May well and truly marks the end of the hungry gap. Instead of scraping the bottom of the veg box and relying on potatoes and root vegetables in storage, we can once again relish fresh produce grown in the UK. And not just any fresh produce; it's asparagus season! It's time to gorge yourself silly on these tender stalks for a month or so before you've had your fill to satiate you for the next eleven months. My favourite way to enjoy them is with lots of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Alternatively, try boiling some Jersey Royal new potatoes and add them to an oven proof dish with the asparagus before topping with cheese. Bake until bubbling and serve with crispy bacon and you're on to a winner.
Perpetual spinach is firmly on the scene by May, and if you've got a spare corner then plant a few seeds to enjoy freshly picked leaves for the entire summer. Stir it into a pesto spaghetti dish in the final moments of cooking, or enjoy steamed with leeks and butter as a side dish. If fruit is more your thing, then rhubarb is enjoying its final hurrah before being overtaken by summer's bounty. Why not whiz some in a blender and use the purée to create a base for a seasonal drink?
If you're looking for a quick and easy breakfast dish, then poached duck eggs (with more asparagus if you so desire!) are the perfect start to the day, and now the daylight hours are stretching further into the evening, both ducks and chickens will start to lay more, which means they will be readily available. Choose local and free range, if you can, for yellow yolks and a much tastier treat.
For even more greenery to adorn your dishes, add spring onions to stir fries, wraps and salsas. A stronger flavour than your traditional onion, they're not everyone's cup of tea (and I can only eat them cooked), but fry them in some olive oil and they'll provide that kick that some dishes often require.
Eleanor is obsessed with stories. She writes for a number of online spaces including This is Your Kingdom, edits Creative Countryside, curates #aseasonalyear and teaches at Chalk House. In addition, she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing. You'll find her roving the fields of the Lincolnshire Wolds or planning her next rural adventure.