British seasonal food is delicious in June, and buying in season tends to represent the best value. The summer has arrived, bringing a riot of new flavours and colours along with it. Suddenly there’s a huge array of soft fruit to enjoy, along with salads and fresh-tasting vegetables, and delicate elderflowers.
Here’s the big list of what to buy at the market, or pick from your garden or allotment.
FRUIT IN SEASON IN JUNE
Blackcurrants, cherries, gooseberries, raspberries, redcurrants, rhubarb, strawberries, tayberries
BEST IMPORTED SEASONAL FRUIT
Apricots, melons (Charentais, cantaloupe, galia), honey mangoes, nectarines, peaches
VEGETABLES IN SEASON IN JUNE
Asparagus, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli (calabrese), carrots, chard, courgettes (baby, flowers), cucumber, fennel (Florence), globe artichokes, green beans (French and runner), lettuce and other salad leaves, mangetout, new potatoes (including last Jersey Royals), onions (first new season), peas, radishes, spinach, spring onions, summer cabbages, tomatoes, turnips, watercress
Available most months in good condition: button mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, maincrop potatoes, onions, rocket.
HERBS IN SEASON IN JUNE
Basil, chervil, chives, coriander, fennel, lovage, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, sorrel, summer savory, tarragon, thyme
Always available: chives, coriander, parsley grown under cover; older leaves of hardy perennials like bay, rosemary, sage, thyme.
WILD / FORAGED FOOD IN JUNE
Elderflowers, samphire (rock)
Take great care when foraging as it’s easy to confuse edible and poisonous ingredients.
FISH IN SEASON IN JUNE
Seasonal fish varies greatly around the UK, but here is a rough guide to what’s on sale now.
Brill, brown shrimp, coley, Cornish sardine / pilchard, crab, crayfish (signal), cuttlefish, dab, flounder, grey mullet, hake, langoustine, lobster, plaice, pollack, pouting, queen scallops, sea trout (and brown trout), tuna
To the best of my knowledge, the list above excludes critically endangered fish. Visit The Good Fish Guide from the Marine Conservation Society to check their latest lists.
FISH IN SEASON IN JUNE, LESS SUSTAINABLE
Cod, haddock, mackerel, squid, whitebait, wild halibut, wild salmon
In good condition almost all year: herring, farmed sea bream and turbot, megrim sole, sustainably-fished monkfish, rope-grown mussels, prawns.
MEAT, POULTRY AND GAME IN SEASON IN JUNE
Always available in good condition: beef, chicken, pork, rabbit, farmed venison, wood pigeon.
CHEESE IN SEASON IN JUNE
Farmhouse Cheddar, ewe’s milk cheeses, fresh goat cheeses, Stinking Bishop. Imported: Camembert.
Many quality mature cheeses are available year-round.