What is in season in the UK in May? Eating local, seasonal produce all year

One of the easiest ways to reduce your impact on the planet is to eat seasonal, local produce as much as possible. Our guide to what is in season in the UK in May will help you create dishes that are fresh, full of flavour and Earth-friendly.

Buying seasonal produce can also mean you save some money, too. This is because an abundance of produce means shops and supermarkets can offer lower prices and special offers.

asparagus spears on a wooden chopping board

3 minutes to read

What is in season in the UK in May – fruit

May is in a bit of a “shoulder season” when it comes to fruit. We’re out of the autumn/winter season but not quite into the abundant summertime that brings huge crops of lovely British fruits.
 
However, if you know where to buy it from, the following are a good bet if you want to know what is in season in the UK in May:
 
  • Some apples, such as Bramley for cooking and Gala for eating.
  • Apricots
  • Early crops of strawberries
  • Rhubarb
 

Sticks of rhubarb growing in the ground

Of these, rhubarb is the one that’s really in its prime at this time of year. Try it in a classic rhubarb crumble, or this dairy and egg-free rhubarb & ginger upside-down cake.

Or, if you’re more of a savoury fan, this rhubarb chutney recipe is an excellent addition to toasted sandwiches, cheese boards, or as a canapé topping.

Rhubarb and strawberries also freeze well for use in smoothies and juices. So if you find yourself with any excess, just chop and freeze them for later in the year when they might not be so readily available.

what's in season in the uk in may pinterest pin

What is in season in the UK in May – vegetables.

There are plenty of British vegetables in season in May:
  • Early variety artichokes such as green globe (best towards the end of May into June)
  • Asparagus
  • Baby broad beans – towards the end of the month
  • Beetroot
  • Bok choi
  • Broccoli
  • Celeriac
  • Cucumber
  • New potatoes
  • Lettuce 
  • Peas
  • Rocket
  • Samphire
  • Spinach
  • Spring green cabbage
  • Spring Onions
  • Watercress
 

broccoli and a knife on a wooden chopping board

Many of these vegetables can be stretched even further by regrowing them. Find out how in our post about reducing food waste.

There’s a huge range of fresh and tasty dishes you can make using these vegetables but we love this broccoli and rocket pesto, which is amazing with gnocchi or tagliatelle. Or to make your seasonal veg the star of the show, this asparagus cooked on the BBQ is an amazing side dish or starter. 
Spinach is also very versatile – we love wilting it into curries, chillies and pasta sauces, as well as just frying it gently in oil, with salt and black pepper.

What’s in season in the UK in May – meat, fish & seafood.

Even though the majority of British meats and fish are farmed year-round, you can get better prices and quality by sticking to what’s in season.

Be careful to make sure that anything you’re buying is sustainably-sourced as well as locally-produced, especially when it comes to fish. A good resource is the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Fish Guide. It’s also a good idea to check what’s available locally to you, as fish and seafood seasons can vary slightly depending on where you live.

mussels in season in May - in a white bowl

Here’s what’s in season in May when it comes to meat, fish and seafood:

Meat

  • Lamb
  • Spring chicken
  • Wood pigeon
 

Fish & seafood

  • Brill
  • Haddock
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Plaice
  • Clams
  • Oysters
 

To make the most of this British seasonal produce, try to keep recipes as simple as possible. Fish can be cooked with just a little oil and some herbs inside a foil bag, and roasting spring chicken or simply cooking it on the BBQ will allow the meat’s texture and flavour to shine through.

chicken being grilled on a BBQ with tongs in shot

As for seafood, you can’t go wrong with classic moules mariniere, served with crusty bread.

UK seasonal food challenge for May

If you’ve been inspired by our guide to what’s in season in the UK in May, we’d love for you to take part in a little Ailuna challenge. Write a meal plan for every week in May, and include at least one seasonal item in each meal.

Meal planning also has the added bonus of making sure you only shop for what you need, reducing food waste and further reducing your footprint on the planet.

Please share your finished meal plans with us using #ailunacommunity on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We always re-share inspiring and motivating content!

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