> Features

What's in season – August

What's in season – August

by Sally Abé 03 August 2015
August’s warmth brings with it an abundance of fruit and vegetables and signifies the start of the British game season. Sally Abé gives us a round-up of the best that August has to offer.
More from this series:

After a five-year stint in the kitchen at two Michelin-starred restaurant, The Ledbury, Sally is now technical food editor at Great British Chefs.

After a washed-out end to July, we now look to August as British fields and orchards begin to bulge with their wares to take us into the main harvesting month of September. While berries are still great, we are now starting to see the first of the English plums beginning with greengages.

Greengages are super sweet plums perfect for dessert when ripe and high enough in pectin to make a delicious jam when less ripe and firm. Anna Hansen uses greengages as part of a savoury gooseberry relish to pair with an after dinner cheeseboard. Greengages also work wonderfully in a British classic – take a look at our guide on how to make greengage crumble.

Figs are now starting to become plentiful, mostly coming from the warmer parts of Europe but supermarkets have begun to sell figs hailing from Essex in recent years which is good news for British growers. Without the long air miles and refrigeration, this very individual fruit can be enjoyed at its best as figs have to be picked ripe and are notoriously difficult to transport.

Sticky, sweet and textured with hundreds of tiny seeds, figs lend themselves wonderfully to both sweet and savoury dishes; look to Paul Foster’s Fig ice cream with granola and yoghurt mousse or Geoffrey Smeddle’s Warm puff pastry tart with goat’s cheese and figs for inspiration.

At the absolute height of their season in August are tomatoes, the British and French heirloom varieties being the leaders in flavour due to their natural pollination by bees. Heirloom tomatoes are available in all shapes and sizes each with their own unique characteristics. Steer away from supermarkets and head down to your local greengrocer to find these unusual looking fruits with maximum flavour, perfect for a summer salad. Henry Harris serves his tomatoes with borlotti beans and goat’s cheese or for a refreshing gazpacho, try Tom Aikens’ cherry tomato version.

The UK sweetcorn season begins this month coinciding perfectly with barbecue season; last year 4 million cobs were sold a week in the month of August alone! Not just for the barbecue, the sweetness of the corn offsets the saltiness of delicate shellfish such as prawns, crab and razor clams.

Turbot, often called the king of fish, is an excellent but expensive choice. Closely related (and much cheaper) is brill which is plentiful during the months of August and September. Brill has smaller flakes than turbot but is by no means less delicious. Sweet with a meaty texture it lends itself particularly well to pan-frying. Simon Hulstone pairs his brill with a rich lobster sauce for a luxurious evening meal.

 
 

Last but not least, on the (glorious) 12th of August, the grouse season begins. Grouse is the first game bird of the year and arguably the most flavourful. Make the most of the delicate flavours of new season grouse and head on down to your butcher for the freshest birds. Here we show you how to roast grouse or try one of our inventive recipes from our chefs – Adam Stokes’ Grouse with beetroot is an earthy pairing while Kevin Mangeolles’s Grouse, fried brioche and fig purée is sweet and rich.

 
 
 

Want our most popular features delivered to your inbox?

Sign up to our newsletter now and we'll send you a hand-picked round-up of the best features and recipes from across Great British Chefs each week.

Thanks for subscribing

We'll only contact you around once per week with our best features and seasonal recipes. You can unsubscribe at any time.

 

Comments ()

What's in season – August

 
Order by
...   ...

(Editing)

>

This comment was edited

Please enter text

Comments must be less than characters

This comment has been deleted

Report this comment

Please state your report in the space below

Please enter text

Reports must be less than 750 characters

loading

>

Please enter text

Comments must be less than characters

(Editing)

>

This comment was edited

Please enter text

Comments must be less than characters

This comment has been deleted

Report this comment

Please state your report in the space below

Please enter text

Reports must be less than 750 characters

loading

>

Please enter text

Comments must be less than characters

Be the first to leave a comment on this page...
...   ...