There’s nothing quite like the anticipation as the first spears of English asparagus appear in the supermarket and grocers in May. Usually an expensive luxury when it’s forced and flown in from abroad, this wonderful veg instead becomes an affordable treat. I love it lightly steamed and served with mayonnaise. This is also the month for pink and zingy rhubarb, which is growing aplenty in my garden right now. This weekend I made a big pot of it, stewed in orange juice with a little grated orange rind. It’s delicious served with dollops of Greek-style or coconut yoghurt for breakfast or pudding.Rhubarb

More than organic food, seasonal produce always has a place in my kitchen. Personally, I can’t justify the environmental impact or the expense of growing an organic carrot on the other side of the world and then flying it thousands of air miles to a supermarket. Buying seasonally means you can prioritise local, fresh food instead. The quicker it’s harvested and the fewer miles it must travel to your table, the more nutrients your fruit and vegetables will retain, which means you get maximum nourishment from your meals (although frozen foods that are picked and packed in minutes are a great economical option, too). If you can grow your own produce, even better. A pot or two of fresh herbs on the kitchen windowsill, or a strawberry pot on the patio, will give you seasonality at your fingertips.

Eating with the seasons is a complex issue, as it can be hard to decipher what’s truly at its peak in any month and what’s just on offer. Buying British is a good guide, and helps to support our growers. Even in these isles that can mean a long growing season for some crops, as farms in Scotland and the North will have a later harvest time than those in the South of the country. You can always take a look at my website for a list of the vegetables, fruit, herbs, nuts, meat and fish that are growing and at their best in spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Why not try these spring seasonal treats right now to take you through May and into June? They’re packed with antioxidants and nutrients:

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