June seasonal update

The Staff Canteen

From seasonal vegetables to game and seasonal fruits, read our monthly market report to find out what to feature on your menus this month

What is coley and why you should use it 

Coley is the most cost-effective fish in the cod family and a great sustainable substitute for cod and haddock. It is often confused with pollock, but it looks slightly different. Its firm flakes make it great for fish pie, but it can equally hold its own when poached, fried and grilled. 

Try this starter of line-caught coley with a  salt cod and Maris Piper bonbon, pork belly, black garlic puree and saffron gel, cooked by Aaron McNamara in Cumbria Heat of the North West Young Chef Competition 2013: 

00 30 55 255 34 aaron starter

How to prepare squid 

Whether deep fried and covered in batter to make calamari, pan fried and tossed into pasta or turned into sashimi while still live, squid is a highly popular ingredient in restaurants throughout the Northern hemisphere.

Most common in  Europe are forbesi squid or loligo vulgaris. 

First of all, it is important to wash squid properly, before removing its tentacles, which can be set aside. Then, remove its entrails and the hard quill, followed by its membrane, fins, head and beak. 

Once all this is done, you can cut the remaining flesh into circles to make calamari, and either cook the tentacles whole or sliced. 

Try Galton Blackiston's squid in black bean sauce with deep-fried shallots once served at the one Michelin-starred Morston Hall, or watch 3 Michelin-starred chef Pedro Subijana cook a selection of  squid, tomatoes and vegetables under hot salt at the guests' dining table.

What to use mangetout for - other than a stir-fry 

Mangetout, or 'eat it all' in French, is a type of pea which can be eaten whole, including its pod. This is because it is picked so young that the pod is still soft and tender. If left to grow for too long, they become stringy and difficult to eat.

Just like peas, mangetouts bring a refreshing, spring-like flavour to food, which is why they prove so popular in South-East Asian food. 

Try using mangetout in chef Gordon Jones' rabbit dumplings, served with spring greens and stock:


How can I use blackcurrants?

Blackcurrants are one of the strongest flavoured currants, with a delectable but sharp or tart taste. At their excellent peak for only June and July,  why not make the most of them whilst you can?  It can be used in a variety of ways such as ice creams, sorbets, cheesecakes, yoghurt, jams, tarts, pies, crumbles; savoury uses with meats or as dipping sauces; fresh juice or cordial, cider, the liqueur cassis, the list is almost interminable.

Try a Blackcurrant and Lime Entremet - see the recipe for one here: https://www.thestaffcanteen.com/chefs-recipes/blackcurrant-and-lime-entremet

Blackcurrant and Lime Entremet


what is the best way of cooking aubergine?

The dark purple and glossy exterior of the aubergine gives its rather mysterious appearance. It is a major ingredient in moussaka, ratatouille and baba ghanoush, it can also be roasted or fried and included in curries, stews and salads.

Watch Graeme Cheevers from Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond create a Scotch lamb with aubergine and onion sauce dish:

How do you cook artichokes?

Outside of their season, artichokes can be too dry or small, so June to November is the perfect time to buy them. Avoid the tough outer leaves but use the inner leaves, and one near the heart. Artichokes appear on Italian restaurant menus as a pizza topping, but can also be stuffed or preserved in oil.

Watch Andrew Clarke create a globe artichoke recipe:

What goes with wood pigeon?

Tasty and meaty, wood pigeon remains a popular choice for chefs to cook with. Typically you can expect to allocate one or two birds per person for a main course and for starters a pair of pan-fried breasts are ideal

Woodpigeon can be paired with vegetables (cabbage, mushrooms and celeriac are good choices) fruits such as quince and blackberries. It also is great teamed with herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, cardamom, juniper, cloves, chilli and ginger

Watch Bryn William create his pan-fried wood pigeon dish 

How do you cook courgettes?

Courgette is a popular vegetables in the squash family, which is extremely versatile, tender and easy to cook; just don't boil them!

The best way to cook courgettes is to lightly fry in butter or oil and a small amount of water. You can also roast them until tender and lightly golden to intensify their favour, or marinate and BBQ or griddle until charred and soft.

Watch The Halfway's Chef Owner and former Michelin-starred Simpsons' Head Chef Nathan Eades, cook turbot in brown butter with sea herbs and baby courgettes.

Are you using any of these seasonal ingredients in your menus? Upload your pics and recipes to our Chef+ mobile app!


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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st June 2023

June seasonal update