Is that spring in the air? Even if the sun isn't shining every day, we've found we have a new spring in our step each morning at Sous Chef HQ. Perhaps it's the changing season...
Perhaps it's the many many extraordinary new arrivals on the website - filling us with ideas for the weeks ahead!
We're particularly excited about our NEW vegan caviar. Made from seaweed. It's a stunning ingredient you can use to top sushi, canapes, omelette, pasta - really, anything. Find the recipe for 'Battleship Sushi' at the bottom of this page. Certainly one to add to your basket this month...
10 amazing ingredients to try this month
Guglielmi’s Fior D’O extra virgin olive oil is a fresh, unfiltered oil made from the first olives harvested in October.
It has a vivid green-gold colour and the unmistakable taste of freshly pressed olives. It stands out from other extra virgin olive oils thanks to its creamy consistency and well-balanced flavour.
Pour a little Fior D’O olive oil into small bowls so that guests can enjoy its fresh, spicy-bitter taste and intense aroma. Swirl it over salads, cheeses, raw vegetables and rustic vegetable soups.
For a quick dinner party starter, drizzle this excellent oil over toasted bread topped with grilled aubergine, roasted figs or juicy tomatoes.
La Favorita pesto with Genovese basil DOP, or pesto alla Genovese, is extremely special.
Close your eyes, and you’ll believe you’re eating pesto from freshly harvested basil in the Italian sun. No-one would imagine it is from a freshly opened jar.
Basil has been cultivated in Genoa – the home of pesto – as far back as the 16th century. The Ligurian climate is mild, with lots of sunshine and a cooling sea breeze, producing the finest basil in Europe.
The basil farms surrounding Genoa hold the Protected Designation of Origin status, or DOP, in recognition of the environment that grows such high-quality basil.
Sabarot’s extra large Burgundy snails are a gourmet delight for French food lovers. Simply rinse, drain and then prepare them however you like.
They’re perfect for making the classic French delicacy, escargot, where they are baked in their shells with garlic butter. Served with white wine and crusty bread, they make a simple but delicious dinner party starter.
These large snails can be added to a Valencian paella with rabbit or used to garnish steaks and venison.
You can also fry them with butter, garlic and parsley to serve on toasted bread or puff pastry vol-au-vents. Served as a canapé, they’re sure to surprise and delight your guests.
Cavi-art tosago orange seaweed caviar is a sustainable, vegan alternative to fish roe. With its bright orange colour and bold flavour, it can be used as a substitute for masago and tobiko when making sushi. It’s also great on crab cakes, omelettes, crackers and salads.
Small orange fish roe is popular in scandinavian cooking, and is delicious with sour cream and dill in a sauce fo salmon. It keeps well once opeend, and so you don't need to worry about using a lot at once - unlike traditional orange caviar.
You can also serve on blinis, open sandwiches, scrambled eggs and seared scallops.
Fleur de sel de Guérande is one of the world’s most famous sea salts. It adds big mineral flavours to fish dishes, grilled meats and seafood. The salt is hand-harvested by workers called ‘Paludiers’, using methods that are over 1,000 years old.
Fleur de sel de Guérande should only be used as a finishing salt – never in cooking! Keep the pouch on the dining table and add a pinch to tomato salads, or sprinkle the flakes over a steak.
The fleur de se de Guérande in its charming cloth bag is a great foodie gift, that will be much appreciated by keen cooks.
Fennel pollen is a rare luxury - tiny dried heads of wild fennel flowers. The spice has a sweeter and far more intense flavour than fennel seeds, meaning that a little goes a long way.
Fennel pollen’s nickname – The Spice of Angels – is probably a more appropriate way of labelling the spice. Partly because the smallest pinch of wild fennel pollen can transform a dish with heavenly, honey-aniseed flavours.
And also because the name fits with the precious nature of wild fennel pollen. Like saffron, it takes a lot of picking to produce a small amount, making fennel pollen one of the most highly-revered spices out there.
Edible dried mixed flower petals make a stunning garnish for sweet and savoury recipes.
This joyful mix is blue, orange, pink, cream and lilac. Use the delicate petals to decorate a home-made wedding cake. Or add impact to tabbouleh and mixed grain salads.
Use this edible ‘confetti’ to elevate a simple leaf salad. Or sprinkle the petals over a quenelle of ice-cream for a quick dessert with impact.
Loved by pastry chefs across the world, couverture drops can be heated quickly, easily and consistently, giving you fantastic results, every time.
This pre-tempered 47.3% ruby couverture is a blend of three different beans from the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Ecuador. A fat content of 35.9% promises a glossy finish and clean ‘snap’.
Honest Toil’s kalamata olives have a rich, salty flavour that’s perfect for salads and tapenade. Deep purple in colour, the olives have a firm, meaty texture and an addictive bitter taste.
They are a delicious addition to grazing boards, antipasti platters and mezze feasts. Ripened in the Greek sunshine, kalamata olives have an intense flavour that can stand up to other bold ingredients.
Pair them with spicy salami on a pizza or salty feta in a classic Greek salad. They’re ideal for baking into bread or to serve as a snack with wine or beer.
This tarragon mustard from artisan 'moutarderie' Edmond Fallot is made from mustard seeds, verjuice and fresh tarragon leaves.
The mustard seeds are milled and sieved to produce a smooth Dijon mustard with characteristic bite.
This Dijon mustard with tarragon is perfect for cutting through the fattiness of meat, whilst its warm aromatic flavour from the tarragon works well with fish and in vinaigrettes.
Try making a crayfish cocktail by mixing together crayfish, Dijon mustard with tarragon and a little mayonnaise. Or make a vinaigrette with the tarragon mustard to dress a goat's cheese salad.
More Ideas To Try This Month
We sat down with Dina Macki to hear about her new book Bahari, and the Omani influences that make her dishes so special
Head to the Bureau of Taste to keep up to date with the freshest ideas and food trends.
Make this quick and simple recipe for Battleship Sushi, and top with Cavi-Art.