I wait all year for May. It's my most favorite month, not only because I can finally put my winter jacket away with confidence, but because the flavors of the spring season are at their peak. I find that I don't have enough hours in the day to cook with all the fresh flavors that I desire, so to help me get a handle on my enthusiasm, I rounded up my colleagues to help me pick a handful of the most high-priority recipes to dig into this May. Here are five to add to your roster this month.
May means all that produce we've been longing for is back in business. "I want recipes that help me take advantage of all the produce I've been waiting to get my hands on again," says Assistant Food Editor Kelli. This light side dish celebrates crisp snap peas and keeps them simple with nothing but loads of fresh lemon juice and zest and a sprinkling of chopped fresh mint.
Associate Food Editor Meghan is craving fresh comfort food this month. "May is really busy and I want everyday recipes that include fresh vegetables but are still comforting." That means this pasta is on the list for her, as it's extra wholesome, thanks to lots of fresh cherry tomatoes, basil, baby spinach, and avocado (which makes it taste as creamy and comforting as a cream-based pasta dish).
The instant the feeling of spring is in the air I begin to deeply crave my all-time favorite fruit combination: strawberries and rhubarb. These bars are a sweet celebration of the pair as they come into season in May. Plus, they're perfectly packable, which means I can tote them to the first of the season's picnics, potlucks, and barbecues.
"I will maybe buy fresh peas just once a year, so I want to use them in something super satisfying, like this dip," says Kelli. Fresh peas can be a chore to shell, but when they come around at the farmers market in May, it's hard not to want to buy them by the bagful and turn them into something great. This dip is creamy and fresh and wants to be served alongside fresh veggies, pita chips, crackers, or crostini, and that first-of-the-season glass of rosé. If you have any leftover after all that snacking, toss the rest with pasta.
Particularly in early May, the evenings can still feel a bit cool, which means I find myself craving something for dinner that warms me up but doesn't manage to weigh me down. This pretty green chicken stew always hits the mark. It leans on the freshest spring vegetables and is finished with plenty of freshly grated lemon zest to ensure its brightness.
What are your must-make dishes when May hits?