Oh hello May. Didn't see you coming...
This is perplexing. Months have completely lost their manners. They whiz by in record speed without any kind of notice, not a quick hello nor goodbye. How are we supposed to develop a deep relationship? But I will cut you, May, some slack. You are a special one. In my personal world, we have a big little birthday coming up for our soon-to-be five-year-old bundle of joy+energy+jazz+jokes. In exactly that order. He is a true crack and I'll leave it at that or else this will go madly off topic.
Sticking to the foodie side of things, May is the month to welcome a hand full of fresh and summer-inspiring produce-newcomers. Plus you get to cook with kitchen windows wide open. I will skip details on how many months of the year my windows are open. I still do fill up with joy every time I feel a nice breeze going through the house. I have been on the other side of things amigos, and let me say, living in places where seasons are full and intense [icy winters and hot summers] is marvelous too.
Germany has a genuine tradition to celebrate exactly that, the awakening of the harvest and warmer temperatures after a long and dark winters nap. It's the Maifest or May festival. A celebration with a nice pile of customs that go with it. People dress up in their favorite Trachten [traditional dresses] and dance to lively [and live] music. Also back in the days and still current in some parts of Germany, a large pole would be erected in the village center and decorated with flowers, colorful ribbons, and all kinds of festive foods. Joined by folkloric tunes, people dance and cheer around the maypole to welcome the warmer, pre-summer season and its accompanying flavors. You can still spot Maifest across the country.
No Maifest here unfortunately, but even on this side of the world I can feel the growing excitement of farmers markets and produce isles. Juicy apricots, plump cherries, crunchy green beans, cucumbers, fleshy plums and soft herbs are joining the party. Loads of herbs packed with intense flavors and vitamins. Cilantro, my all time favorite, closely followed by mint, parsley and basil. Actually, my kitchen wouldn't survive with any of these band members.
Have a look at the entire May produce cast. I bet you won't spot one that's not a winner:
I compiled a few of my current favorite recipes and newcomers. Some I have tried out [and love], others I spotted online this week and am eager to try out:
The Clever Carrot just published mouthwatering Strawberry recipes for Mother's Day - strawberry short-cake, strawberry infused green salad and strawberry breakfast cake. All three to die for.
Because avocados are still in and so good for you. Have a Sunny Avocado Toast by Faring Well. Tried and love it. It's a staple now.
Oh la la. Have this refresher: Mint Spring Smoothie with Creamy Cashew Butter by Spice + Sprout. La bombe. Tried. Loved. Will repeat.
One of my favorite blogs, 101 Cookbooks has a dazzling Coconut Broccoli Soup recipe. Actually can a dish be dazzling? When every single spoon full is a celebration, yes it can. And here is a reason why you should make this one right now: Broccoli won't be around for much longer. It is going on a break together with cauliflower, green garlic, radishes, new potatoes and specialty lettuce.
And have you heard of this fruity seafood combo before? It is on my dinner menu for tonight: [Grilled] Shrimp & Plum Kebabs from Eating Well.
Happy experimenting + enjoy the season.