Spring flavours in June
Chef Allegra McEvedy is renowned for her knack of combining seasonal flavours. Here, she picks her favourite seasonal recipes for June.
By Allegra McEvedy
This is the season when the natural world goes into overdrive and the promise of spring is finally delivered.
These fine spears are among the first of the new array of produce to come over the summer and are greeted by British cooks with open arms. Quick, easy to cook and delicious, British asparagus is good for you – and it’s worth waiting for, so ignore those South American imports for the rest of the year.
See our asparagus recipes.
Don’t confuse black bream, a magnificent sea fish, with freshwater bream, which isn’t worth eating. Black bream is akin to sea bass and more interesting in my opinion, but maybe that’s because I’m totally bass-ed out after years of non-stop bass on British menus. Black bream stocks are plentiful, and these beautifully shaded fish come portion-sized. Eat now for the best flavour – enjoy with extra relish by catching them yourself, if you’re that way angled!
See our black bream recipe.
You’ll find these in your veg patch or greengrocer, come June. Like many cooks, I get a huge aesthetic kick out of cooking with flowers. What these lack in flavour, they more than make up for in looks, and they are a natural vehicle for filling and frying.
See our courgette flower recipe.
These are one of the coolest-looking mushrooms in the family, with a much gentler flavour than many other wild ’shrooms. Buy a load in their short spring season and use with gay abandon with everything from fish to eggs to poultry, or have them on toast. Any leftovers can be dried to chuck into soups and stews later in the year, for instant depth of flavour.
See our morel mushroom recipes.
When it’s in season, we should all be using more samphire. It does a job no other veg can replicate, as it’s succulent, tender, salty and fresh. As long as you buy it young there’s no need to prep it at all (old samphire needs to have its woody ends trimmed). Also, if you’re up for a seaside forage, it is readily available for free along much of the British coastline in late spring and early summer.
See our samphire recipes.
When you see the year’s first British, non-forced strawberry, stop what you’re doing and eat it, then have another. This will remind you why this heart-shaped berry (so often presented to us without flavour, having covered more miles than a gap-year student) holds such a place of honour among British soft fruits. Strawberries are one of my earliest taste memories, too – me being hot, sticky and naughty, nicking the fruit in grandpa’s garden.
See our strawberry recipes.