What’s In Season? May Produce Guide

By Cookie and Kate

My May produce guide is finally here! Citrus is on its way out, as are cool-weather crops like cabbage and beets. Berries will start showing up in southern states soon. Growing seasons vary around the country so your best bet is to visit a farmers’ market and see what your local growers have to offer.

Thanks again to Becky for letting me base this resource on her “Eat Seasonal” monthly seasonal produce lists. You can download her free screensaver for May produce over here. For more seasonal inspiration, follow my boards on Pinterest!

Asparagus

asparagus

Asparagus is really only worth eating in the springtime. It’s lovely with lemon and mint. Shaved asparagus is great in salads and roasted asparagus makes a perfect springtime side dish. Asparagus elsewhere:

 

Avocado

avocado

Good gracious, how I love avocado. Avocado on toast is almost impossible to beat, but it’s also a fantastic addition Mexican meals and fresh green recipes of any kind, really. The avocados you’ll find in stores now are probably from Mexico, where avocados are in season year-round, but California avocados are starting to come around, too. Avocado elsewhere:

 

Beets

Beet chips by Minimalist Baker

I’m slowly changing my tune about beets. I like them raw in salads (like this one and this colorful quinoa salad!) and even in my juice. I’m still learning to appreciate roasted beets, though. Beets are tremendously earthy and can be eaten fresh, cooked or roasted. Some, like the golden variety, are pretty sweet. Beets elsewhere:

 

Broccoli

broccoli

As it turns out, broccoli is totally irresistible once roasted with olive oil and sea salt. Like all brassicas, broccoli goes great with garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and other bold flavors. Select small, tightly packed florets with minimal brown spots. Broccoli elsewhere:

 

cauliflower

cauliflower

Cauliflower: Trendy since 2012, good for you since forever! Roasting cauliflower with olive oil and sea salt transforms the cruciferous vegetable from bland to French fry irresistible. You can also pulse raw cauliflower in the food processor to give it a rice- or couscous-like texture. I was skeptical about cauliflower crust pizza, but it can actually be pretty good! Cauliflower elsewhere:

 

Greens

greens

Thank goodness for spring greens. You might be able to find local arugula, spinach, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and/or watercress now, depending on where you live. I love them every which way: in salads, as pesto, tossed in pasta and sautéed with garlic. Greens elsewhere:

Herbs

kale

Fresh herbs often make the dish. Although they’re available year round at stores, now might be a good time to plant your herb garden. Herbs that are coming into season now include chervil, chives, dill, scallions, sorrel and thyme. Herbs elsewhere:

Kale

kale

We all love kale, and for good reason! It’s tremendously good for you and totally delicious, given the right preparation. Chop kale for stir-fries or a side of greens (sauté in olive oil and garlic), or massage it with a dash of salt for salads (see any of my kale salads for further instruction), or lightly coat roughly chopped kale with olive oil and roast it for kale chips. You can also blend kale into smoothies or juice it. Kale elsewhere:

Leeks

leeks

I’ve cooked with leeks before, but they haven’t made it to the blog yet. Leeks are related to onions and garlic and have a mild, oniony flavor. They grow in bundled “leaf sheaths” that look similar to celery stalks. You probably won’t want to cook with the dark green parts, which are pretty tough. They’re pretty difficult to clean because dirt gets in between the sheaths. Here’s how to clean them. Leeks elsewhere:

 

Mango

mango

Mangos are like tropical peaches and they are awesome. They can seem a little tricky to work with at first, but you just slice off one-third of each side, longways, from the top down, then dice the mango like you would an avocado. Mango elsewhere:

Mushrooms

mushrooms

Mushrooms are weird. They’re fungi! Edible, earthy mushrooms can be eaten raw, cooked, and so forth. They pair well with garlic, shallots, olive oil, pepper, dry red wine and herbs like flat-leaf parsley, chives, rosemary, tarragon and thyme Mushrooms elsewhere:

Peas

peas

I’m so glad I gave peas a chance. Peas get sweeter with a little heat, but they don’t need much more than that. They go great with a little butter and salt, maybe with some garlic or mint, too. You might be able to find sugar snap peas around now, too. Peas elsewhere:

Radishes

radishes

How I love radishes! Raw, chopped radishes lend a spicy crunch to salads and makes a great garnish for fresh Mexican meals. I often prefer radishes to raw red onion, which can easily overwhelm other raw ingredients. Whole, raw, spicy radishes served with butter and flaky salt are an incredibly simple and delicious appetizer. I also love pickled radishes, but the verdict is still out on roasted radishes. Radishes elsewhere:

Rhubarb

rhubarb

Hooray! Rhubarb season is here! Rhubarb is an oddball vegetable related to buckwheat. Rhubarb tastes more sour than sweet and pairs marvelously with strawberry. Rhubarb leaves can be high in oxalic acid, so don’t eat them (and keep them away from your dog, too!). Rhubarb elsewhere: