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Here's what's in season at the farmers' market in May
We are now really seeing the effect of longer days with the appearance of one of the country’s seasonal treats – asparagus. Asparagus is at its best when picked and cooked within hours, (something easily achievable when bought locally at the market, unlike offerings from the supermarket !). Make the most of the distinctive flavour by serving simply steamed with melted butter, griddled with shaved Winterdale cheese and a simple vinaigrette. It also goes well with bacon and ham products, mint, new potatoes, and toasted almonds.
Look out for are tender little early English new potatoes and early summer leaves such as spinach, watercress and lettuces. Make the most of green outdoor rhubarb this month in crumbles, pies and fools. By the end of the month the earliest gooseberries should be available. Pair them up with delicate fragrant elderflowers! Just add a head or two of creamy white flowers (pick away from roads or sprayed fields and shake to remove bugs) to the gooseberries for a few minutes as they cook then lift out and discard. The distinctive flavour will remain for crumbles, cakes, fools or creamy desserts such as crème brûlées and panna cotta.
For fish eaters sea trout is one of the season’s great treats – smaller fish make a lovely meal for one. Lemon sole, cod, halibut and sea bass are all good at this time of year and shellfish fans should keep an eye out for razor clams and cockles.
For meat eaters locally reared beef and pork will be at its most succulent as the grazing starts to green up. Now is the time to splash out on steaks, chops and fillets and use them simply cooked – grilled, stir fried or griddle cooked for lighter meals.
Each month a different farmers' market is featured in Kent Life Magazine along with a seasonal recipe made with local produce HERE>
Why buy seasonal food?