31 Recipes to Make in May

Strawberry Vanilla Rhubarb Jam
Photo: Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

May means warmer weather, and while it might not technically be summer yet, it's not too early to break out the grill and mix up some refreshing drinks (Mudslides, anyone?). We've rounded up 31 recipes—one for each day of the month—that you can try throughout the next four weeks, from a juicy, flavorful grilled Tamarind Chicken for warmer days to a Creamy Vegan Pasta Primavera you can cozy up to on chilly nights. Dessert-wise, Strawberry-Rhubarb Cornmeal Skillet Cake is the ultimate seasonal treat, and if you're in the mood for something cold, Mango-Cashew Kulfi Pops will hit the spot. Read on for everything else we're going to make this month.

01 of 31

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cornmeal Skillet Cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Cornmeal Skillet Cake
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Juicy strawberries and tart rhubarb stud the golden brown top of this simple skillet cake. The mix of all-purpose flour and fine cornmeal gives this dessert a pound-cake-like density, while goat cheese and buttermilk keep the crumb nicely tender and moist. A dollop of rosemary-infused whipped cream ties the sweet and savory flavors together.

02 of 31

Classic Ceviche

Classic ceviche with red snapper, fresh vegetables, and crunchy pepitas
Greg DuPree

Though Peruvians claim ceviche as their national dish, chilled, citrus-dressed seafood is a mainstay in homes and restaurants in Central and South America almost anywhere ocean meets coastline. A knockout ceviche is the result of a delicate balance of heat, salt, acidity, freshness, and crunch. Although it's widely believed that soaking raw fish in an acidic liquid "cooks" the seafood, it actually just denatures the protein. As with any seafood recipe, it's essential to use the freshest, most sustainably sourced fish and shellfish you can get your hands on, both for flavor and for the sake of food safety.

03 of 31

Creamy Vegan Pasta Primavera

Vegan Pasta Primavera Recipe
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

A few smart swaps transform your favorite creamy spring pasta into a vegan-friendly masterpiece. Umami-rich nutrional yeast shoulders the duties of Parmesan, while buttery macadamia nut milk stands in for heavy cream.

04 of 31

Spring Pea Chaat with Lemon Raita

Spring Pea Chaat with Lemon Raita Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

This fresh and crunchy chaat stars a trio of spring peas punched up with a tempered mixture of whole cumin seeds, mustard seeds, chiles, and ginger. The tart lemon raita brings a welcome cooling element; spoon the extra over rice, naan, or fresh fruit.

05 of 31

Smoky Pasilla-and-Citrus Grilled Flank Steak

Smoky Pasilla and Citrus Grilled Flank Steak Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas

"On a recent trip to Oaxaca, I was mesmerized with the fruity, smoky pasilla de Oaxaca chiles so much that I brought back a bag of the chiles, as well as a basalt molcajete, in my suitcase," says cookbook author and F&W Cooks contributor Andrea Slonecker. "The deep flavor the chiles impart to beef is exceptional; if you can't find them, chipotle morita or chipotle meco chiles are good substitutes."

06 of 31

Mussels with Harissa and Basil

Mussels with Harissa and Basil Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Toasted walnuts are a surprise addition to the creamy, smoky red pepper puree that gets swirled into these harissa-spiked steamed mussels. Anisey Thai basil and salty-sour pickled onions compliment the sweet, plump mussels.

07 of 31

Chickpea Doubles with Tamarind and Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce

Chickpea Doubles with Tamarind and Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce Recipe
Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Christine Keely / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer

Traditional Trinidadian doubles are served open-faced and quickly wrapped in wax paper, letting the bara steam, and keeping the spicy filling piping hot. Try leftover tamarind sauce in margaritas, drizzled over fresh mangoes, or with roast pork.

08 of 31

Woven Lasagna with Prosciutto and Fresh Spinach Sauce

Woven Lasagna with Prosciutto and Spinach Sauce Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Weaving the pasta sheets in this lasagna allows the outer pieces to bubble and crisp in the oven around the creamy, rustic prosciutto-ricotta filling. Don't skip the fresh pasta sheets; their length and texture are key to weaving together this show-stopping dish.

