9 May recipes
How to make the most of the best spring ingredients, from fiery radish to fresh watercress and nutrient-packed broccoli
Want to know what’s in season in May? Looking for May recipe ideas? Use leafy broccoli, jersey royal potatoes. fiery radish and watercress from your local greengrocer to make these seasonal dishes and bakes. We’ve included plenty of tips for how to shop for particular varieties, prepping guides and useful ideas to use up leftovers.
After, check out our best June recipes, July recipes and August recipes.
In season from April to September, this peppery little leaf has a slight mustardy kick and crunchy, refreshing stems. With its deep green leaves and slightly bitter flavour, watercress is a highly nutritious and versatile ingredient. Toss it into salads, whizz into soups or add into stir-fries to add a gentle earthiness or sauces to pour over baked salmon. Look for bunches rather than bags as it will retain its flavour and crunch longer – store in a glass of water in the fridge before using to keep the leaves crisp. Try more of our watercress recipes here
Prawn and watercress stir-fry
Watercress adds peppery notes to this saucy stir-fry. It's low in calories and perfect for a springtime dinner.
Mackerels start arriving at UK shores in April or May and they stay until the cooler months kick in. They’re at their best and most locally caught in late spring/summer. Ensure the fish you buy has bright eyes, shiny skin and is firm to the touch. Its oily flesh means it can withstand strong flavours such as chilli, citrus and herbs. Roast or grill it until the skin lightly blisters and the flesh is opaque and flaky.
Mackerel's oily flesh means it can withstand punchy flavours – chilli and citrus are used alongside ginger, tamarind, cumin and garam masala.
Spring onions are the young shoots of standard onions, before the bulb has had a chance to grow and develop. This produces a sweeter, milder allium flavour that can be used raw in salads or as a garnish – both the green and white parts add flavour and crunch. Spring onions often get overlooked as a side dish, as they’re usually just a base for flavour but, when braised, they’re great with a roast.
Braised spring onions with lemon and capers
.Braise spring onions with lemon and herbs, and you have a spotlight-stealing side dish for a roast.
Although available all year, lamb is prized for being at its most tender and succulent in spring. It’s quite an expensive meat if you’re looking for a rack or whole leg but some of the cheaper, harder-working cuts, such as shoulder, neck and breast, hold a lot of flavour – once slow cooked, they also yield meltingly tender results.
Slow-cooked lamb shawarma
This lamb shoulder is slathered with a punchy marinade of garlic, ginger, cumin, fennel, turmeric and cinnamon, then slow-roasted for a fall-apart texture and served with homemade harissa.
Prized for their creamy texture and delicate papery skins, this variety is often seen as the best in class when it comes to new potatoes. Their Protected Designation of Origin status makes them distinguishable from other new potatoes, but their texture is what really stands out. Simply boil and toss them in butter, cook and slice into salads or frittatas, or roast them in olive oil so their flavour concentrates and becomes an incredible carrier for the punchy salsa in the recipe below. Check out our favourite Jersey royals recipes.
Roast new potatoes with chilli crab salsa
A light and sunny way to enjoy Jersey Royals, with chilli-flecked white crab meat. Perfect served as a light lunch with a glass of cold, crisp white wine in the garden.
The humble broccoli has so much to offer. Try roasting florets until golden tinged, then scattering over a blanket of finely grated parmesan; cutting into wedges and roasting on the BBQ with red pepper and spicy salsas spooned over; slow cooking until soft and yielding, then stirring through pasta; or serving in a squidgy sandwich with salty anchovies and creamy mozzarella. Look for dark green heads with the stalk and leaves intact. Don’t forget the stalk – chop finely and cook along with the florets as they hold so much flavour and reduce waste. Here are our favourite broccoli recipes to let it shine.
Broccoli and mozzarella focaccia
Overcooking broccoli really can be a thing of joy. It becomes soft, squidgy and deeply satisfying in this salty, chewy sarnie made with homemade focaccia.
The fiery flavour and crisp texture of radishes makes them perfect for adding to salads or serving whole with dipping salts and butter. Varieties include watermelon, mooli, black radishes and the classic breakfast radish. Choose ones that are unblemished and firm-skinned – and shock in cold water for extra crunch. Find plenty of radish recipes here.
Steak and radish tacos
Fresh, crunchy, peppery radishes work well in tacos paired with tender steak. This marinade is great with chicken thighs or pork fillet, too.
Miso buttered roast radishes
Peppery pink radishes steal the limelight in this simple side, with white miso, sesame seeds and soy sauce
Chicken schnitzel with pickled radishes
Serve your next crispy chicken schnitzel with a colourful side of quick-pickled radishes, flavoured with dill, cucumber and fennel.
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