In Season

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Dover Sole

Dover Sole

Simplicity is the key to enjoying one of the sea’s most prestigious inhabitants, says Clarissa Hyman

Some years ago, there was serious debate in European circles over the term ‘Dover sole’. It’s ours, claimed the British. ‘How can it be?’ argued the French and others. Fish swim. Fish don’t understand borders and territorial waters. Fish don’t have a nationality. In the end, sanity prevailed (or insanity, depending on your point of view) and nothing changed. Although the fish is caught in the Mediterranean and all the way up to Norway, it originally gained its name from the fact that Dover was once the best and most reliable source of supply to the London market. At its height in the 1800s, a stagecoach service delivered freshly caught specimens several times every day. Whatever its passport says, the Dover sole is by far the finest and most aristocratic of the flatfish family, which ranges from the humble dab up to the halibut. It’s certainly one of the most more

  • Mackerel

    January produce

    Scallops, kale, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory and pomegranates

  • Lemons

    February produce

    Cauliflowers, swede, oysters, lemons and passion fruit

  • Chicory

    March produce

    Purple sprouting broccoli, cabbage and oranges

  • Spinach

    April produce

    Spring herbs, spinach, watercress, shallots, blood oranges and rhubarb

  • Garlic

    May produce

    French beans, asparagus, Jersey royals, peas, spinach and rocket

  • Strawberries

    June produce

    Samphire, broad beans, gooseberries, cherries, strawberries and honey

  • Peaches & nectarines

    July produce

    Courgettes, cucumbers and artichokes

  • Peppers

    August produce

    Aubergines, peppers, tomatoes and apricots

  • Figs

    September produce

    Peppers and figs

  • Oysters

    October produce

    Wild mushrooms, onions, sweet potatoes, fennel, apples and plums

  • Carrots

    November produce

    Savoy cabbage, pumpkins, celeriac, carrots, cavolo nero, potatoes, truffles and dates

  • Nuts

    December produce

    Brussels sprouts, nuts, walnuts, chestnuts and cranberries

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