09 of 31

Mango-Cashew Kulfi Pops

Mango Cashew Kulfi Pops Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Canned mango pulp works better in these frozen ice pops than fresh mangoes because of its concentrated flavor, which helps cut through the rich cashews and sweetened condensed milk. Use leftover pulp in this Spicy Mango-Mint Chutney.

10 of 31

Smashed Fava Beans on Toast with Pecorino and Mint

Smashed Fava Beans Toast with Pecorino and Mint Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas

"Fava beans are one of spring's most coveted ingredients, and my favorite way of preparing them is to smash them with mint and pecorino into a chunky spread for topping toast," Andrea Slonecker says. "Once the favas are blanched and shelled, the spread comes together in mere minutes. It makes a fine snack to start a party, but perch a poached egg on top and you've got breakfast or lunch."

11 of 31

Masala Paneer Kathi Rolls

Masala Paneer Kathi Rolls Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Fresh cabbage salad adds a sharp, acidic crunch to these warmly spiced, vegetable-filled rolls packed with springy cubes of paneer. Serve them filled or set out an assembly line for guests to make their own.

12 of 31

Stir-Fried Garlicky Snow Pea Shoots

Stir-Fried Garlicky Snow Pea Shoots
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Missie Neville Crawford

This recipe from cookbook author Grace Young is a delicious example of a "clear" stir-fry that uses very few ingredients, focusing on a pure translation of simple flavors. Sweet, tender snow pea shoots shine through mellow garlic, while white pepper perfumes the dish with its mild heat and fragrant floral notes. If using a skillet, cook the pea shoots in two batches to avoid crowding the pan.

13 of 31

Spring Herbs Soup with Fregola and Pancetta

Spring Herbs Soup with Fregola and Pancetta
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Inspired by s'erbuzzu, a classic Sardinian soup packed with more than a dozen varieties of herbs and spring greens, this recipe delivers big flavor with fresh parsley, tarragon, and chives. White beans, crispy bits of pancetta, and fregola sarda—tiny balls of dried semolina pasta—add heft; orzo or Israeli couscous are delicious substitutes. Stirring in a handful of tarragon, parsley, and chives just before serving this soup preserves the color and flavor of the delicate herbs.

14 of 31

Babi Panggang Karo (North Sumatran Grilled Pork)

Babi Panggang Karo (North Sumatran Grilled Pork) and Sambal Andaliman
Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairns / Prop Styling by Natasha Kolenko

Batak chef and adventurer Rahung Nasution shared this recipe for a fatty marinated pork dish beloved by the Batak tribes of North Sumatra, Indonesia. A simple but flavorful marinade of lemongrass, garlic, lime juice, and soy sauce holds up to high-heat grilling and helps the pork shoulder caramelize beautifully over the hot coals. Nasution pairs the smoky, rich pork with North Sumatran Sambal Andaliman, a powerfully refreshing condiment of green chiles, salt, and andaliman, the juicy green local relative of numbing Szechuan peppercorns, pounded together.

15 of 31

Opulent Grilled Cheese

Opulent Grilled Cheese
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

Inspired by former Food & Wine editor Margaret Eby's love of Zabar's in New York City, the combination of creamy, silky Taleggio and nutty aged Gruyère cheeses in these small but decadent sandwiches results in the perfect melt, with plenty of flavor. Pops of fresh salinity from lightly smashed capers stirred into sweet, jammy strawberries balance the richness.

16 of 31

Kashke Bademjan (Persian Kashk and Eggplant Dip)

Kashke Bademjan
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

A little thicker and saltier than yogurt, kashk is an Iranian dairy product that gives this aromatic eggplant dip its luscious texture and tart flavor. Floral saffron, fried dried mint, and more kashk dot the top, adding beautiful color. Serve this Kashke Bademjan, inspired by Naz Riahi's love of California-based Mission Ranch Market, with fresh vegetables and toasted flatbread for dipping.

17 of 31

Lamb Shoulder Chops with Herb and Sunflower Seed Salad

Lamb Shoulder Chops with Herb and Sunflower Seed Salad
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Lamb shoulder chops cook quickly; they're a very forgiving cut that's perfect for outdoor grilling. Here, Justin Chapple pairs the grilled lamb with a simple salad of parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, chives, and crunchy sunflower seeds—the tender herbs are a fresh foil for the lamb.

