My May produce guide is finally here! Citrus is on its way out, as are cool-weather crops like cabbage and beets. Berries will start showing up in southern states soon. Growing seasons vary around the country so your best bet is to visit a farmers’ market and see what your local growers have to offer.
Thanks again to Becky for letting me base this resource on her “Eat Seasonal” monthly seasonal produce lists. You can download her free screensaver for May produce over here. For more seasonal inspiration, follow my boards on Pinterest!
Asparagus is really only worth eating in the springtime. It’s lovely with lemon and mint. Shaved asparagus is great in salads and roasted asparagus makes a perfect springtime side dish. Asparagus elsewhere:
- Asparagus and Sweet Potato Hash with Chimichurri by House in the Hills
- Grilled Asparagus Plate with Cilantro Pepita Pesto by Sprouted Kitchen
- Pistachio Crusted Asparagus with Feta by Joy the Baker
- Sesame and Almond Asparagus Salad by Love and Lemons
View more C+K asparagus recipes ↣
Good gracious, how I love avocado. Avocado on toast is almost impossible to beat, but it’s also a fantastic addition Mexican meals and fresh green recipes of any kind, really. The avocados you’ll find in stores now are probably from Mexico, where avocados are in season year-round, but California avocados are starting to come around, too. Avocado elsewhere:
- Avocado Cilantro Hummus by What’s Gaby Cooking
- Avocado, Mozzarella, and Jalapeño Chimichurri Grilled Cheese by Naturally Ella
- Black Bean and Avocado Breakfast Burritos by Gimme Some Oven
- Garlicky Avocado Grilled Cheese with Tomato Pesto by Foodie Crush
View more C+K avocado recipes ↣
I’m slowly changing my tune about beets. I like them raw in salads (like this one and this colorful quinoa salad!) and even in my juice. I’m still learning to appreciate roasted beets, though. Beets are tremendously earthy and can be eaten fresh, cooked or roasted. Some, like the golden variety, are pretty sweet. Beets elsewhere:
- Baked Rosemary Beet Chips by Minimalist Baker (featured above!)
- Beet Bourguignon by Green Kitchen Stories
- Penne Pasta in a Roasted Beet Sauce by Bev Cooks
- Warm Kale, Quinoa and Balsamic Beet Salad by The First Mess
As it turns out, broccoli is totally irresistible once roasted with olive oil and sea salt. Like all brassicas, broccoli goes great with garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and other bold flavors. Select small, tightly packed florets with minimal brown spots. Broccoli elsewhere:
- Asian Quinoa Broccoli Slaw by Mountain Mama Cooks
- Ginger Broccoli with Forbidden Rice by A House in the Hills
- Roasted Broccoli Grilled Cheese by Two Peas and Their Pod
- Simple, Salty, Sweet + Nutty Broccoli Soba by The First Mess
View more C+K broccoli recipes ↣
Cauliflower: Trendy since 2012, good for you since forever! Roasting cauliflower with olive oil and sea salt transforms the cruciferous vegetable from bland to French fry irresistible. You can also pulse raw cauliflower in the food processor to give it a rice- or couscous-like texture. I was skeptical about cauliflower crust pizza, but it can actually be pretty good! Cauliflower elsewhere:
- Cauliflower and Roasted Garbanzo “Rice and Peas” by The First Mess
- Raw Cauliflower “Couscous” Greek Salad by Vintage Mixer
- Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Tacos by Two Peas and Their Pod
- Shaved Cauliflower Salad by Happyolks
View more C+K cauliflower recipes ↣
Thank goodness for spring greens. You might be able to find local arugula, spinach, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and/or watercress now, depending on where you live. I love them every which way: in salads, as pesto, tossed in pasta and sautéed with garlic. Greens elsewhere:
- Garlicky Swiss Chard and Chickpeas by Foodie Crush
- Skinny Spinach Lasagna by Pinch of Yum
- Spicy Cashew Lettuce Wraps by A Couple Cooks
- Spring Salad and Arugula Hummus by Love and Lemons
View more C+K arugula recipes ↣
Fresh herbs often make the dish. Although they’re available year round at stores, now might be a good time to plant your herb garden. Herbs that are coming into season now include chervil, chives, dill, scallions, sorrel and thyme. Herbs elsewhere:
- Carrot, Dill and White Bean Salad by 101 Cookbooks
- Chilled Parsley and Pea Soup by My New Roots
- Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Cucumbers, Lemon, Dill, & Feta by Two Peas and Their Pod
- Smashed Potatoes with Garlic and Chives by Vanilla Bean Blog
View more C+K cilantro recipes ↣
We all love kale, and for good reason! It’s tremendously good for you and totally delicious, given the right preparation. Chop kale for stir-fries or a side of greens (sauté in olive oil and garlic), or massage it with a dash of salt for salads (see any of my kale salads for further instruction), or lightly coat roughly chopped kale with olive oil and roast it for kale chips. You can also blend kale into smoothies or juice it. Kale elsewhere:
- Kale, Spinach and Pear Smoothies by Joy the Baker
- Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Garbanzo Bean Croutons by Mountain Mama Cooks
- Kale with Japanese Sesame Dressing by Yummy Supper
- Mushroom and Kale Grilled Cheese by Foodie Crush
I’ve cooked with leeks before, but they haven’t made it to the blog yet. Leeks are related to onions and garlic and have a mild, oniony flavor. They grow in bundled “leaf sheaths” that look similar to celery stalks. You probably won’t want to cook with the dark green parts, which are pretty tough. They’re pretty difficult to clean because dirt gets in between the sheaths. Here’s how to clean them. Leeks elsewhere:
- Braised Leeks and Muscovado Lentils by Sprouted Kitchen
- Lemony Leeks with Chickpeas and Feta by My New Roots
- Quinoa with Leeks and Herbs by A Couple Cooks
- Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Soup by Love and Lemons
Mangos are like tropical peaches and they are awesome. They can seem a little tricky to work with at first, but you just slice off one-third of each side, longways, from the top down, then dice the mango like you would an avocado. Mango elsewhere:
- Mango and Cilantro Guacamole by Two Peas and Their Pod
- Mango Habanero Black Bean Tacos by Love and Lemons
- Mango Jalapeño Margaritas by How Sweet Eats
- Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint by Smitten Kitchen
Mushrooms are weird. They’re fungi! Edible, earthy mushrooms can be eaten raw, cooked, and so forth. They pair well with garlic, shallots, olive oil, pepper, dry red wine and herbs like flat-leaf parsley, chives, rosemary, tarragon and thyme Mushrooms elsewhere:
- Creamy Poblano Mushrooms with Polenta by Pinch of Yum
- Mushroom, Farro and Fontina Salad by What’s Gaby Cooking
- Mushroom and Quinoa Lettuce Wraps by Love and Lemons
- Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms by Foodie Crush
View more C+K mushroom recipes ↣
I’m so glad I gave peas a chance. Peas get sweeter with a little heat, but they don’t need much more than that. They go great with a little butter and salt, maybe with some garlic or mint, too. You might be able to find sugar snap peas around now, too. Peas elsewhere:
- A Real Mess of Peas by The First Mess
- Green Pea Soup by Green Kitchen Stories
- Pesto Pea Pizza by What’s Gaby Cooking
- Spinach and Pea Fried Rice by Naturally Ella
How I love radishes! Raw, chopped radishes lend a spicy crunch to salads and makes a great garnish for fresh Mexican meals. I often prefer radishes to raw red onion, which can easily overwhelm other raw ingredients. Whole, raw, spicy radishes served with butter and flaky salt are an incredibly simple and delicious appetizer. I also love pickled radishes, but the verdict is still out on roasted radishes. Radishes elsewhere:
- Breakfast Tacos with Avocado Radish Salsa by The Year in Food
- Charred Corn Tacos With Zucchini-Radish Slaw by Smitten Kitchen
- Radish and Egg Salad Sandwiches by A Couple Cooks
- Super Simple Radish Salad with Crème Fraiche by Yummy Supper
View more C+K radish recipes ↣
Hooray! Rhubarb season is here! Rhubarb is an oddball vegetable related to buckwheat. Rhubarb tastes more sour than sweet and pairs marvelously with strawberry. Rhubarb leaves can be high in oxalic acid, so don’t eat them (and keep them away from your dog, too!). Rhubarb elsewhere:
- Rhubarb Upside Down Yogurt Cake by Green Kitchen Stories
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pop Tarts by Minimalist Baker
- Strawberry Rhubarb Soda by Smitten Kitchen
- Vegan Rhubarb Cheesecake by A House in the Hills
Looking for an ingredient that didn’t make the list? Check my ingredient index for relevant recipes.
