strawberry salad with blue cheese dressing

There is a glut of strawberries this year because of the phenomenal weather we had at Easter. I love this early summer salad of strawberries and spicy watercress. Toasted almonds add a nice nutty crunchiness to contrast with the creamy blue cheese dressing and the bitter and peppery watercress.

fat couscous and chickpea salad with a lemon-chilli dressing

fat couscous salad with feta and chlli
It isn't very often that I eat a supermarket ready-meal and think "delicious. I must rush home and try to create it". In fact it has never happened before. But recently there has been one thing I have rather enjoyed and that is one of Sainsbury's range of Taste the Difference Giant Cous Cous and Feta salad pots.

I spent years trying to track down Israeli couscous in England. But I finally managed to identify it as mograbiah or moghrabbiyeh. This is also known as Lebanese, pearl or Israeli couscous. And until I had a word to describe it, I just called it fat couscous; it shall always be fat couscous to me.

what's in season: may

© British Asparagus
The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds. For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.
Sir Thomas Malory - Le Morte d'Arthur (1485)

Out with the old and in with the new . . . most of our winter crops are coming to and end and stores of fruit and vegetables are dwindling. But British seasonal foods are just beginning to come into their own.

I'm not a particularly patriotic person; you will never see me wearing a Union Jack t-shirt (although maybe some Union Jack slippers), but I will admit to feeling a faint stirring of something when I first saw the enormous UJ bunting decorating Regent Street in London recently (up for for the Royal Wedding) . . . although that could have been due to indigestion. But I will definitely give a big old whoop and a cheer for glorious British asparagus, a very short but sweet season of six to eight weeks.