May is a tricky time of year for us, as we’re in the middle of the Hungry Gap; the time of year when the winter crops have tailed to an end and we’re still waiting for the first of the summer veg.
From now until late summer our carrots will arrive with their gorgeous green tops. Don’t immediately toss them on the compost or give them to the nearest rabbit or guinea pig, but instead eat them. They are especially good made into a pesto.
Other highlights for May include asparagus, spinach and broad beans. Here are five recipes to keep your plate colourful and veg filled.
Carrot top pesto
Carrot tops are full of flavour, and like the leaves of other roots (e.g. celeriac or beetroot) if they’re in reasonable nick, they’re good to eat – so don’t throw them on the compost. Pick off and discard the larger stems, keeping the feathery leaves. This pesto is great tossed through pasta, or drizzled over roasted carrots, new potatoes or greens. Try crumbling mozzarella or sheep’s cheese over the top too.
See full carrot top pesto recipe
Asparagus, spinach and lentil salad
This is a simple and nourishing dish, making a veg hero of asparagus, a favourite spring vegetable. We suggest topping with one of our favourite cheeses, Wootton white, a British sheep’s cheese, but feta or soft cheese will work.
Spinach linguine with roasted tomatoes
Avoid wasting leftover bread by drying it out, blitzing and sprinkling onto pasta dishes for a little crunch. Here breadcrumbs top linguine pasta with wilted spinach, sweet, juicy roasted tomatoes, a garlicky hit and a kick of chilli.
Sweet potato, spinach and almond curry
This is a mildly spiced curry with warming garam masala, a mix of aromatic spices that includes clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and cumin. Lightly bashing the cardamom opens up the seeds for more flavour. Seasonal spinach adds a hit of green, and can be interchanged with Swiss chard or spring green.
Crushed broad bean bruschetta
A delectable vegetarian springtime starter. If you make this early in the broad bean season, while they’re still small and soft, you can skip the double podding that broad beans usually call for. Two lovely additions: spread your toasted bread with a little fresh ricotta before piling on the beans, or top the crushed beans with crispily fried pancetta or bacon lardons.
See full crushed bean bruschetta recipe