Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Gooseberries

Gooseberries don't get half as much attention as they deserve. A quintessential British fruit, at it's prime as we enter the summer months and perfectly paired with the abundance of other seasonal ingredients currently on offer - it's almost as if someone planned it that way. Sadly they're harder and harder to come across, with imported exotic fruits being favoured for the summer months over our own crop, with many farmers saying they stopped growing them because there wasn't the demand. Now we love pineapple and mango as much as the next person, but we also need to embrace what we have around us! 

Available in two varieties: cooking and dessert, the latter are the sweeter and more popular option. In similarity to rhubarb, they're also better when cooked with additional sweetener: we like to add some maple syrup, or stew them with apples - another locally available fruit. 

RECIPE IDEAS 

- If you only do one thing, make it a crumble. Pair with apples and a few blackberries then stew and top with a crunchy, oaty topping. Pair with ice-cream (follow our steps to making your own and try making gooseberry ice-cream to go with it) and serve on a sunny evening. 

- Gooseberry fool is a staple British dessert too, and also one quite tricky to make dairy free being cream and custard based. Try making an egg based custard with coconut milk instead and whipping coconut cream to add to the top. Delicious and tummy-friendly! 

- Stewed gooseberries aren't reserved only for fool and crumble either - serve with coconut yoghurt or ice-cream for a summer treat, or on top of porridge on those colder mornings (which we of course still get with a British summer!) 

- Fresh, they also make a great addition to a salad. Try serving with light greens, fennel, apple slices, almonds and seafood. 

- Gooseberries also pair well with elderflower - another seasonality. Add a tbsp of gooseberry puree to elderflower cordial, soda water and fresh ginger for a summer drink.