June arrives brimming with soft fruits– raspberries, cherries, strawberries, blueberries….the list is endless (just typing this is making me long for an Eton Mess or a Pavlova!!!). Add to this all the wonderful herbs and tender young vegetables that are almost leaping from the ground and you should find that your shopping basket is bursting with a riot of colours and flavours this month.

We absolutely adore beetroot, it is a vegetable that can tolerate cooler temperatures, so it is a reliable vegetable to grow here in the UK, and it is almost completely edible – the greens are wonderful in salads and the roots can of course be roasted, pickled or steamed.   There are a gazillion varieties to choose from varying in both size and colour from bright red to striped to pale white or orange hues, they make such an exciting addition to any plate. The website lovebeetroot.co.uk has lots of interesting facts if you’d like to know more, and don’t forget they are most definitely to be included as one of your 5-a-day, as they contain potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants and soluble fibre.

Here is a recipe for a lovely starter (or in our trade it can be served as bowl food too) to give you some inspiration on ways to use this very clever little vegetable!

Marinated Beetroot with Grilled Goat’s Cheese & Puy Lentil Salad – Serves 4


  • 6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 4 raw beetroot, peeled and very thinly sliced on a mandolin or with a food processor slicing attachment
  • 2 x 100g goat’s cheese rounds with rind, halved horizontally
  • 1 Tin of Puy Lentils (ready cooked & easy to use)
  • 4 handfuls wild rocket


  1. Mix the oil, vinegar, sugar and thyme in a shallow dish and season well. Add the strained puy lentils and the sliced beetroot and marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight if you like.
  2. Heat grill to high. Season the goat’s cheese slices, then place on an oiled baking tray and grill for 2-3 minutes until golden and melting.
  3. Strain the beetroot & lentil mix, reserving the marinade, and divide between 4 plates. Top with the washed rocket, a round of goat’s cheese and a little more rocket. Drizzle with the marinade and serve.

In season this month

Fruits & Nuts
Blackcurrants, Cherries, Elderflowers, Gooseberries, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Tayberries

Vegetables & Herbs
Asparagus, Basil, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Chard, Chervil, Chives, Coriander, Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, Globe Artichokes, Green Beans, Lettuce, Lovage, Mangetout, Marjoram, Mint, New Potatoes, Onions, Oregano, Parsley, Peas, Radishes, Rosemary, Rocket, Sage, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Onions, Summer Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Tomatoes, Watercress

Meat & Game
Lamb, Wood Pigeon

Fish & Shellfish
Cod, Coley, Crab, Haddock, Herring, Langoustine, Mackerel, Plaice, Pollack, Prawns, Sardines, Scallops, Sea Bream, Sea Trout, Shrimp, Squid, Whelks, Whitebait, Wild Halibut, Wild Salmon

Going out of season
Asparagus, Elderflower, Gooseberry, Hare, New Potatoes

Suzanne James is a professional chef, wife and mother who has lived in South East London all her life.
You can email Suzanne with any comments or questions at info@suzannejames.co.uk