What is there to eat in May? Well with May over and June just begun; this is a recap on things that we ate in May and also things that will be on my list to try for next year. I am, realizing there is a lot more to eat in May then I originally thought.
I love Spring, May in particular. The songbirds are back and singing there little hearts out, joining them frogs are chirping up a storm, its an absolute symphony of sounds. But perhaps the best part of May is the food. After a long winter of eating root vegetables and store bought produce, which is far from good out of season in my opinion, the spring perennial foods are back. The following list of foods to eat in May could easily be out of the menu at a gourmet restaurant, instead it came straight from the forest and garden to our fork.
There are the Dandelion salads which are so good right now. Dandelion leaves are thought to be bitter, but if you pick them early in the spring before they flower, I found them to be quite tasty. We made a Vegan “chicken”, cranberry, dandelion salad, topped with our sunflower salad dressing from the cookbook, this salad dressing has been said by many to make you crave salad and I knew it would go nicely together, I was right it was so good. Then there are the flowers to eat when the leaves go bitter. I think the children’s favorite way to eat the flowers was in dandelion fritters, but there is lots of different ways to enjoy the color they add to meals, the sky’s the limit.
Nettle, is a really healthy early green, top two ways that come to mind for me is pesto and spinach substitute. I would like to try it in soup, and of course it makes a really healthy tea that is said to be good for allergies and inflammation, and help remove uric acid from the body.
The recipes for Ramps (Wild Leeks) are almost endless, we enjoy using the leaves in soup, salads, on top of burgers, cooked like spinach, blanched and frozen for later, dried and crumbled in almost anything, there are so many possibilities for Ramp leaves, you don’t even need to harvest the roots, just take a leaf from each plant and they will continue to grow in the same spot for years to come.
Wild violets (not the African kind) flowers and leaves are packed with vitamin C great in spring salads.
Johnny jump ups, the pretty flowers that are looking so bright and beautiful right now, will continue to just go and go and go and surprise you with new patches here and there.
Morels, last year I have to admit I was too chicken to eat the morels. I am a little nervous when it comes to wild mushrooms, I mean you do have to be careful! This year I felt confident that we had positively identified them, and thanks to my boys using last years finds to create spawn to sow, this year we had lots in our yard. We ate them two ways. The first time we just fried them, and the second time we breaded them before we fried them. They have the most delicious smell when they are cooking, and I have to admit they were pretty good, my husband and boys loved them!
Rhubarb, every one knows the typical ways to use rhubarb but I have put the vegetable back into Rhubarb by throwing it into salads, chop it fine and throw it in like in this Tangy Spring Salad, it also adds the perfect zip to potato salads, etc.
Maple buds, yes I said Maple flowers, the poor pioneers ate them because they had to, now you can find them on the menu in the trendiest gourmet restaurants, or your local Maple bush, funny how things change. This year the window for harvest was over before I got a chance to try them but I am definitely looking forward to trying this out next year.
Asparagus, appears for us at the end the month and it will carry us right into June. It just keeps coming and you can literally harvest it pretty much every day once it gets hot, it literally seems to grow up over night. I love it steamed, quick and simple but with a harvest that’s ever coming you need several ways to eat it. Omelets, quiche, tarts, pasta, there really are so many possibilities, one way we really enjoy it is Rainbow pasta, it’s also good in soup especially if you missed a day and it is a little less desirable any other way just make a creamy asparagus soup.
Well that is my list but I know there are many more I haven’t mentioned. What do you eat in May?