What we're cooking in March

cook with the seasons
What we're cooking in MarchHearst Owned

It's no surprise that cooking with the UK's seasons means the produce you eat will be fresher and tastier, as it has been growing naturally and has travelled less far to reach your kitchen. Seasonal cooking is something we try to adhere to when shopping for ingredients for our meals.

March is one of those months where the last of the winter crops come into supermarkets and the very early beginnings of spring produce start creeping through. This does mean this time of year can be a little intermittent if you like to follow a seasonal cooking calendar but don't let this put you off, as there's still plenty to be used.

We've rounded up a list of produce at its peak, which is best eaten and used in recipes right now, along with some tips on how prepare certain veg that can be a little tricky if you've not cooked with it before.

We've hand-picked a selection of recipes featuring these in-season veg that will inspire you to cook up a storm this March.

What's in season in March?

Beetroot - This is the last month to make the most of the vibrant root veg until it's back during the summer, when it will be sweeter. Beetroot is an incredibly versatile vegetable and works well in a range of sweet and savoury dishes. If you've never used fresh beetroot, here's how to roast them to bring out their sweet earthy taste.

Chicory - Not to be confused with the chicory root (which is used in the chicory coffee essence you might use in baking). It can also be called endive or radicchio, and has a lovely bitter taste that pairs well with tart citrus fruits. We love eating chicory in a fresh salad but it also works great charred or grilled as a tasty side dish.

Jerusalem artichokes - These small, tuber-like artichokes are actually a relative of the sunflower (not the main globe artichoke) and grow underground, resembling something similar to fresh ginger root. They have a unique but delicious taste and work well whizzed up into a soup or roasted alongside other veg.

Leeks - We're well into leek season by March and we can't get enough of this glorious vegetable. One of our favourites, leeks are so versatile – we love to fry, roast, confit and char them. Just don't forget to prepare them properly to ensure soil, which can be trapped within its layers, is washed away before cooking.

Parsnips - Here's another root veg coming into its last month of harvest, so make the most of this adaptable ingredient. If you're after a fail-safe roasting recipe then we've got you covered, though we personally love using parsnip in cakes and houmous for a twist.

Purple sprouting broccoli - Cooking with this variety adds a lovely pop of colour to dishes and it can be used in the same way you would use tenderstem or broccoli florets in a recipe. Try it in a Spanish omelette or simply roasted with some pine nuts as an easy side dish.

Rhubarb - Forced rhubarb is beginning to appear in supermarkets and greengrocers now. If you're not sure what it is, it's where rhubarb crops are grown in a dark forcing shed where heat is applied and the lack of sunlight and added warmth means the plant grows quickly in search of light. Apparently they grow so quickly that you can even hear them squeak, creak and pop! We love to use this tart and earthy vegetable in sweet dishes, but it also can be pickled for a savoury take.

- Appearance-wise, sorrel looks similar to spinach leaves but is actually considered a herb. It's often used to add a tangy and slightly citrus kick to dishes. It works in salads, hot or cold sauces or flavoured butters and can be treated as a sweet, sour or herbaceous ingredient.

Spring greens - You may well notice this on your plate when you're next having a Sunday roast at the pub, as spring greens are the first young and tender cabbage of the season. They work great in a hearty chicken casserole, blitzed into a soup, stir-fried or sautéed down into a side dish to accompany your meat and gravy.

Spring onions - The humble spring onion is one of our top used and go-to items in our day to day cooking. This crucial stir fry ingredient can be eaten raw in salads but can also be braised, charred and caramelised.

Wild garlic - You'll likely smell the wild garlic before you see it, but their leaves will be popping up across UK woodlands in March and are commonly foraged by walkers. Wild garlic is a versatile and flavoursome ingredient to cook with. Try it in a pesto, whizzed into a herb oil or mixed with butter for an upgrade to your homemade garlic bread.

Beetroot and basil orzo - March recipes

This simple and vibrant traybake uses freshly grated beetroot and mixes through cream cheese and Parmesan at the end for a silky finish.

Recipe: Beetroot and basil orzo

march recipes
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Beetroot wellington - March recipes

Impress your guests with this beetroot and goat's cheese wellington, which uses store-bought puff pastry for convenience.

Recipe: Individual beetroot wellington

individual beetroot wellington
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Beetroot red velvet cake - March recipes

Here, the classic red velvet cake has been given a twist with the addition of grated beetroot, yielding an incredibly tender and slightly earthy taste. Top with tangy cream cheese for the perfect afternoon tea pick-me-up.

