So while the winter crops are coming to an end, with stores of fruit and vegetables are dwindling, hopefully British seasonal produce will be beginning to come into their own . . . weather permitting.
Let's give a big cheer for glorious British asparagus, a very short but sweet season of six to eight weeks which really gets going in May. We can also celebrate May with the new season potatoes; look out for Jersey Royals, which are at their peak in May. It would be a good time to try out a simple salad or vichyssoise soup.
Since outdoor-reared spring lamb appears later this month, it's the perfect time for all sorts of lamb roasts. I really should post the amazing Yotam Ottolenghi lamb shawarma recipe from his wonderful book, Jerusalem. What made it wasn't just the spice mix but the delicious coriander sauce that accompanied it.
It's easy being green in May, since the first of the year’s herbs, such as chervil and parsley are around, as well as watercress (which makes a fabulous soup), and nature provides spring foraging with wild leeks and wild garlic.
There are some interesting food celebrations in May, which is National Asparagus Month (oh happy days!), from Be Nice To Nettles Week (May 14-25), to British Tomato Week (May 19-25) and English Wine Week (May 25-June 2). If drink is more your thing, then it is English Wine Week from 24 May to 1 June. And while we are at it, why not give National Vegetarian Week a try, (May 19-25). Please don't forget World Hunger Day (May 28). More awareness days can be found here.
The festival season starts to kick off with plenty of things for food lovers to enjoy.
vegetables, herbs and wild greens:
artichokes (globe), asparagus, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli (purple sprouting), broom buds, cabbages (various varieties), carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, chives, fat hen, hogweed shoots, garlic, hop shoots, lettuce, meadowsweet, mint, morel mushrooms, parsley, radishes, samphire, sea kale, sea spinach, sorrel, spring onions, turnips, watercress, wild fennel, wild garlic (ransoms), wild rocket
fruit and nuts:
apples, cherries, gooseberries, pears, rhubarb
meat and game:
beef, chicken, duck, lamb, mutton, pork, turkey, wood pigeon
fish and shellfish:
crab (spider), freshwater crayfish, cuttlefish, herring, lemon sole, mackerel, mullet, pilchards, pollack, prawns, salmon (wild), sardines, sea bass, sea trout, shrimp