18 of 31

Chicken Fricassee Stir-Fry with Asparagus

Chicken Fricassee Stir Fry
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Missie Neville Crawford

This quick-cooking recipe from Grace Young showcases the technique for a "simple" stir-fry, where ingredients are continually added to the wok, layering flavor as each cooks perfectly. "Once you understand the basics of stir-frying, you don't have to limit yourself," Young says. Here, tender asparagus joins carrots and chicken in a speedy stir-fry seasoned with white wine instead of rice wine, and cream enriches the sauce.

19 of 31

Quindim (Brazilian Coconut Egg Custards)

Quindim (Brazilian Coconut Egg Custards)
Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairns / Prop Styling by Natasha Kolenko

These Brazilian treats feature a rich egg custard on the top and a chewy coconut crust on the bottom. Both crust and custard come from a single batter: The macaroon-like crust forms as the shredded coconut floats and browns while baking; once cooled, the desserts are inverted, revealing the shiny, sunny custard layer. White sugar will result in sunny yellow custard, while light brown sugar will tint it pale gold. Quindim, a term that traces its etymology from both Brazilian Portuguese and West African languages, may also appear in the plural as quindins.

20 of 31

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Scampi

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Scampi
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Although "scampi" are technically langoustines, in the United States the term has come to describe shrimp cooked with butter, garlic, and white wine. Here, the use of tequila, cilantro, and fresh lime juice offer a bold twist on the classic. Tender cilantro stems mellow slightly after a quick sauté, accenting the fresh cilantro leaves used to finish this dish. Serve it with a torn baguette to sop up the juices.

21 of 31

Tamarind Chicken

Tamarind Chicken
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

The beauty of this grilled tamarind chicken is both its sharp and piquant flavor and its simplicity. A potent tamarind-and-chipotle marinade renders a richly flavored, juicy, and tender chicken in mere minutes, making it equally suited for a weeknight meal or a dinner party. The tamarind concentrate in the marinade adds a sour funk that complements the freshness of the cilantro leaves and smoky heat of the chipotle chile paste. The marinade gives the chicken a dark, lacquered appearance and will char a little as it cooks, becoming caramelized, chewy, and ultimately, mouthwateringly delicious.

22 of 31

Mini Potato, Steak, and Chorizo Pies

Mini Potato, Steak and Chorizo Pies
Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The remarkable butcher and grass-fed-beef evangelist Pat Whelan is the author of The Irish Beef Book. Coauthored with the restaurant critic Katy McGuinness, the cookbook contains a simple-yet-divine dinner idea: these smallish "pies," filled with a smart combination of fresh chorizo and lean grass-fed ground beef. Seasoned with onion and Worcestershire—former Food & Wine Senior Food Editor Mary Frances Heck amped up the filling with extra spices in her adaptation of the dish here—they come together in a snap and can easily be made ahead. The topping of thinly sliced starchy russet potatoes forms a crispy, potato chip–like topping atop each meaty pie. It's a genius move that delivers the comfort of shepherd's pie without the extra steps involved in making mashed potatoes. All in all, this recipe will please kids and adults and—if you sub the meat for a plant-based version—vegetarians, too.

23 of 31

Blackened Fish Sandwiches with Horseradish Tartar Sauce

Blackened Fish Sandwiches with Horseradish Tartar Sauce
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

Fresh fillets of haddock are coated with smoky paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and thyme before they get a quick sear to develop a delicious crust. They are then sandwiched between toasted brioche buns smeared with a strong, tangy tartar sauce laced with refreshingly piquant horseradish. If your fish fillets are thicker than 3/4 inch, butterfly them by carefully cutting through the center of the fillet (parallel to the work surface), leaving 1/2 inch of the meat attached at the side so it can be opened like a book.

24 of 31

Stuffed Clams with Linguiça and Arugula

Stuffed Clams with Linguica and Arugula
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

Littleneck clams are blended with breadcrumbs, jalapeño, celery, arugula, and linguiça­—a Portuguese smoke-cured pork sausage—before they are stuffed back into their shells and baked until piping hot and lightly browned. Portuguese rolls are light and airy with a crisp crust, making them ideal for this stuffing: the crumb readily absorbs flavor. Save time by stuffing the clams in advance and then refrigerating them overnight. Bring the stuffed clams to room temperature before baking.

