In Season This Month…May
In Season this Month… May
Much of Spring is referred to as the ‘hungry gap’ as between January and May there is little to no fresh produce available to harvest – in fact April is the leanest month of the year for UK’s Farmers.
However, May has finally arrived, which marks the end of this period, signalling the advent of a new season of produce that has the added bonus of bringing with it vibrant colour as a lovely ‘pick me up’ as well as great taste.
Highlights in May
May is the best month for British asparagus (which is widely regarded as the best in the world) – asparagus has a very short window so don’t miss out otherwise you’ll end up eating asparagus with much less flavour!
The beauty of asparagus is that cooking it takes very little effort, it can be enjoyed simply steamed al dente (it takes 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus) with hollandaise under your poached eggs in the morning or grilled (for 3-4 until nicely marked) and thrown into a salad.
Jersey Royals are the best known varieties of new potatoes – they started making an appearance in late April so make the most of them while they are around.
New potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp texture, they are young potatoes so unlike their fully grown counterparts they keep their shape once cooked and cut. They are also sweeter than standard potatoes because their sugar has not been converted into starch when picked at this stage.
This makes them well suited to salads, an accompaniment to any protein you might fancy or even throw them into a frittata with some asparagus for a double dose of seasonality.
Rhubarb is the first seasonal fruit of the British calendar year, it is more intense in flavour than the forced rhubarb you find in winter and it works perfectly for a classic crumble. You could even try it in a cake, or as a rhubarb and ginger cheesecake.
But you don’t need to restrict rhubarb to dessert, you can make a compote and put it on your morning porridge or even pair it with roast pork or duck for a savoury option and an alternative to classic apple and plum sauces.
Spring lamb, or early summer lamb is usually 3 to 5 months old – this means that the meat is super tender and the prefect choice for Spring Roast Dinners – such as a rack of lamb with new potatoes, mint and chilli. Or if a Roast feels too much in the warmer weather you can think about giving it a Mediterranean twist and make spiced lamb with couscous salad.