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seasonal produce guide for switzerland: may

Every first Friday of the month, I bring you a seasonal produce guide for Switzerland so that you can make smarter choices at the supermarket by buying the tastiest fruits and vegetables available!  In my monthly guides I round up Savormania recipes for each of the ingredients as well as favorites found across the web. As seasonal produce varies from country to country, I chose to stick with Switzerland — my home country and where the majority of my readers are. If you’re one of my International readers, don’t worry, I’m sure you will find lots of great recipes listed below both from my blog and from other great food bloggers out there. With no further ado…here are May’s seasonal fruits and vegetables!

APPLES


chopped apple

I love the crunchiness of apples and the surprises they hold — sometimes they’re sweet, sometimes they’re more sour. Depending on the varieties you pick, some apples are great for sweet desserts and breakfast foods while sourer versions are perfect for salty dishes, like stuffing chicken or including in a salad. I cook a lot with apples, with my favorite way to use them being in muffins, cakes and breads.

Best way to store: In the fridge inside a vegetable drawer, covered in a slightly wet paper towel

Shelf life: 3 to 5 days on the kitchen counter, 3 to 4 weeks in the fridge 

Apple recipes found on Savormania:

haroset

Haroset – jewish date paste

all-bran breakfast muffins

Apple and all-bran muffins 

cinnamon apple bread

Apple cinnamon bread

Apple recipes found elsewhere:

ARUGULA


I can’t believe I still haven’t posted a single recipe with arugula, given that I always have some in my fridge to include in my salads. With its pungent, peppery taste, arugula is a great addition to salads and contains an incredible amount of vitamin A and vitamin K, all while being extreme low-cal. I love adding arugula to a mozzarella and tomato salad, or serving it as a salad tossed with toasted pine nuts, balsamic vinegar and tomatoes. Recipes will come, I promise!

Best way to store: If your arugula comes with roots, wrap them in a slightly wet paper towel and keep in a plastic bag in the fridge’s vegetable drawer. If your arugula comes just with the leaves, store in a plastic bag in the fridge’s vegetable drawer.

Shelf life: 2 to 3 days

Arugula recipes found elsewhere:

ASPARAGUS


white asparagus

I’ve only recently began to like asparagus, my favorite way being stir-fried with an Asian sauce, but they can also be eaten steamed, boiled or roasted. Asparagus is packed with vitamin A and C as well as iron, potassium and calcium. When choosing your asparagus at the supermarket always look for firm tips and shoots.

Best way to store: Wrap the ends in a slightly wet paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Shelf life: 3 to 4 days

Asparagus recipes found on Savormania:

roasted white asparagus with mustard-dill vinaigrette

Roasted white asparagus with mustard-dill vinaigrette

Asparagus recipes found elsewhere:

BEETS


Beets have been in season since February, but I still haven’t had a chance to cook with them. They’re great in salads or juices, and can be combined with salty or sweet ingredients! I promise I’ll get to cooking with them one day, but for now here are some great recipes from other food bloggers.

Best way to store: Cut the leaves from the beets and store them unwashed in separate plastic bags in the fridge’s vegetable drawer

Shelf life: Leaves are good for 2 to 3 days, the beets for 2 to 3 weeks when refrigerated

Beet recipes found elsewhere:

BOK CHOY


Bok choy, also known as pak choi, is a Chinese cabbage that you’ll mainly find added to Asian stir-fries. It has a spinach-like flavor and is just as delicious steamed as it is stir-fried. To pick the best pak choi, look for firm stems and unblemished leaves.

Best way to store: Refrigerated in a plastic bag, unwashed until ready to use

Shelf life: 3 to 4 days

Bok choy recipes found elsewhere:

CARROTS


chopped carrots

Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables to cook with! They’re great puréed in soups for their sweetness and consistency, and are so deliciously crunchy in salads. I use them in a wide variety of recipes ranging from Spanish cuisine to Asian. They can be kept for 3-4 weeks in the fridge, which makes them the perfect vegetable to have on hand to quickly add to a recipe.

Best way to store: In the fridge

Shelf life: 3 to 4 weeks

Carrot recipes found on Savormania:

vegetarian paella

Vegetarian paella

carrot parsley soup

Carrot and parsley soup

stir-fried vegetable rice

Chinese stir-fried vegetable rice

Carrot recipes found elsewhere:

CELERY ROOT


I’m becoming more and more fond of celery root, using it in salads and to include in my mashed potatoes. Adding celery root to mashed potatoes gives it a pungent taste and more texture; if you haven’t done so already you should definitely try it! I have yet to add some of my favorite celery root recipes to the blog, but they’re sure on my list!

