreshing crunch, lightly steamed or stir-fried to retain its vibrant colour and crisp texture, or roasted to bring out its natural sweetness and add a depth of flavour to any dish. Whether featured as the star of the show or as a supporting player, purple sprouting broccoli adds depth and character to every culinary creation.

Purple sprouting broccoli pairs exceptionally well with a variety of ingredients, adding a burst of colour and flavour to any dish. It complements the richness or creamy sauces and cheeses, balances the acidity of citrus fruits and vinegars, and adds a fresh contrast to hearty grains and proteins. Its earthy undertones and slightly sweet notes make it a versatile ingredients that enhances the overall flavour profile of a dish.

During its peak season, which typically spans from late winter to early spring, look for vibrant bunches with firm stalks and fresh, tightly packed florets, as these are the hallmarks of peak freshness and quality.

One exceptional way to savour the essence of purple sprouting broccoli is in a quinoa salad with miso-ginger dressing. This unique dish combines the tender broccoli with nutty quinoa, creamy avocado and a bold miso-ginger dressing, creating a symphony of flavours and textures that celebrates the best of the season’s harvest. Whether enjoyed in a salad, stiry-fry or any other dish, purple sprouting broccoli is a seasonal delicacy not to be missed, offering a vibrant taste of spring that delights the senses and nourishes the soul.

Purple sprouting broccoli and quinoa salad with miso-ginger dressing

Tender purple sprouting broccoli is paired with nutty quinoa, crunchy almonds and creamy avocado, then drizzled with a bold and tangy miso-ginger dressing. Bursting with colour, texture and flavour, this salad is a refreshing and nutritious delight that will leave you craving more.

Serves: 4


For the salad:

200g purple sprouting broccoli, trimmed

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package instructions

1 avocado, diced

30g sliced almonds, toasted

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

For the miso-ginger dressing:

2 tbsp white miso paste

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the trimmed purple sprouting broccoli for 2-3 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the miso-ginger dressing until well combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, diced avocado, toasted sliced almonds, and thinly sliced spring onions.

4. Add the blanched purple sprouting broccoli to the bowl with the quinoa mixture.

5. Pour the miso-ginger dressing over the salad ingredients and toss gently to coat everything evenly.

6. Transfer the salad to a serving platter or individual plates.

7. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

8. Serve the purple sprouting broccoli and quinoa salad immediately, or chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together before serving.

Spinach’s versatility makes it an ideal ingredient for breakfast, lunch or dinner

Spinach, renowned for its tender leaves and earthy flavour, is now entering its prime, becoming the perfect addition to springtime meals. Its peak season status promises optimal flavour, texture and nutrient content, making it a culinary delight that cannot be overlooked.

The versatility of spinach in the kitchen is boundless, offering numerous ways to prepare and cook it to suit any palate. It can be enjoyed raw in salads, providing a refreshing and crisp bite, or sauteed with garlic and olive oil for a simple yet flavourful side dish. Spinach also lends itself beautifully to soups, stews and curries, adding a vibrant green colour and a nutrient-packed boost to any dish. For those seeking a comforting meal, spinach can be wilted into pasta dishes or incorporated into pies and quiches, imparting its distinctive earth flavour and tender texture.

When it comes to pairing, spinach complements a wide range of ingredients, adding depth and complexity to any dish. It pairs harmoniously with creamy cheeses and sauces, balances the acidity of tomatoes and citrus fruits, and adds a fresh contrast to rich meats and seafood. Its versatility makes it an ideal ingredient for breakfast, lunch or dinner, ensuring that every meal is both nutritious and delicious.

Spinach is typically in season from late winter to early spring, with its peak availability spanning from March to May. One delightful way to savour the bounty of spinach during its peak season is by incorporating it into a refreshing green smoothie. The green energy boost smoothie recipe below provides a delightful blend of spinach, seasonal fruits and nutritious seeds, creating a revitalising drink that’s as nourishing as it is satisfying. By enjoying spinach at its freshest, you can relish its natural flavour and reap the full spectrum of its nutritional benefits.

Green energy boost smoothie

The green energy boost smoothie recipe offers a revitalising blend of fresh spinach leaves, ripe banana, seasonal fruits, chia seeds and almond milk. Quick and easy to prepare, this nutritious smoothie provides a burst of energy and essential nutrients, making it an ideal choice for a refreshing breakfast or post-workout snack. With its vibrant green colour and delicious taste, it’s a delightful way to enjoy the peak-season goodness of spinach while promoting overall health and wellbeing.

Serves: 2 servings

Time: 5 minutes


60g fresh spinach leaves

1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced

240g chopped seasonal fruit (such as apple, pear, or kiwi)

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional, for sweetness)

240ml almond milk (or any milk of your choice)

Ice cubes (optional, for a colder smoothie)


1. Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly under running water and pat them dry with a paper towel.

2. In a blender, combine the spinach leaves, sliced banana, chopped seasonal fruit, chia seeds, and honey or maple syrup (if using).

3. Pour in the almond milk.

4. If you prefer a colder smoothie, add a handful of ice cubes to the blender.

5. Blend on high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes.

6. Taste the smoothie and adjust sweetness if needed by adding more honey or maple syrup.

7. Once the desired consistency and taste are achieved, pour the smoothie into glasses and serve immediately.

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