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May seasonal fruits and vegetables bridge the gap between spring and summer in delicious fashion. This May produce guide will have your taste buds tip-toeing toward summer by way of seasonal recipes starring strawberries, artichokes, peas, and more.
In the midwest, May Saturdays mean one thing: Farmers market time! With hundreds of bakers, makers, foragers, farmers, and more selling their wares (not to mention breakfast tacos and warm pastries galore), there’s no better place to be on a crisp spring morning. While the coffee and cinnamon rolls are a lovely pick-me-up, the best part of the farmers market’s launch is undeniably the overflowing tables of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Wondering what’s in season in May so you can shop smartly? Consider this seasonal produce guide below like having me as your market buddy, guiding you through the essential May fruits and vegetables that are worthy of a spot in your reusable shopping bag.
Seasonal produce is fresh and affordable, so both your budget and your taste buds will be happy if you stock up accordingly. No matter if you’re strolling the aisles at the supermarket or if you’re feasting on food directly from a farmer, consider adding these fresh fruits and vegetables to your shopping list.
In case you could use some inspiration for how to put what’s in season in May to delicious use, I’m also sharing ideas for seasonal recipes to include in your next round of meal prep or as part of your menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or potlucks and picnics. ‘Tis the season!
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What’s in Season in May?
- Early-season berries and stone fruits: Prime berry time isn’t for another month or two, but you can score a sneak peek of some fruits in this family, including strawberries, cherries, apricots, and plums, come May. Get your fix in pies, cobblers and crisps, as part of shortcakes, or washed and out of hand. They’re sweet like candy right now.
- Tropical fruits: I know, there isn’t exactly any growing season for kiwi and mango in the midwest, but they travel beautifully from warmer regions (where they grow prolifically and are at their peak right now). Try them in parfaits, fruit salsas, Memorial day fruit salads, and smoothies.
- Buckwheat, root and thistle vegetables: Don’t sleep on often-overlooked yet versatile May vegetables like artichokes, rhubarb (yes, it’s a veggie, even though we often use it like a fruit!), and radishes. Not only would that not be comfy, but you’d be missing out on stellar starters, snacks, desserts, and more. Artichokes are excellent steamed, fried, stuffed, or roasted, while rhubarb is remarkable in pies, jams, muffins, or even savory sheet pan dinners. Radishes need nothing else besides a dunk into softened butter and a sprinkle of salt, although you could also pair them with your favorite dip or slice and sprinkle them into salads.
- Daisy, legume, and onion family vegetables: Get this: asparagus is actually a perennial flower, as a member of the daisy family. April showers brought them, and the stalks are exceptional in tarts, scrambles, soups, and pasta recipes. Spring peas are technically considered legumes. While you certainly could whip them up into “hummus” like you use chickpeas, I’m wild sweet on peas in pasta tosses and salads. Sweet onions, and if you’re lucky enough to find them, ramps, are totally dreamy grilled, roasted, or sautéed into sauces, soups, egg breakfasts, and potato sides.
The Best Fruits and Vegetables to Eat in May
Early-Season Berries and Stone Fruit Recipes
Kick your feet up, berry frosé season has arrived! It’s the ideal month to dive into a wide variety of festive and fresh cherry and strawberry recipes.
Tropical Fruit Recipes
Pretend like you’re already on summer vacation with these island-flavored seasonal fruit salads, salsas, smoothies, and party-starting desserts.
Buckwheat, Root, and Thistle Vegetable Recipes
These are the artichoke, radish, and rhubarb recipes you’ll want to have on repeat as part of your May menu.
Daisy, Legume, and Onion Family Vegetable Recipes
Infuse layers of flavor into any savory recipe with sweet onions and ramps, then load on the color with quick-cooking and vibrant asparagus and peas.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.