More resources you might appreciate: 16 recipes that pack well for lunch (see also, lunch packing tips), 14 simple weeknight dinners and your 10 favorite recipes from 2014.
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
Avocados are like my crack so I’m excited to have some that are locally grown soon! Although I wonder if the drought will have an effect on the harvest this year. I’ve heard that avocados take a ton of water to produce. Still not as much as meat though!
I wish I lived near the avocado fields! I’m visiting California next week, so I’m looking forward to sampling some super fresh avocado while I’m there!
Cristina @ I Say Nomato
This is wonderful! I’m always looking for ways to incorporate ‘in season’ produce into my recipes. Except for avocadoes, those go in whenever I can find them :)
Yeah, me too! :)
So many of my fave foods listed here! Love these monthly guides :)
Daisy @ Simplicity Relished
YES! Avocados are everywhere here in SoCal, and I don’t mind. ;)
This is simply a brilliant post, its gonna be my grocery shopping cheat sheet for the month! Thank you so much(and yay for avocado and asparagus season…and rhubarb)!
Alexandra from turquoisette.com
I just had beets for lunch! They were so fresh and yummy!
I love your monthly lists and many ideas that go along with the veggies!
Boy, do I love this! What a great guide for what to look for at the farmer’s market. I recently shared a mint pea soup on my blog–a great way to use fresh peas and fresh herbs. Can’t wait to give some of your recipes a try!
Julia | Orchard Street Kitchen
I always love your guides, Kate. And I am so excited to see avocados and rhubarb on this list! Summer’s almost here…
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
Kate I know I’ve said it on pretty much every produce guide post before, but I ADORE the time and effort you put into these! They seriously make me want to eat an entire grocery store’s produce section. This weekend I made a kale salad with heaps of the ingredients you’ve mentioned here and can’t get enough (so I’m very glad I made a big batch!) If you’re looking for ideas for leeks, I love putting them into omelettes with mushrooms and greens. They’re so delicious and almost buttery – I think you’ll be hooked!
Thank you, Angela! I sure do appreciate you saying so. Now I want to make a leek omelet, thank you for the suggestion!
Brooke @ Chocolate + Marrow
Kate! I’m so glad to have found your blog. It is absolutely stunning. And OMG this seasonal produce guide? Seriously amazing!!! For real, I feel like I could poke around your site for hours and be a very happy girl. Looking forward to following along!
Thank you, Brooke! I’m happy I stumbled across your blog the other day. Your stories and recipes are wonderful!
Love the seasonal guide! Knowing whats really in season when you shop makes so much difference!
I love when you post these What’s-In-Season produce guides. So useful! Pinning!
Sarah | Well and Full
I love your round-up of seasonal produce, Kate! I just recently discovered your blog and I know it will be one I’ll keep going back to, for sure. :) Also – cookie is so cute! I have a pup too, her name is Ivy. Dog’s really are a girl’s best friend!!
Hi Sarah (and Ivy)! Thank you for saying hello. Your blog is lovely! :)
Hey, congrats on your beautiful new cookbook! Love your blog and this vegetable post is so neat. Thank you for listing other good bloggers’ recipes, as well. And finally, the article on retinoids was very timely as I had just tried a cream from the dermatologist that about killed my skin…the article described by reaction to a T.
Thank you so much on the cookbook congratulations, Kathryn! That is too kind. And how weird that I posted those links, just as you had that bad reaction? Yikes! I hope your skin is feeling a little better.
I consider finding your post on delicate skin a God-send. My face is back to normal once I stopped using the fancy cream. Gimme a bar of simple soap any day, right? :) Thanks for your concern. That you take the time to answer every comment is extraordinary in the blogging world. I love it!
Kate! I was so excited to see this email in my inbox! But we are the complete other season haha! Love all your cooking inspiration – will have to find your Autumn/Fall month of what to eat Xx
Oh no! You can definitely search on my site for September/October/November and find lists just like this one. I hope you find something worth making!