The delicate white flowers from elderberry trees must be cooked before eating. They can be used to flavour cooked fruit and jam and make a good match with gooseberries, which are in season at the same time as elderflowers. The flower heads can be combined with citric acid to make cordial. Top up with sparkling water, ice and a slice of lemon for a wonderfully refreshing drink.
Bought fresh and whole, sardines are ideal for grilling and barbecuing. Remove the scales by holding the fish under running water and brushing it from tail to head between your finger and thumb then cook until the skin is crisp and charred and the flesh comes away easily. Sardines are delicious hot or cold, either served with robust tomato sauces that counteract the oiliness of the fish, or dressed with butter, lemon and fresh herbs and served with boiled potatoes.
New potatoes are potatoes from the early crop that are smaller than old (maincrop) potatoes. The most popular and well-known new potato is the Jersey Royal. The unique growing conditions in Jersey (the combination of the gentle climate, the steep slopes and the seaweed used as a fertiliser) produce these delicate new potatoes. Other varieties of new potato include Arran Pilot, Home Guard and Red Craig’s Royal.
Watercress leaves have a mustardy bite that makes them natural accompaniments to strongly flavoured meats such as game. The leaves are most commonly served raw as a garnish to eggs or meat, or as part of a salad with orange segments. Watercress also makes a pleasingly peppery soup that is as good hot as it is chilled on a warm day.