Recipe: Natural beetroot red velvet cake

march recipes
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Chicory winter salad - March recipes

This light salad pairs bitter chicory leaves with crunchy sweet pears and salty, tangy stilton for an epic flavour hit in one mouthful.

Recipe: White winter salad

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Chicory and clementine salad - March recipes

The bitter chicory leaves pair brilliantly with the zesty clementine and crunchy sweet beans in this dish. Plus, it's topped with walnuts for an added crunch. You can swap clementines for orange slices if not in season.

Recipe: Chicory and clementine salad

spring recipes
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Jerusalem artichoke and cider soup - March recipes

Jerusalem artichoke gives this creamy soup a wonderful nutty flavour that compliments the sweet apples and cider. This is a seriously addictive bowl for a special weekend meal.

Recipe: Jerusalem artichoke and cider soup

march recipes
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Leek, mushroom and spinach galette - March recipes

Make the most of leek season with this leek, mushroom and spinach galette. The leeks are fried in butter until tender and sweet. Plus, there's a hidden layer of herbed cream cheese at the base.

Recipe: Leek, mushroom and spinach galette

march recipes
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Leek and bacon gluten-free quiche - March recipes

You won't believe this quiche is gluten-free due to its crumbly, tender pastry. It's also packed full of smoky bacon and sweet, caramelised leeks for maximum flavour.

Recipe: Gluten-free leek and bacon quiche

march recipes
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Parsnips roasted with sea salt - March recipes

Nail roasted parsnips with this fail-safe recipe, which will give you golden, fluffy parsnips every time.

Recipe: Roast parsnips with sea salt

march recipes
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Parsnip and turkey soup - March recipes

This easy parsnip soup uses leftover turkey but feel free to substitute with leftover cooked chicken if that's what you have to hand. Serve with a crusty baguette for a speedy mid-week meal option.

Recipe: Easy turkey and parsnip soup

march recipes
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Parsnip and lentil terrine - March recipes

If you're looking for a centrepiece to serve at your next dinner party, try your hand at this parsnip and sweet potato terrine which is packed with lentils, chestnuts and cranberries.

Recipe: Root vegetable and lentil terrine

march recipes
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Purple broccoli and chorizo Spanish omelette - March recipes

Try this tasty Spanish omelette with purple sprouting broccoli and chorizo for your next work-from-home lunch. Bonus, it only has four ingredients too!

Recipe: Purple broccoli and chorizo Spanish omelette

spring recipes
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Pickled rhubarb with spelt flatbreads and chicken - March recipes

Try this tantalising pickled rhubarb dish, in which the tangy pink stalks sit atop spelt flatbreads and shredded chicken. If you'd prefer a veggie option, opt for jammy soft boiled eggs instead of the chicken.

Recipe: Spelt flatbreads with pickled rhubarb

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Rhubarb and custard eclairs - March recipes

Transport yourself to Paris with these retro-inspired eclairs which are packed with crème pâtissière and poached rhubarb for a heavenly mouthful.

Recipe: Rhubarb and custard eclairs

spring recipes
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Rhubarb crumble ice cream - March recipes

This no-churn ice cream has puréed rhubarb in the creamy mix, a tangy rhubarb compote dotted all throughout and is topped with a crunchy, golden crumble topping. Delish.

Recipe: Rhubarb crumble ice cream

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Rhubarb and Rose Cupcakes

Making the most of seasonal rhubarb, these pretty cupcakes look as delicious as they taste. The rhubarb spirals are completely optional, but make a wonderful finishing touch to the cakes.

Recipe: Rhubarb and Rose Cupcakes

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Spring greens fried rice with miso aubergine - March recipes

Spring greens are mixed into this tasty fried rice dish for added colour and flavour – and nutrition. Feel free to sub the aubergine with parsnip or leek to further the seasonal cooking.

Recipe: Quick miso aubergines with spring green rice

march recipes
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Spring greens vegetable tart - March recipes

This spring green vegetable tart is the perfect centrepiece for entertaining with friends on the weekend. Use store-bought pastry for convenience.

Recipe: Spring vegetable tart

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Spring greens minestrone - March recipes

We can't wait to make this pea and ham minestrone, which features spring greens for a nutritional boost.

Recipe: Pea and ham minestrone

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Spring onion and chicken noodle salad - March recipes

Spring onion might not be the main star of this dish but it certainly adds a lovely sweet crunch to this noodle salad.

Recipe: Spring onion and chicken noodle salad

march recipes
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Wild Garlic Pesto - March recipes

Learn how to forage wild garlic and turn it into this delicious wild garlic pesto which can be used with pasta, risotto's or stirred in stews for a light garlicy hit.

Recipe: Wild Garlic Pesto

wild garlic
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