Rainy May

Most years we get hardly any rain at all in May.  Some years we get no rain apart from the occasional thunderstorm between the beginning of April and the end of September.  The last few days have been very wet and grey.  It’s a bit gloomy (although good for the garden and the water table), but it makes the colours of the fresh new vine leaves stand out against the damp earth and stone.

vines 1

vines 2 

In the olive groves the trees are covered with flower buds, all about to open:

olive buds 1

olive buds 2

And in the garden the mangetout peas are flowering at last:

pea flowers 1

pea flowers 2

I picked our only artichoke – a perfect small one:


I wanted to taste its full flavour – and share it between two people! – so after removing the outside leaves I sliced it thinly and fried it in olive oil.  This really concentrates the flavour and the slices are delicious served with just a sprinkle of salt.


I first ate them like this in a restaurant in Figueres in Catalunya and since then have often copied the idea at home. Recently Maddogtvdinners posted a tempting photo of this dish, eaten in a restaurant in Barcelona, but I don’t think I can cut them quite as finely at home!  This is one of the simplest artichoke dishes, but you need to use very young artichokes without a choke.

14 thoughts on “Rainy May

  1. We have the same endless rain, but my poor olive trees suffered really badly in winter’s frosts and have lost so many leaves. They’re just beginning to shoot new leaves let alone flower.. I’ve cooked artichokes in this way, and they’re wonderful.

  2. That looks like the perfect way to enjoy that one precious bud!

    I think we are finished with the rain here for the season and probably won’t see another drop until sometime in the autumn. I do enjoy our annual summer droughts but that first good rain in October or November is always so refreshing.

  3. Love friend artichokes and you shared it out very fairly! Beautiful photos in this post, we´ve had the strangest weather here going from Spring, to blazing summer, to damp Spring again. They have a saying in Spain which roughly translates as “Until 40th May (i.e. June!) don´t pack your cardy away” 😉

  4. You really sliced that artichoke thinly in order to make servings for two. Well done! I’ll be out fo town for a short spell but, when I return, I think I’ll get back to that market and buy more artichokes. I’d like to give your recipe a try — if I can cut them thin enough. If I can, it sounds like a delicious way to serve them.

  5. I am fed up with the weather now, time for some sun! Our beautiful artichoke plants were all but murdered by the winter snow. The new shoots are about 2 inches high!!! Diane

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