Green light: Skye Gyngell shows how to make the most of fresh spring produce

With spring's arrival, fresh, healthy produce is plentiful once again. That's the signal for elegant, simple recipes, says Skye Gyngell

Grey mullet with oyster stuffing

Serves 2

Net profits: Mark Hix's sensational fish main courses

When we eat fish, we tend not to like messing about with bones and shells and bits. But a whole grilled or baked fish is an absolute joy to tuck into; most fish benefit from being cooked on the bone, especially when they are stuffed with fresh herbs. Fishmongers do a lot more filleting than is necessary.

Growth potential: As the ground softens up and temperatures become less harsh, it's time to get those early crops bedded in

There's little advantage, unless you are a commercial grower trying to catch an early market, in sowing crops too soon. But if March is kind and the soil warms up and dries out you should this month be able to sow broad beans, cabbage and calabrese, chrysanthemum greens, curly endive, kale, land cress, lettuce, spring onions, parsley, parsnips, peas, radish, spinach and plenty of cut-and-come-again crops: mizuna, komatsuna and red mustard, mibuna, oak-leaf lettuce, saladini, pak choi, rocket and Texsel greens (a type of brassica). Cut-and-come-again crops do well in large tubs. So do land cress, radishes and parsley. The rest produce the best crops in open ground.

Love bites: Mark Hix serves up a romantic feast for two

On Valentine's Night, the last thing you want is one of those dreadful "romantic" experiences when you and your loved one find yourselves looking grimly at each other across a table in an over-priced restaurant full of soupy-eyed couples with balloons tied to the back of their chairs. Far better, in my opinion, to share a special meal in your own home.

Creamed spinach

Serves 2

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Slow-cooked spinach with chickpeas

Serves 4

The Mansion, 255 Gipsy Road, Dulwich, London

The Mansion is a fantastic sight on the road from Dulwich to Crystal Palace. It's a great bulky lump of Victorian architecture, as solid as a fortress, and dominates the landscape. Once it was merely a boozer called The Paxton but, since it was bought by Ben Sowton (the guy responsible for the terrifically groovy White House in Clapham), it's been transformed. The ground floor's painted black outside, the first floor's all brickwork with black trim.

Cool beans: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has her finger on the pulse with her low-cost feast

Much maligned as worthy hippie foods, lentils and beans are staples in the Asian kitchen – and they'll make you a vast variety of delicious and nutritious low-cost feasts

Lemon chicken with spinach

Serves 8
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