25 of 31

Aruba Ariba

Aruba Ariba
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ana Kelly / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

The best place to sip this classic rum punch is overlooking the sandy swath of Palm Beach at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, where bartender Juan "Jocky" Tromp invented it 59 years ago. Fresh pineapple and orange juices paired with sweet, syrupy grenadine tint this vibrant Aruban cocktail a stunning deep orange-red. Despite a blend of vodka, white rum, and crème de banana, this drink does not have a strongly alcoholic bite but rather stays fruity and mellow.

26 of 31

Strawberry-Vanilla-Rhubarb Jam

Strawberry Vanilla Rhubarb Jam
Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Recipe developer Jasmine Smith likes to pair rhubarb with a classic partner, strawberries, to bring a brightening acidity to this luscious jam. Strawberries' natural sugars and pectin also help the jam set after boiling. Choose crisp, thin stalks of young rhubarb that are firm, not wilting or woody, for the best flavor and texture.

27 of 31

Tamarind Millionaire's Shortbread

Tamarind Millionaire's Shortbread
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

The sourness of tamarind breathes new life into the classic Millionaire's Shortbread (also affectionately known as Caramel Slice), a traybake of layered shortbread, caramel, and chocolate that has been a fixture in home cook's kitchens since 1970 when the recipe was first published in the Australian Women's Weekly Magazine. Tamarind concentrate adds a gloriously sharp acidic profile to balance the decadent caramel layer of this version of the afternoon treat, topped with the bitter sweetness of dark chocolate and a coconutty shortbread biscuit base (food writer Rosie Birkett first pioneered this wonderful flavor combination).

28 of 31

Scallop Grenobloise

Scallop Grenobloise
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

Grenobloise means in the style of the southeastern French city of Grenoble, and refers to a classic French sauce of lemon and capers. Here, beautifully seared scallops with a golden crust are served in a sauce popping with acidity from lemon, brininess from capers, and slight warmth from mildly piquant jalapeños. Toss them with a favorite pasta for a quick, simple meal. For the best results, seek out Massachusetts dayboat scallops. They are harvested daily and are dry-packed, which yields the best flavor and sear.

29 of 31

Tofu Pad Thai

Mushroom and Tofu Pad Thai
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Pad Thai, also called kway teow pad Thai (meaning "Thai-style stir-fried rice noodles"), is customized in endless ways by street food vendors, restaurateurs, and home cooks all over the world. But at the heart of this beloved Thai noodle dish is a delectably sweet, salty, and sour sauce that's seasoned with fish sauce, sugar, tamarind, and lime juice. Lara Lee's meatless pad thai heroes hearty, savory fresh oyster and shiitake mushrooms, which suffuse the dish with earthy flavor and combine beautifully with chewy noodles, golden-fried tofu, fresh, crisp bean sprouts, lightly spicy long red chiles, and crunchy peanuts. Tamarind sits firmly at this pad thai's center, balancing the dish and holding it all together with its delightfully sour high note.

30 of 31

Mudslide

Mudslide
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ana Kelly / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Created in the 1970s at Grand Cayman's Wreck Bar at Rum Point, this potent blend of vodka, Kahlúa, and Baileys Original Irish Cream might taste like a milkshake, but it can't be ordered virgin because all you'd get is a cup of crushed ice! The trio of alcohol blends into a smooth and velvety cocktail just sweet and chocolaty enough without being cloying. A generous drizzle of chocolate syrup and a bright red maraschino cherry with a dusting of ground cinnamon top off each glass.

31 of 31

Charred Chile–Marinated Grilled Chicken Tacos

Charred Chile-Marinated Grilled Chicken
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Nidia Cueva

To help build deep layers of flavor in these tacos, chef Fermín Núñez begins his marinade by toasting and charring aromatics: dried chiles, cinnamon, allspice, and onions all hit the heat before soaking with juicy chicken thighs for an hour, imparting smoky flavor before they cook quickly on the grill or in the oven. Pair them with fresh tomatillo salsa cruda for a next-level taco night.

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