The great British summer lies just around the corner, but right before, sandwiched in the sweet spot between spring and summer, is May. It’s a month with plenty of great produce on offer.
By why eat seasonally? Whilst it’s all too easy to fall into the habit of buying out of season produce from the supermarket, eating local food supports UK farmers. Eating seasonally is fresher (no long travel times), tastier, and kinder to the planet, too; the independent Carbon Trust has calculated that importing one kg of asparagus from Peru generates 11.0 kgs of carbon dioxide, whereas bang-in-season UK asparagus produces only 2.1 kgs of carbon dioxide per kg.
To make shopping sustainably a bit easier, check out this guide to the best home-grown fruit and veg to look for now (complete with a few delicious recipe ideas, too).
SO WHAT’S IN SEASON IN THE UK IN MAY?
Look out for delicious UK asparagus (my fave!), basil, broccoli, carrots, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, jersey royal potatoes, new potatoes, lettuce (and other salad leaves), mint, nasturtium, parsley, oregano, peas, radishes, rhubarb, rocket, rosemary, sage, samphire, sorrel, spinach, spring onions, tarragon, and zippy fresh watercress. (Source: hubbub.org.uk).
Don’t forget to check your labels / ask at the market to ensure they’re UK grown.
On the fish front, plaice and mackerel arrive in many parts of the UK in late spring, and crabs beginning to peel can bring other species closer inshore as they search for this food source. (Source: britishseafishing.co.uk).
If foraging is your thing, wild nettles are perfect now, and you might still have time to pick the last of the wild garlic. I’ve written about where to find the best Wild Garlic foraging patches in Cardiff, and for some ideas on how to cook with it, visit: Three Ways with Wild Garlic.
Want to source your veg as locally and / or sustainably as possible? Check out my little guide to Cardiff’s numerous Veg Box Schemes. I tend to choose organic veg because I believe it’s better for the planet and better for nature; I’ve written a blog post about why Organic food should be top of the menu in a post-covid world.
FIVE SEASONAL RECIPES TO TRY THIS MONTH
Make the most of what’s in season in May with some of these simple recipes…
- Matt Appleby’s Wild Garlic Pesto with Orzo
- Olive Magazine’s Asparagus & Anchovy Pasta
- Delicious Mag’s Spinach & Ricotta Lasagne
- BBC Good Food’s Crab & Asparagus on Toast
- Anna Jones’ Roasted Radishes with Sorrel, Lentils & Buttermilk
You can also check out some of the seasonal delights on the menu at Nook – it’s their whopping weekly asparagus delivery pictured in the cover image for this post! 🙂