by Carrie Havranek
With the arrival of May, we’re looking for reasons to get outside and eat outside. Spring is in full bloom and with days that are warmer and longer, we want all the salads and all the grilled foods. And then there’s Memorial Day at the end of the month, which unofficially marks the start of summer—no matter that the solstice is still almost month away. And so, we bring to you the late-spring-early-summer eats that we’re all craving right now. These recipes celebrate easy, fresh eating at its finest: easy dinners that become even easier lunches the next day, loads of veggies, and let’s not forget about fruit-filled desserts. Here’s what to cook in May.
1. Easy Grilled Vegetables with Basil Sauce from Damn Delicious
If you’re looking for an excuse to grill something, gather up some of your favorite veggies and drizzle them with basil sauce. The basil is a beautiful complement and also a reminder that summer is on the horizon.
2. Strawberry Coconut Tart from Brooklyn Supper
I imagine making this gorgeous (vegan, gluten-free) tart, keeping it in the fridge, and slicing off little pieces of it as the week goes by. The only sweetener is a little bit of maple syrup for the crust; the strawberries bring the rest.
3. Roasted New Potatoes with Mint from Rose Water and Orange Blossoms
These might look like regular potatoes to you, but have you ever had potatoes with mint? If you wanted to skip par-cooking the potatoes (boiling them part of the way before roasting them), you could just roast them. But definitely don’t skip the combination of lemon, olive oil, and mint. What a flavor revelation.
4. Curry-Roasted Vegetable and Lentil Kale Salad from Minimalist Baker
This is salad is your dinner and lunch plan, or lunch and then dinner plan. Regardless, it takes just 30 minutes to make — and yes, you should absolutely, 100 percent make both the tahini sauce and the green curry dressing.
5. The Best Rosemary Garlic Steak from Vintage Kitchen Notes
The title of this recipe does not lie: Fresh rosemary and garlic are so perfect on steak. Besides, grilling steak is also an excuse for great sides. May we suggest the grilled veggies in this roundup, or maybe potatoes, packed in foil and drizzled with the same rosemary-garlic butter? Dinner doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious and healthy.
6. Air Fryer Blackened Cauliflower Tacos from Sprinkles and Sea Salt
It doesn’t seem possible to tire of cauliflower; it’s a blank slate that can take on so many other flavors really well, but it also does well on its own. Here, it’s tossed into the air fryer and served with a pineapple salsa and kale. Vegetarian, to boot!
7. Roasted Radish Mini Bagels from My Goodness Kitchen
Mini anything in food form is cute, yes. But these are also a great quick lunch or a fun dinner to eat with the kids. Pair with a fresh soup or salad.
8. Grilled Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers from Foodie Crush
Chicken, how do we love thee? Grilled on a skewer with other simpatico flavors will do just nicely. Slide the grilled chicken, scallions, and lemon off the skewers, and eat them on their own, tossed with brown rice, quinoa, pasta, or alongside potatoes. (It keeps coming back to potatoes, doesn’t it?)
9. Lemony Spring Pasta with Vegetables and Herbs from the First Mess
Think of this as your lighter, healthier pasta salad, brightened up with lemon, artichokes, asparagus, peas and fresh herbs, but with some protein from the chickpeas. This is a pasta salad you could take out of side dish status.
10. Easy Tuna Nicoise Salad from the Seasoned Mom
The best part of this recipe is that you’re using canned tuna, so it comes together quickly. If you’ve got olives in the pantry or in the fridge, some greens, and some hard-boiled eggs, you’re even further ahead of the game.