Sweet salads

The tastebuds are ready for spring, but it's still too soon for new season fruit. Mix the last of winter's oranges with a sharp fennel in a salad freshened with chopped spring mint. Add new season watercress, spinach or baby rocket, the meatiness of nuts or nut oils like walnut, almond, pistachio or sesame and pair with with pork, grilled duck, veal or fried haloumi.

Cool cakes
Zing up the weekend's baking with orange syrup poured over a dense cake, juice or zest stirred through shortbread or an orange version of traditional lemon meringue pie. Caramelise orange slices to pair with rice pudding, pancakes or creme brulee.

Mysterious Middle East
Borrow from the exotic tastes of Turkey, Persia and environs. Try chicken meatballs simmered in a chicken stock flavoured with orange juice, saffron, nutmeg and allspice; orange zest, cayenne and sumac sprinkled over pan-fried fish; lamb or beef slow-simmered with orange juice, stock, bay and thyme.