It’s almost summer time! Wondering what’s in season? Well, here’s a list of vegetables and fruits in season in May – including spring greens, asparagus, avocado, cauliflower, and a ton of other stuff!
Here’s the May produce guide you’ve all been waiting for. As sad as that makes me, I have to admit that it’s almost time for us to say goodbye to citrus fruits and many of the winter-y vegetables like cabbage.
May is peak spring weather in Seattle, but you might see variations in produce based on where you live. As always, I’ve tried to keep this list to the top 5-6 things that are in-season and broadly available across the US. For more seasonal recipes, don’t forget to follow my boards on Pinterest.
One quick note: This post captures what I was able to find at my local grocery store – produce availability has been somewhat unpredictable these days due to the quarantine! But without further ado, the May produce list!
🥗 Spring Greens
Had to start with the best, because spring just means amazing greens! In Washington, April is when we start seeing the influx of so many types of green leafy vegetables – I saw arugula, Collard greens, lettuce, endives, escarole, kale, and kohlrabi greens among others. The exact greens will vary based on where you live, but the abundance is hopefully consistent.
Spring also brings a bounty of different herbs (some of which you can and should plant if you have a small patch of land). So, it’s time for so many hearty vegetarian salads, pesto, sauces – and also just a way to introduce them into other meals (smoothies, pasta, flatbread, you name it).
Check out my delicious kale salad with a poached garlic-parsley dressing, inspired by Il Corvo, Seattle. Or a delicious summer salad with spinach, avocados, and cotija cheese. Or if you want to go off-the-beaten-path, check out this Nigerian Efo Riro (African spinach stew)
Asparagus is definitely a favorite in the house, and something we rarely consume unless it’s in-season. Asparagus is typically air-freighted from Latin America when it’s not in season. In fact, the average greenhouse gas emissions for asparagus is nearly 8x that of avocados for instance.
So, as a hardcore environmentalist, I can never bring myself to buy fresh asparagus out of season (i.e. February to end of May or thereabouts, with a peak in April). Frozen and/or canned asparagus is still fine to use year-round but don’t have the same flavor profile. So, enjoy asparagus while it’s in season and try to avoid it during the other months if you can!
Couple of delicious asparagus recipes from bloggers I love:
- Spring Pea & Asparagus Risotto by Cookie + Kate
- Pistachio Crusted Asparagus with Feta by Joy the Baker
- Pesto Asparagus Noodles by Pinch of Yum
We’re actually quite blessed to have a year-round supply of avocados, mainly due to our proximity to Mexico and the opposite nature of our growing seasons. The peak season for Mexican avocados is between November to April, so we’re just nearing the end of it. The peak season for American avocados starts in May and runs through August.
There’s so many ways in which you can use avocados! On this blog alone, I’ve made a creamy vegan Caesar dressing and a shaved Brussels Caesar salad with them; I’ve made many, many delicious avocado toasts (see below); I’ve also recently became a massive fan of adding them to my gochujang cauliflower tacos. The possibilities are endless.
Avocado recipes from bloggers I love:
- Grilled Avocado with Veggie Ceviche by Love and Lemons
- Blood Orange & Avocado Salad by Cookie + Kate
- Chocolate Avocado Mousse Tart by Rainbow Plant Life
I absolutely love cauliflower. And I’m so glad they’re still in season. This is one of the most versatile vegetables, and lends itself to so many textures and flavor profiles. You want a hearty vegetarian bowl? Roast them with olive oil. You want a creamy dip? Puree them with the right spices. You want a delicious family style meal? Roast it whole or add them to tacos. The possibilities, much like with the avocado, are truly endless.
Tough to pick, but some cauliflower recipes from bloggers I love:
- Homemade Cauliflower Gnocchi by Pinch of Yum
- Spice Roasted Cauliflower, Kale and Chickpea Salad by Foodess
- Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower Steaks by Cookie + Kate
Mushrooms can be cultivated through the year, but some of the really delicious wild like Morel mushrooms, and Oyster mushrooms are really only in season in spring, around April-May. Wild mushrooms are usually only in season in Fall, but stay tuned for that.
I absolutely love using mushrooms in so many different cuisines. You can pair them with leeks, which are also in-season, and make a delicious creamy, leek and mushroom pasta. You can use enoki mushrooms in Korean bibimbap, along with my gochujang cauliflower for a delicious umami boost. Not to mention putting it on a flatbread with some goat cheese – ooh, are you excited yet? I’ve also made quick, fifteen minute fried rice perfect for a lazy weeknight meal – stirring in mushrooms there is delicious.
Mushroom recipes I love:
- Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff by Ela Vegan
- Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan Cheese by Gordon Ramsay
- Creamy Garlic Mushroom Soup by Budget Bytes
I love radishes because they’re so versatile. Often, I’d just chop them up and add them to an avocado toast or salad (or even for my tacos!) or you can roast them up with some olive oil, and sea salt – absolutely delicious. This is also the time to pickle some of the radishes – either using a simple brine, or more Asian style (like a kimchi).
Some stellar radish recipes:
- Mullangi Poriyal (i.e. Radish “Stir Fry”) by Archana’s Kitchen
- Radish Kimchi by Maangchi
- Lemony Lentil Salad with Radish and Chickpeas by Cookie and Kate
📋 Regional variations
Honestly, springtime has so many vegetables in season that this post would never end if I had to list every one of them. Some of our other favorites include broccoli, peas, green chickpeas, and strawberries (though I’ve struggled to find good ones just yet in Seattle).
Additionally, you’ll probably start seeing more cherries and apricots on the West Coast, garlic scapes in the North East, and rhubarb in the Midwest. If you’re looking for a fun way to use up some of the other odds and ends, check out my recipes for Ethiopian cabbage, Indian samosas or a quick “leftovers” fried rice!