While there's nothing wrong with using a greenhouse to produce those famous hothouse tomatoes before June or July, there just seems to be something scrumptious about a fruit that is fresh from the field and ripened on the vine. As May rolls in, the warm and rainy weather brings a variety of different produce with it. To make sure you're eating in season, we at Real Purity have put together of list of four fresh dishes that feature May ingredients.
The "Sharpest" Ingredients: Cardoons
No, it's not cartoons. The cardoon is a delicious member of the thistle family and is sometimes called the "Artichoke Thistle." Don't let the name deter you. When prepared the right way, they are said to taste like artichoke hearts. They, like artichokes, rarely prove too spiny to eat if prepared correctly. Cardoons are in season from November until June. They also provide 11% of your daily fiber intake.
To try out this ingredient with this butter + mushroom cardoon recipe.
Grandma's Favorite Pie Vegetable: Rhubarb
Grandmothers have made strawberry-rhubarb pie a staple of bake sales, garden parties, and May Days ever since the dawn of granny gowns and crochet afghans. Spring is the time when fresh ruby-red rhubarb is in season and ready to become a part of your next confectionery creation.
But beware: never eat the leaves. This point cannot be emphasized enough! Rhubarb, although beloved by many generations of Americans, has leaves that are extremely toxic. Cut them off and discard them where they cannot be accessed by children or pets. Try out this Rhubarb Pie recipe from the New York Times.
Going Greek: Fennel and Onion
Fennel and onions are two trademarks of spring. Today, we're not just talking about veggies. No culinary dish is complete without a healthy dose of herbs and spices. Fennel gives off a licorice scent and imparts a subtle springtime earthiness to foods. Alliums (plants in the onion family), provide the prefect amount of savory zing to many dishes when cooked.
These two ingredients are absolutely crucial to Greek cuisine. One of the most deliciously under appreciated appetizers in Greek culture is undoubtedly the dolma; made using grape leaves, fennel and onion, among other ingredients. Try this Dolma Stuffed Grape Leaves recipe here.
The Sweetest of Them All: Strawberries
Berries are thought of as a summer treat, but the earliest varieties have already started producing strawberries! Strawberries are a delectable super food that is full of Vitamin C. And since they’re healthy, they make a perfect dessert – right? Try them in this Food.com recipe.