Best way to store: Refrigerated in a plastic bag

Shelf life: 2 weeks

Celery root recipes found elsewhere:

CHIVES


chives

Chives have a delicious onion flavor, making them great additions to bring extra punch to a dish. Their vibrant green color automatically dresses up a recipe as well, and turn them into perfect garnishes for soups, salads and quiches. I always have dry chives in my pantry, but love to buy fresh chives whenever they’re in season.

Best way to store: wrapped in a slightly wet paper towel and kept in a plastic bag in the fridge

Shelf life: Up to 2 weeks

Chive recipes found on Savormania:

mushroom truffle oil risotto

Mushroom truffle oil risotto

goat cheese and sun-dried tomato quiche

Goat cheese and sun-dried tomato quiche

potato and egg salad with mayonnaise

Potato and egg salad

Chive recipes found elsewhere:

CUCUMBER


diced cucumber

If I had to pick my favorite vegetable above all, it has got to be cucumber. I love chopping it up and including it in a salad, and adore it even more just cut in sticks and seasoned with salt. Cucumbers are praised for their myriad of health benefits, as they protect your body from many nutritional deficiencies. They’re packed with vitamins, C, K and B, as well as manganese, copper and potassium.

Best way to store: In the refrigerator in a plastic bag, unwashed until ready to use

Shelf life: 1 week

Cucumber recipes found on Savormania:

cumin-spiced-edamame-salad

Cumin-spiced edamame salad

quinoa vegetable salad

Quinoa vegetable salad

bulgur mint salad

Bulgur mint salad

Cucumber recipes found elsewhere:

KOHLRABI


Available in green or purple varieties, kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked and tastes slightly like broccoli as it is part of the same family as other brassicas, such as cauliflower and cabbage. You’ll generally find sliced kohlrabi in a raw vegetable platter served with a dip, but it is also a good vegetable to steam, roast or boil. I haven’t cooked with kohlrabi yet, so here are a couple of delicious recipes below from other food bloggers to try!

Best way to store: Refrigerated in a plastic bag

Shelf life: 4 to 5 days

Kohlrabi recipes found elsewhere:

LEEKS


chopped leeks

Leeks are my new favorite substitute for onions! Belonging to the same family as onions, leeks have a slightly stronger taste that becomes sweeter the longer you cook them for. Only the white part of the leek can be eaten, which means that this is a vegetable that requires quite a lot of prepping. Cleaning leeks is also of utmost importance, as dirt lodges itself in between the leaves. The best way to clean leeks, in my opinion, is to slice them in half, part the leaves and let them sit in cold water for 15 minutes. The dirt will easily drop to the bottom of the bowl.

Best way to store: In a plastic bag in the fridge, unwashed until ready to use.

Shelf life: 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge

Leek recipes found on Savormania:

crispy cauliflower cashew soup

Crispy cauliflower cashew soup

soupe de courgettes et poireaux

Zucchini leek soup

creamy potato and leek soup

Creamy potato leek soup

Leek recipes found elsewhere:

LETTUCE


Just like arugula, lettuce is a vegetable that I almost always include in salads. Lettuce comes in a myriad of varieties, ranging from curly to flat and from green to red. Always choose lettuce with leaves that aren’t wilted or browned.

Best way to store: Refrigerated in a plastic bag, unwashed until ready to eat

Shelf life: 1 week

Lettuce recipes found on Savormania:

green salad with orange vinaigrette

Green salad with orange vinaigrette

Lettuce recipes found elsewhere:

ONION


chopped onion

Onions are in season all year round in Switzerland, which is great news given that I cook with them 90% of the time. Onion gives my dishes great flavor and can be used in a variety of cuisines. They come in red, yellow and green varieties which can all be used in different ways. I tend to cook with yellow onion the most often, reserving the red and green onions for salads. There are exceptions to this and I often experiment with cooking with red and green onions too!

Best way to store: in the pantry or in the fridge, but keep them far away from the potatoes! Their rot much quicker when placed next to each other

Shelf life: 2 to 3 months in the pantry or in the fridge

Onion recipes found on Savormania:

spanish potato tortilla

Spanish potato tortilla

dairy-free potato gratin

Dairy-free potato gratin

mozzarella pasta bake

Mozzarella pasta bake

Onion recipes found elsewhere:

PARSLEY


parsley

Parsley is one of my favorite ways to top a dish — it brings texture and color while intensifying and balancing the flavors of a dish.  There are are two types, flat-leaf (more intense in flavor) and curly (less bitter), with the first variety used more to balance out dishes while the second is used more for decorative purposes.

