The description vine tomatoes may be confused with the term vine-ripened tomatoes. The latter refers to any tomatoes which are picked when ripe, i.e. they ripen on the plant. This gives optimum flavour, but makes the fruit more perishable. All British tomatoes are vine-ripened as they have only a short distance to travel to market. Imported tomatoes are usually picked less ripe, to withstand the lengthy journey here by road or sea and firmer, long-life varieties are commonly used.
Squashes, pumpkins and gourds belong to the same family as cucumbers, melons, marrows and courgettes. There is an amazing variety of sizes, shapes and colours, and although most are edible, some are used for decoration only. All squashes and pumpkins have a tough outer rind, an inner cavity filled with hard seeds and sweet, rich, well-coloured flesh with a dense, nutty and earthy flavour.
The quintessential Christmas dinner veg, Brussels sprouts are thought to have been cultivated in Belgium in the 16th century, hence the name. Although they’re related to cabbage (they even look like a miniature, compact version) they have a sweet, nutty flavour that some people find bitter. They grow in multiple rows along a thick central stalk.
These have a distinctive oval shape. Their flesh is firm and they have less liquid in the centre. They are the natural choice for pizzas and pasta dishes and their fleshy texture makes them ideal for the barbecue. The production of baby plum tomatoes has increased dramatically in recent years.
Delicious in salads, salsas and dips. They are filled with nutritionally good fats.
Try smashing and spreading onto toast with a sprinkle of chilli for a delicious snack any time of day.
Check out our recipe page for more ideas.
Whether eaten as part of a traditional Ploughman’s lunch, sliced on mature cheddar cheese sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs , finely chopped up in a salads, dips, potato or pasta salad, or eaten straight out of the jar – they’re as tasty as they are versatile.
A member of the onion and garlic family, leeks have a much milder flavour and are great stir fried in butter as a side dish.
They go well with bacon, potatoes and cheese and are great for adding to soups and stews
Broccoli is a nutrient packed vegetable This versatile vegetable is a great addition to many dishes or by itself to provide your body with some essential nutrients for good health. It can taste great and can even help fight disease. What about kids? Studies have shown that even kids like broccoli! One way to ensure that they enjoy it is to cook it properly by using a healthy steaming method. Overcooked broccoli becomes soft and mushy, an indication that it has lost nutrients and flavor.
Asparagus is a nutrient-packed vegetable. It is a very good source of fibre, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. That's good news if you're watching your blood sugar.
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