With longer and warmer days finally here, June is a perfect month to start eating more grilled proteins. Grilling is one of the lightest ways to prepare meat or fish. Simply brush your cuts with some olive oil, herbs, salt and perhaps a touch of lemon. The best meat picks for June are lamb, chicken and veal. And who could resist an herbed roasted chicken, which could be reused for a nice cold packed lunch the next day? For fish try mackerel and sardines. For non-meat proteins, summer bean salads with fresh herbs and seasonal vegetables are a very satisfying option.
Did you know that there is a special type of spring cheese that's best just right now? The spring Gouda is firm and smooth with creamy taste. A perfect cheese for young children. Another great cheese to try now is Camembert. If you can, try to find one that comes from Normandy, as those cows graze on soil enriched with apple trees, producing a very distinct and delicate taste. The trick with Camembert cheese is to let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before eating. You want it to be slightly oozy and spreadable. Camembert is also great baked. Here is a good recipe:
What isn't in season in June? This is a great time to start enjoying first real tomatoes (not the plasticky greenhouse variety), the delicate garden peas, green beans, radishes, eggplant, zucchini, artichokes and aromatic herbs. The young vegetables are truly a stupendous addition to any meal. Preferably serve them raw or slightly steamed to preserve all their amazing flavor and nutrients.
If you live close by to a farm, plan on going cherry picking! The season is relatively short and cherry picking or eating are really one of the childhood highlights! Other key fruits to enjoy in June are tender little apricots, raspberries, nectarines, peaches, and melon. Want to impress your kids? Try making a cute little "rubik's cube" with fruit cubes.
If you get your hands on cheap fruit, cut it up and freeze in bags. You'll be glad you invested the time in winter. And of course, cherry clafoutis is really the dessert or breakfast dish to make this month.
I don't know why, but in June my urge to make quinoa salads really comes out. One of my favorite recipes is this Radish Quinoa salad. I also love making other grain salads with fresh peas, lots of herbs and tomatoes. For fun little packed lunch sandwiches I like to make my own Mini Bread Rolls, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, nuts or sunflower seeds.