Marvellous May - New in Season
Although the weather may be attempting to fool us, May sees the transition from spring to summer and is probably my most favourite month of the year for seasonal British foods.
From Jersey Royals and asparagus at the beginning of the month to Mackerel and peas at the end, an abundance of great British produce comes in to season in May and I love it! It's exciting to see shop shelves transition from a dominance of winter and imported fruit and vegetables to much brighter shades of green and Union Jacks emblazoned on packaging.
There are of course other months of the year where there's lots of British food in season but what stands out about May for me, is the simplicity. Most of the ingredients in season need very little 'dressing up'; they speak for themselves. Take asparagus for instance, a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of melted butter is all you need, mackerel brushed with oil and cooked on the barbecue is perfection, rhubarb baked in the oven with a split vanilla pod and a sprinkle of sugar is simply gorgeous... you get the picture!
See below for my favourite May ingredients and some super simple dish ideas...all of which will take less than 20 minutes...
Asparagus - griddled and served with truffle oil and Parmesan shavings
Crab - May is one of the best months for crab. Serve with a lemon mayonnaise and melba toast for a delicious starter or light lunch
Gooseberries - Poach with sugar and a splash of water, cool and stir through 50/50 whipped cream and custard to make a delicious gooseberry fool
Lamb - Young lamb tends to come down in price in May. Simply grill cutlets and serve with a salsa verde
Mackerel - Score the skin and cook whole over hot coals/on a BBQ brushed with British rapeseed oil and a sprinkle of sea salt
Peas - pea pancakes: 6 ingredients, a food processor and a hot pan and these little beauties are ready to serve with anything from a poached egg to a selection of fellow seasonal ingredients
Potatoes - Cornish Earlies and Jersey Royals simply boiled and served with butter, salt and fresh garden mint
Radishes - The fresher and crunchier the better served with a labneh and pistachio dip
Watercress - Make a refreshing and light soup, serve with chopped pear and goat's cheese (eat immediately or chill over ice if serving later to preserve the vibrant green colour)