June is a lovely month for produce, the sun (supposedly) is shining, the days are at their longest and the garden is finally looking fertile. Or, as happens sometimes in the UK, it's bloody cold, the heating is back on and I'm sat on my sofa in a fleece.
But let's be positive and think to the sunnier days ahead of summery foods!
The obvious place to start (in the UK) is strawberries. Although the strawberries in my borders look far from ready, with poly tunnels (and better farmers than me) British strawberries are now in the shops. Some of my favourite recipes are:
Strawberry scones. Classic of course but the battle depending on where you come from is which do you put on first? The jam or cream?
Something quirky... fruit salsa. This is a sweet recipe with sweetened vanilla tortillas. Give it a whirl!
Or even quirkier... strawberry salad. A savoury dish which uses strawberries much in the way you'd use tomatoes and why not? Both are flavourful and sweet at their best and marry well with balsamic vinegar.
Tomatoes have improved so much in the UK in recent years. It used to be that the only way of guaranteeing a flavourful tomato was to grow them yourself but things have happily changed for the better.
What could be better than an assiette of tomatoes? Not sure everyone LOVES tomatoes as much as I do but this is going on my menu as a starter in my fantasy, never going to happen, restaurant.
This may not look like the tomato is the star but in pan con tomate, the almost invisible tomatoes are the star of the show, flavouring and moistening the bread like the ultimate dressing.
And this goats cheese tart is good enough to eat. Goats cheese and tomatoes are such natural partners.
French beans or green beans are one of my favourite things to grow. Sadly again due to getting started a bit late and my chilly clay soil have meant they're not as far on as I'd like.
They make a statement on the plate and are great for adding to pasta like with my crayfish linguine
...or as a stylish almost architectural base for a piece of fish
The peppery salad vegetable which is ridiculously easy to grow if you can keep the slugs off. This is fantastic for adding a hint of spice.
Traditionally smoked salmon and horseradish are natural partners but here I used some radish to give a touch of more gentle peppery flavour to this smoked salmon layered salad.
And there's nothing like a colourful salad to brighten your day!
Enjoy the season's foods because, let's face it, there's not much to smile about with the weather!
Linked up to the healthy, happy, green and natural party hop.