As we enter the start of summer, there’s lots of incredible seasonal produce to cook with. June’s longer and warmer evenings lend themselves nicely to garden barbecues, while sunny days are perfect for enjoying zingy salads and top-notch seafood. Here’s what ingredients are fresh this month, plus top recipes to make.
Asparagus and new potatoes, especially Jersey Royals, are now well in season as are aubergines, courgettes and fennel. It’s also time to say hello to the new crop of carrots, beans and summer greens, like lettuce, runner beans and mange tout. Tomatoes, although technically a berry, reign supreme in June and there’s a wealth of varieties appearing in supermarkets and veg boxes. This is also the best month for leafy, fragrant soft herbs like basil, mint, parsley and coriander.
Spring lamb is still widely available, but coming to the end of the season. Chicken and pork are both excellent meats to throw on the barbecue – try experimenting with different marinades and cuts to find your perfect flavour combination. Leaner sausages and burgers are among top choices for the grill as well.
There’s plenty to love about seafood in June. Crab is a top shellfish choice this month, fabulous in everything from sandwiches to pasta. Oily fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon are all sturdy enough to hold their own on a barbecue, and excellent pan-fried, grilled or in a salad. Shrimp, squid, langoustines and scallops also lend themselves nicely to summery recipes.
June is a wonderful month for fruit. Most berries are widely available – think the classic trio of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, but don’t forget gooseberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants that are coming into season. Plenty of stone fruit like apricots and nectarines as well as first of the cherries are kicking about too. The first of this season’s watermelons are making an appearance while it’s time to wave goodbye to rhubarb for another year.