Rejoice: the hunger gap is officially over! Here’s how to cook seasonally using home-grown or local veg that is at its best right now.

Whether you have an over-abundant veg patch in your back garden or just a regular delivery box bringing you all the greens with zero effort, this month we start to see British produce coming into its own after the ‘hunger gap’ of winter. While the first day of summer isn’t officially until 21 June there are plenty of in-season spring veg to harvest in May. Here are seven to try and some recipes to inspire you to cook fresh, seasonal meals this month.

Asparagus


Traditionally, the British asparagus season runs from St George's Day on the 23rd April right through to Summer Solstice on the 21st June. All of which means that May spells a bounty of the delicate green spears, which are as great grilled as they are added to pasta or risotto.

Crab and Asparagus Pappardelle

BBC Good Food


Paired with crab, another spring favourite, this light, sweet and fragrant pasta just needs a chilled glass of white wine for the perfect spring dish. Find the recipe here.

Asparagus Pate

Jamie Oliver


A great meat-free alternative to serve with crusty bread. With just two simple ingredients it’s a doddle to make, too. Find the recipe here.


Broad Beans


Those little furry pods, encasing bright green jewels are about ready to pop this month. Pick them when at the ‘baby’ stage if you hate the tough outer shell broad beans usually get a bad rep for. Perfect paired with salty cheeses such as feta, and great in salads or risottos.

Broad Bean, Pecorino And Olive Bruschetta

Olive Magazine


Could this be the perfect spring bite? Filled with saline flavours from the olives and the cheese, the sweet new-season beans are perfect served atop a slice of toasted ciabatta. A great alternative to a lunchtime sandwich. Find the recipe here.

Spicy Broad Bean Fritters With Lemon Minted Yoghurt

Jamie Oliver


If you’ve got a glut of broad beans coming on, these moreish fritters make a great aperitif. Or why not serve with a grain salad for a meat-free mid-week dinner? Find the recipe here.


Jersey Royal Potatoes


The humble spud gets a regal upgrade in May with the ‘Jersey Royal’ season in full flow. Unlike its large floury cousins, the small, nutty flavour of the Jersey Royal makes it perfect for summer salads.

Hot Smoked Trout With Jersey Royal And Pea Shoot Salad

Sainsbury’s


The smoky fish, punchy horseradish and sweet pea shoots make for a beautifully well rounded, but not complicated salad to assemble for a laid-back lunch. Find the recipe here.

Jersey Royal Curry

Waitrose


A potato curry may sound stodgy, but this fragrant, yoghurt-based recipe using new season Jersey Royals is, in fact, a light, economical dish packed with flavour. Find the recipe here.


Globe Artichokes


A Roman staple, the carciofi – or artichoke heart – is easily grown in the UK climate and can be enjoyed roasted, grilled or steamed and dipped in garlic butter. The meaty texture makes it a robust addition to salads, atop pizzas or even preserved in oil to enjoy later in the year.

Garlic Roasted Globe Artichokes

Abel & Cole


A tender heart with crispy outer leaves, these are the perfect vehicle for seasonal dips at a summer BBQ or as a lighter alternative to bread. Find the recipe here.

Artichoke, Red Onion And Rosemary Risotto

BBC Good Food


Who wouldn’t love this healthy, veg-packed risotto filled with aromatic flavours? A gut-loving feast of a dish. Find the recipe here.


Radishes


They’re easy to grow, but other than in salads, what does one do with a radish? Try spreading with butter and sprinkling with sea salt a la Francaise – or how about pickling for a punchy playmate to cured meats?

Blue Cheese, Fennel And Radish Salad

Delicious Magazine


The pepperiness of the radish plays perfectly with the creamy cheese and fragrant fennel in this summer salad. Its bold flavours make it perfect as a starter or to add into some seasonal Jersey Royals for a heartier lunch. Find the recipe here.

Radish Pickle

Jamie Oliver


A quick three-ingredient pickle recipe that will ensure none of your radish glut goes to waste and can be enjoyed all summer long with BBQs and roasted meats. Find the recipe here.


Spinach


Spinach is a great easy crop to grow that keeps on giving. But sometimes it’s hard to keep up and think of new ways to cook the prolific green leaf. Here’s a few new ideas to try.

Spinach, Chickpea And Cheese Tart

Sainsbury’s


A great meat-free option to take on a picnic this summer. With crisp filo, sweet ricotta and lots of protein from the chickpeas and egg, it will keep you feeling replete on your al fresco adventures. Find the recipe here.

Creamy Garlic, Lemon And Spinach Salmon

BBC Good Food


The perfect option for entertaining this summer if you’re looking for a laid-back, crowd-pleaser. Lemon and salmon are always great bedfellows but the creamy garlic sauce and earthy spinach give this dish depth and will ensure each plate is wiped clean with a hunk of crusty bread. Find the recipe here.


Wild Garlic


Not one you need to cultivate yourself, this: the hedgerows are filled with the powerful aroma of wild garlic in May, so grab a handful and add it to pestos, butters and pair with cheeses for a great, fresh alternative to traditional garlic.

Wild Garlic and Sausage Fusilli

Jamie Oliver


A deep, earthy and pungent dish – you’ll need a robust-flavoured sausage, like a Cumberland, to stand up to the wild garlic notes. Find the recipe here.

Wild Garlic and Cheese Scones

National Trust


Perfect warm from the oven topped with pickle and a mature cheddar. These would be a great savoury addition to an afternoon tea or Ploughman’s lunch. Find the recipe here.

By Lydia Mansi
May 2022

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.

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