Springtime is truly wonderful. The snow has all melted away, there are baby animals in every field that you happen to drive past, and there’s plentiful fresh spring fruit and veg for the first time in months.

red tomatoes in heart shape on green grass

Now that farmers are starting to harvest again, what’s the best fruit to opt for during spring?

Pears

Pears used to be my favourite fruit when I was young, and they remain a kitchen staple nowadays. The unique and extremely sweet flavour goes particularly well with a huge variety of things. My favourite pairing for pears in the kitchen is nuts. Personally, I love walnuts or pecans for this application, as they lend a quite bitter flavour to the overall dish.

For a great pairing, try baking your pears in the oven in a deep roasting dish, in a shallow bath of red wine. This gives pears a wonderfully deep and complex flavor, which pairs well with a sprinkling of chopped nuts and a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Apples

Apples are a staple of the winter, first and foremost, but certain varieties can finish maturing completely during spring. While I love apple crumble as much as the next person, I do think that apples are too versatile to only be used on that one dish.

If you, like me, love a good cheese board, then you might know that apple and sharp cheddar pair very well. For that reason, I propose a slightly odd-sounding meal: apple fondue! Melting a mix of typical fondue cheeses over a naked flame and then dunking fresh, delicious apple into them is sure to be a match made in heaven. To make sure you get the right apples for this, aim for green ones with a crisp, sharp flavor. Mixing sweeter apples with cheese sounds like a recipe for disaster!

Squash

Squash is known under a number of different names, depending on where that particular variety is grown, and what it might happen to look or taste like. A great example of squash is the butternut squash, which is the one that everybody is sure to know. That is a particularly sweet and rich gourd, which you can treat almost like a root vegetable.

When I’m cooking with butternut squash or root vegetables, there’s only one thing I want to do: roast! The depth and complexity of flavor that you can get from roasting a good quality squash or root vegetable is truly up there, and shouldn’t be sniffed at. Instead, I encourage you to give it a go and have an experiment. Any spice mix will work well, so try a few out!

The spring is a really exciting time of the year, where everything feels like it’s spinning up to speed and you can start to appreciate everything around you a little more as it leaps out of winter’s dormancy. You can’t go wrong with gently cooked springtime fruit, so get to your local farmers market, pick some up, and have a go!

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