Best way to store: Trim the ends, place in a glass of water, cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate. Change the water when it becomes cloudy.

Shelf life: Up to one week

Parsley recipes found on Savormania:

artichoke and sun-dried tomato bruschetta

Artichoke and sun-dried tomato bruschetta

roasted cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower with lemon and parsley

meatballs with tomato sauce and peas

Meatballs with tomato sauce and peas

Parsley recipes found elsewhere:

RADISH


radish

Radishes are also often seen as part of a raw vegetable platter served with dips, but there are many other ways to cook this pinkish vegetable, such as roasting or stir-frying. They’re packed with folic acid and potassium, as well as vitamin B6, riboflavin, calcium and magnesium. Always look for firm radishes to get the best crispness out of the vegetable, and make sure to soak them in ice water for a couple of hours before cooking them so that their retain their texture. Radishes need to be eaten just after being sliced.

Best way to store: Refrigerated in a plastic bag

Shelf life: Up to 2 weeks

Radish recipes found on Savormania:

classic israeli salad

Classic israeli salad

Radish recipes found elsewhere:

RHUBARB


Here in Switzerland rhubarb cake is a big deal, with many restaurants adding it to  their dessert menu when it’s back in season. Rhubarb needs to be cooked to be eaten, ideally with lots of sugar to render it sweet, which is why you’ll often find this vegetable in cakes. Make sure to always remove the rhubarb’s leaves, because they are poisonous.

Best way to store: Refrigerated in a plastic bag

Shelf life: 5 to 7 days

Rhubarb recipes found elsewhere:

SPINACH


Spinach will always remind me of Popeye, and I have to admit that I never really enjoyed it as a kid. I learned to love spinach as I grew older and tend to cook with it in many different ways. Spinach is such a versatile ingredient that can be included in salads, pasta dishes, sautés, quiches and many more dishes. Although I do prefer my spinach fresh, I always have a bag of frozen spinach in the freezer to use whenever I need it.

Best way to store: In a plastic bag in the fridge, unwashed until ready to use

Shelf life: 3 to 5 days

Spinach recipes found on Savormania:

burgers de quinoa aux épinards et carottes

Crispy spinach-carrot quinoa patties

Spinach recipes found elsewhere:

SWISS CHARD


The only time I ever eat Swiss chard is during the Jewish New Year, as it is part of the symbolic foods we eat during the holiday dinners. Swiss chard is in fact a grown like a beet, but all we eat is its delicious thick dark green leaves. It is low-cal and packed with vitamins, making it a great vegetable to add to your weekly meal plans now that it is in season.

Best way to store: In a plastic bag in the refrigerator, unwashed until ready to use.

Shelf life: 2-3 days

Swiss chard recipes found elsewhere:

STRAWBERRIES


strawberries

If I had to pick my favorite fruits, strawberries would be part of the top 5. Strawberries are truly a superfood; they’re high in antioxidants, boast more vitamin C than an orange, and are packed with manganese and potassium among many other goodies. I love eating them raw, including them in smoothies, and using them in cakes. I’ve cooked a lot with strawberries already on the blog and look forward to sharing even more recipes with you now that they’re in season!

Best way to store: In a container covered with plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator

Shelf life: 2 to 3 days

Strawberry recipes found on Savormania:

big strawberry jam sandwich cookies

Big strawberry jam sandwich cookies

strawberry mint smoothie

Strawberry mint smoothie

strawberry and whipped cream roll

Strawberry and cream roll

Strawberry recipes found elsewhere:

WATERCRESS


watercress

Just as nutritious as cabbage and broccoli, watercress is full of vitamins and can be eaten both cooked and raw. Watercress is a leafy aquatic plant which has been ranked as the healthiest vegetable in the world, as it is packed with over 15 vitamins and minerals, beating spinach in iron levels, milk in calcium levels, and oranges in vitamin C levels.

Watercress recipes found on Savormania:

smoked salmon and watercress quiche

Smoked salmon and watercress quiche

Watercress recipes found elsewhere:

Are you looking for recipes with another ingredient that may not be seasonal? Check out my Recipe Index for inspiration.

4 comments on “seasonal produce guide for switzerland: may

    • - Post author

      You’re welcome Serena!

    • - Post author

      You’re welcome Stephanie! I’m glad you liked it!

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