Josine Atsma takes a look at seasonal June fruit and veg in Scotland, focusing on broad beans with a lovely mashed potato with broad beans and walnuts recipe.
June is the month where you can see lots of fruit and vegetables coming back in season again: Scottish strawberries and raspberries, gooseberries, all sorts of green leafy vegetables and broad beans.
May has been exceptionally warm and dry and that means that everything is growing like mad, including the weeds!
Good news is, all my fruit trees are flowering for the first time and it’s not just one flower, no, they are covered in it! The hawthorns in my ‘wild hedge’ are flowering for the first time too. I’m not sure if I like the smell though, it’s a bit weird.
The bad news is that I’m still watering newly planted vegetables and transplanted birch tree. Apparently only 6 mm of rain fell in Glendevon in April; that is only 6% of the average rainfall for that month! The warm weather ended for most of us with heavy (thundery) rain, but sadly Glendevon missed the boat again and got only a few drops…
My star crop for June is broad beans
Broad beans grown on UK soil are now available. Most people in Scotland sow them in October (but if you live further south, you can still sow them until beginning of November) and they are fairly easy to grow.
Choose a variety called ‘Aquadulce’ because that is the hardiest broad bean, although in a very severe winter, you should cover the plants with cloches or fleece. When the lowest trusses have formed pods, pinch out the tops (which you can eat in a salad!) to encourage fruit set and also to discourage blackfly.
From roughly the end of May you can start picking the swollen pods starting from the bottom. Thankfully broad beans freeze very well, as you might get a large harvest!
Nutritional fact of broad beans:
Broad beans are high in potassium, which can have a positive effect on blood pressure. They are also high in protein (100g provides you with 16% of the recommended amount of protein) and contain moderate levels of vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium.
Seasonal fruit and veg
If you, like me, limit yourself to only eating fruit and vegetables which are in season, the first strawberry of the season just tastes so good! You might already find Scottish grown strawberries in the supermarkets and it’s likely these have been grown in an unheated poly tunnel. Mine are just out in the field and they too are flowering, so if the warm weather continues I might enjoy my first home grown strawberry of the year this month!
But I’ll tell you more on how to grow strawberries (can’t be easier) next month when they will be ‘star fruit’ of July.
Fresh June fruit and veg include:
Asparagus, green leafy vegetables, sorrel, spinach, carrots, chives, rocket, lamb’s lettuce, spring onions, radishes, broad beans, rhubarb, gooseberries, strawberries and (later in June) soft fruit like currants and raspberries.
And you should probably also have some of these things in storage: onions, potatoes, garlic.
June fruit and veg recipe
Mashed Potato with Broad Beans and Walnuts.
1kg potatoes, peeled and cut
450g podded broad beans
4tbsp olive oil
handful of fresh thyme, stalks removed
250g soft goat’s cheese
1tbsp liquid honey
Boil the potatoes for around 20 minutes.
In a separate pan boil the broad beans for 5 minutes until just tender. Keep warm with 2tbsp of the olive oil.
Roughly chop the walnuts and crumble the goat’s cheese.
Drain the potatoes and mash with the rest of the olive oil. Gently mix in the honey, broad beans, thyme and goat’s cheese. Mix in half the walnuts.
Serve with the rest of the walnuts sprinkled on top.
By the way…
I have lots more tasty, seasonal, plant-based recipes available on my website. Please follow this link to take a look. I hope you like them!