En saison: What to put on your plate in June
Because the French never eat strawberries in winter and even different types of goat’s cheese have seasonality...
Apricot, blackcurrant, melon, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, plum, rhubarb and wild strawberry.
Focus on: apricots
The apricot is a fruit of the sun par excellence – thanks to its colour, its velvety, orange skin stained with red, its soft and juicy flesh and its slightly acidulous taste, it is so reminiscent
of summer. And also because it needs plenty of sun to ripen well: in France, it is mainly grown in the Languedoc-Roussillon and Rhône-Alpes regions.
When the season ends in mid-August, it will be time to get freezing your fruit – apricots can be used to decorate and give texture to tagines; or turn them into jam to provide a succulent substitute before sunny days are here again.
Do not rely simply upon an apricot’s beautiful colour: it does not guarantee maturity. It is the fragrance and suppleness of the fruit that should guide you. After harvesting, it loses a little acidity each day but matures little, so it must be chosen already ripe.
Artichoke, asparagus, aubergine, beetroot, chard, carrot, celery, cauliflower, new cabbage, cucumber, courgette, spinach, fennel, green bean, aromatic herbs, lettuce, bay leaf, turnip, onion, garlic, leek, green peas, snow peas, sweet peppers, potato, radish.
Recipe: Ratatouille Nicoise
Ingredients: 600g red and yellow peppers, 1.2kg long butter courgettes, 1.2kg aubergines, 400g white onions, 1.2kg ripe tomatoes, 30g garlic, 10 basil leaves, 250cl olive oil, 1 bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf, flat parsley stalk, celery leaves), salt and freshly ground pepper.
Rinse the vegetables, peel the garlic cloves, onions and prepare the vegetables: cut the ends of the courgettes, aubergines, destem the peppers, wash them, dice them into 2 to 3 cm cubes.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan, brown the vegetables separately, drain them in a colander and pour them into a casserole dish. Peel and seed the tomatoes, crush them and add them to the vegetables. Add seasoning: salt, ground pepper, bouquet garni and crushed garlic cloves.
Cover with parchment paper and a lid. Simmer for 40 to 45 minutes in the oven at 120-150°. At the end of cooking, before serving, add the chopped basil.
Fish, shellfish and crustaceans
Pike, horse mackerel, gilthead bream, haddock, pollock, swordfish, herring, lobster, langoustine, whiting, John Dory, sardines, mussels, crab.
Focus on: John Dory (Saint-Pierre)
Delicate and tasty, this fish is a favourite among seafood lovers. When buying, its skin should be shiny and glossy, its eyes prominent, and its flesh firm. Cook it simply wrapped in parchment with a drizzle olive oil.