In June the first crops start to flow from the kitchen garden into the kitchen, and there's an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables to cook, eat and enjoy.
Even if you don't grow your own you can take advantage of the cheap, seasonal produce that's available now, shaving pounds off your shopping bill and cutting your food miles. Farmers' Markets are a great place to check out locally produced fruit and vegetables – or you could sign up for a weekly veg box to make sure you get your five-a-day.
Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits in the UK – and by mid-June the strawberry season is in full swing. You can buy supermarket strawberries year-round, but strawberries shipped from Egypt in December are not the same as British strawberries picked in June!
These red juicy fruits are at their best served simply with fresh cream. But if you fancy something more substantial, try topping scones, shortbread or meringue nests with whipped cream and sliced strawberries.
To harvest your own strawberries, plant runners in August or September – they should produce a decent crop for several years. Strawberries are easy to grow and are particularly suited to containers or hanging baskets – just give them a sunny, sheltered spot and keep them well watered.
Broad beans are also ready this month. The young beans taste wonderful when lightly steamed and tossed with butter and mint. Or try frying some garlic and red onion in a little olive oil, throw in some par-boiled, diced potatoes and some blanched broad beans, then add cubed Halloumi (Cypriot cheese) and a handful of fresh herbs – dill is good.
Fresh broad beans aren't readily available in most supermarkets – so if you want a good supply, you may need to grow your own. Fortunately they're simple to grow: sow seeds into rich soil in February or March and keep well watered. You don't need much space, either – Sutton is a dwarf variety that's ideal for growing in pots.