What’s in season?

What's so good about May seasonal food? It's an exciting time of year for fresh produce, when allotments, gardens, farmers' markets and supermarkets are brimful of seasonal vegetables and the first fruits of the year.

 

What’s in season?

Add a few storecupboard and deli ingredients, and feeding a family could not be easier.

 


Asparagus

British asparagus have a short yet bountiful window in our culinary calendar, so indulge while you can. If you are lucky enough to have the space, they are well worth the effort of growing. Simply griddle the spears, then dip in melted butter.

Asparagus and ricotta tarts

Asparagus and ricotta tarts

These asparagus and ricotta tarts definitely look at the top end of picnic fare so you'll be shocked how easy they are to prepare - especially if you buy the pastry. The perfect vegetarian recipe for a day out.

Roast asparagus with lemon, feta, mint and capers

Roast asparagus with lemon, feta, mint and capers

Treat yourself to the fresh taste of the Mediterranean with this wonderful asparagus recipe.

Scotch Woodcock and asparagus on toast

Scotch Woodcock and asparagus on toast

Scotch Woodcock is scrambled egg on toast with anchovy. It was popular in Victorian times when it was eaten as a palate cleanser before pud. These days, it's an ideal light supper.

Pasta with asparagus, mint pesto and poached egg

Pasta with asparagus, mint pesto and poached egg

A simple Italian dish that you will and your friends will adore.

Asparagus and Parma ham frittata

Asparagus and Parma ham frittata

This frittata recipe is as colourful as it is tasty. You could make it with courgettes and peas after the asparagus season.

 


Jersey Royals

Available from April to June, these seasonal beauties have a sweet, earthy flavour. Cook in a pan of boiling salted water with fresh mint sprigs, and serve drenched in salty butter.

Jersey Royals and wild mushrooms

Jersey Royals and wild mushrooms

Mushrooms and new potatoes get very well acquainted in this healthy side dish or light veggie supper recipe.

Salmon, dill and Jersey Royal parcels

Salmon, dill and Jersey Royal parcels

Baking fish in a parcel seals in more of the flavour and goodness, and the potatoes turn this salmon recipe into a substantial meal.

Summery sausage and mash

Summery sausage and mash

Crushed new potatoes give this simple recipe a whole new style.

Poached egg and new potato salad with crispy bacon

Poached egg and new potato salad with crispy bacon

This easy, low-calorie recipe combines delicious potato salad with a delicately poached egg and salty, crispy bacon. Vegetarians can omit the meat.

 


Beetroot

The late winter plantings are ready to crop now and are the perfect size – a little bigger than a golf ball. Beetroot is just perfect cooked and sliced, served with a simple vinaigrette and some crumbled feta. Toss the sprightly leaves of the beetroot in a salad, or stir-fry or steam until tender.

Beetroot, anchovy and watercress salad

Beetroot, anchovy and watercress salad

This uses great British ingredients and is surprisingly intense considering its simplicity.

Potato pancakes with spiced beetroot

Potato pancakes with spiced beetroot

The food of eastern Europe has been dismissed as full of cabbage and beetroot, but beetroot is brilliant combined with rich, honey flavours.

Smoked salmon and beetroot carpaccio

Smoked salmon and beetroot carpaccio

This tasty recipe is low in calories, fat and saturated fat, and makes good use of seasonal beetroot.

Greek beef burger with beetroot relish

Greek beef burger with beetroot relish

This quick burger recipe conjures up flavours of sunny Greece. Use fresh beetroot if you can.

Chocolate beetroot cake

Chocolate beetroot cake

Carrot cake... courgette muffins... and now we come up with chocolate beetroot cake. Crazy as it sounds these ingredients work beautifully together – we dare you to try it.

 


Broad beans and peas

A big seasonal treat. Early on, the whole broad bean pod can be cooked and eaten. Later, as the bean skins toughen, they need to be double-peeled. They are great served raw (or briefly plunged in boiling water) as a drinks nibble with a hard, salty cheese such as Parmesan or Manchego. Broad beans (or peas) can also be cooked and puréed with some mascarpone and stock for a veggie pâté.

Crusted trout with minted lemon broad beans

Crusted trout with minted lemon broad beans

This inventive recipe with trout is low in calories and saturated fat and high in fibre. A lovely, light supper.

Pork kebabs on minted broad beans with feta

Pork kebabs on minted broad beans with feta

These easy pork kebabs are a real Turkish delight.

Chicken with creamy pesto and broad beans

Chicken with creamy pesto and broad beans

A seasonal, creamy dish of chicken and broad beans that's surprisingly light. It's ready in 15 minutes too.

Roast duck pies with peas and mint

Roast duck pies with peas and mint

These mouthwatering duck pies have incredible visual appeal.

Pea, bean and chorizo pasta

Pea, bean and chorizo pasta

A really delicious pasta that’s ready in a matter of minutes; veggies can replace the chorizo with roasted red peppers.

 


Carrots

Little carrots are full of sweet flavour at this time of year. The dumpy-shaped, sweet chantenay carrots are a good size to blanch, slice and toss in salads. Try roasting tiny carrots whole with cumin seeds and paper-thin-sliced ginger.

Chantenay carrots with tarragon and wine

Chantenay carrots with tarragon and wine

These juicy tarragon-infused carrots make a wonderful side dish.

Sticky sausage and lentil stew

Sticky sausage and lentil stew

A flavour-packed meaty dinner to chase off the winter blues. This would also work well with spicy sausages.

Pot au feu

Pot au feu

This tasty French-inspired chicken recipe is low in calories, fat and salt.

Braised peas and carrots, French-style

Braised peas and carrots, French-style

Along with the traditional peas and carrots, we have spring onions and (gasp) lettuce in this easy dish.

 


Other seasonal favourites

Look out for young leeks, flatleaf parsley, mint and chervil, crisp radishes and young pink garlic.

Warm Puy lentil salad with griddled leeks and poached egg

Warm Puy lentil salad with griddled leeks and poached egg

Pre-cooked lentils mean this quick and hearty veggie supper is on the table in just 15 minutes.

Harissa chicken with bulgur and parsley salad

Harissa chicken with bulgur and parsley salad

Add bags of flavour to plain chicken breasts in a flash. This harissa chicken is served with a healthy, light side salad.

Mint sauce for lamb

Mint sauce for lamb

Such an easy sauce to make, such a devastatingly effective side order to serve.

Vietnamese rolls with radishes and seared beef

Vietnamese rolls with radishes and seared beef

This recipe for Vietnamese rolls combines beef with British radishes. Serve with a glass of Australian Riesling or New World Pinot Noir.

Garlic and sage crispy crushed new potatoes

Garlic and sage crispy crushed new potatoes

Roasted new potatoes don't get much more scrumptious than these sagey babies.

 

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