June is a particularly sweet and juicy month for British seasonal food, with a colourful selection at its best right now. Go for creative salads with peas and broad beans at their best and splurge on fruity desserts as strawberries reach their peak.
June seasonal food: fruit and veg
Naturally sweet and full of protein, vibrant green peas are beautifully versatile, adding colour and crunch to a number of summery dishes. They can be eaten cooked or raw – try mashing up some fresh, raw peas with a little olive oil, season well and spread over a couple of slices of bruschetta, then top with some torn mozzarella pieces and some fresh mint.
Another tasty summer speciality, broad beans can be served simply boiled and buttered or lightly cooked and added to a herby salad with radishes, cucumber and spinach. They also work very well with pesto and in rice dishes such as risottos, or smashed up to make a mash.
Everyone has a favourite strawberry recipe but sometimes it’s hard not to eat them all straight out of the pack! Apart from classic British desserts such as Eton Mess, or topping a Victoria sponge, try marinating some strawberries in a little balsamic vinegar, sugar and black pepper. It might sound like an unusual combination but is luscious served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
June seasonal food: meat and fish
Lamb works particularly well on a barbecue, either as steaks or make kebabs and burgers, Mediterranean style. Try it with a little pesto rather than the traditional mint sauce, or use fresh mint leaves in a tomato salsa.
One of the healthiest oily fish, mackerel can help to maintain heart health and low cholesterol levels. It is usually smoked, griddled or made into pate. Use smoked mackerel with chorizo and potatoes in a warm salad, or barbecue whole fresh mackerel and serve with spiced aubergines and fennel coleslaw.
Another June seasonal food crab is flavoursome but subtle. Make an exotic Sri Lankan crab curry with its meat or use very simply with linguine, tossing the meat through the pasta with a little chilli, lemon juice, garlic and parsley. Fresh crab also makes the very best home made crabcakes in true British style – serve with a tarragon mayonnaise for dipping.