vegetables in season when they are at their freshest and most readily
available; this is when they will taste their best and be at their most
nutritious. Always look for crisp, fresh looking vegetables that have
brightly colored leaves. Avoid any that have brown patches, wilted leaves,
bruised or pulpy flesh.
should have fresh looking, healthy leafy tops, not discolored or wilting.
should have dry papery skins; red onions should have no brown
be firm and well shaped with no "eyes" or green patches.
skin should be smooth and firm with no cuts or blemishes.
Carrots, potatoes, beetroot, swedes, celeriac and radishes should have
firm, heavy flesh and wrinkle-free skin. Avoid soft patches or sprouting.
Choose firm, fresh looking mushrooms that have soft "bloom" and
fresh smell. The stalk end should be moist; if dry they may be slightly
Choose firm bulbs with even colored skins and no signs of sprouting. Avoid
any that look damp or smell musty. Leeks and spring onions should have
dark green leaves and fresh looking roots.
Tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and avocados should have firm, smooth, shiny
skins and a deep, even color. Avoid any that are soft, pulpy or wrinkle.
Choose lettuces and cresses that smell fresh and look slightly damp on the
surface. Check the heart is well formed.
Choose endive, Swiss chard and spinach with crisp, fresh looking greens.
Leaves should feel springy to the touch; avoid any that appear limp or
wilted. There should be no sign of insect damage.
Celery, global artichokes, fennel, asparagus and chicory should have
tightly packed, firm heads with no visible brown patches on the outer
not have any visible dry or brown patches.
of the purple “hearting” variety should have dark colored rightly
formed florets, firm stalks, no signs of yellowing.
should have full, well formed head, crisp leaves with fresh green tips.
are best when small and, with fine stalks.
should have plump stalks with tight buds, even in size and color.
and Seeds Select
peas and beans with bright green pods that are firm and plump. Choose
sweet corn with tight green husks and plump, even, shiny kernels. The
kernels should be tightly packed on the cob.
for cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage with undamaged
tight compact heads. Outer leaves should be fresh with no signs of wilting
or yellowing. The stalk should look moist and freshly cut.