Well, it’s the wrong end of the month again but I’m sneaking in my Seasonal Eating Guide for May just in time. Just. I’ve spent the last month mostly eating asparagus (both green and white) and being impatient about the strawberries not being at their best yet – the sweetest, juiciest, dark reddest fruits are only just making their way onto our plates. If you can’t wait till next month for recipe recommendations (!), you can have a look at my own personal 5 favourite ways with strawberries. In the meantime, here’s what else is perfectly in season in May.
I’m a recent convert to chicory (Chicoree), though I’ll admit I still find it unpleasantly bitter on its own, particularly when it’s thrown on the side of a salad as a garnish (see: every plate of fresh greens I’ve ever eaten here in Germany). I think chicory works best warm, and rather fancy making:
★ baked chicory with caramelised onions,
★ chicken braised with chicory and crème fraîche or
★ orecchiette with sausage and chicory.
I noticed the season’s first punnets of cherries (Kirschen) on my brief excursion to the farmer’s market yesterday. As with the strawberries, I think they’re still a little underripe, but if you’re cooking with them then I suppose there’s nothing to stop you enjoying them right away. I wouldn’t say no to:
★ a duck breast with cherry sauce,
★ cinnamon rice pudding with cherry compote and pistachios or
★ a sweet cherry pie.
(And though it’s made with a jar of cherries rather than fresh ones, I can’t possibly mention these little round, red fruits without mentioning Emma’s black forest pavlova.)
I love beans. All beans, but mostly the green kinds, and it’s so pleasing to be able to buy ones that haven’t been shipped over from Kenya. I like runner beans, or Haricots Verts, (Stangenbohnen) prepared using a stringer and steamed and served simply, with salt and butter, but I tend to get a bit more creative with green beans (grüne Bohnen). How about serving them up in:
★ a spicy curry laksa (one of my all-time favourite vegetarian recipes – don’t be put off by the lengthy list of ingredients, you can get everything you need at an Asian supermarket),
★ green bean and bacon salad or
★ a salad with walnut, fennel and goats’ cheese.
I think spring onions, or scallions (Frühlingszwiebeln), are a little underrated; they have such a wonderfully light oniony flavour and you can do an awful lot more with them than slicing them up and scattering them on a salad. Why not try:
★ the world famous Momofuku ginger and spring onion noodles,
★ pot roast chicken with baby gem lettuces, spring onions and chervil or
★ spring onion pancakes.
What have you been enjoying this month? Any seasonal recipes to recommend?