What foods say “Spring” to you? [NOT 6/4/21]

overhead view of someone prepping food - cuttting board, some chopped veggies, and a stock pot with ingredients in it

Hi, friends! I probably spend too much time thinking about cooking and food, but hey I did this before the pandemic so whatevs.

Early April is really hard for me because it’s getting soooo close to when I can get the good stuff at the farmer’s market. Lettuce and greens are coming in now. In a few weeks the good kale will start coming in. The lacinato kale, aka the bestest kale. If you don’t like kale, well, lacinato kale is also called dinosaur kale because of the leaf texture and that’s fucking cool.

And then my favorite part of spring!!! ASPARAGUS!!! When I can get the thin fresh spring stalks from the local folks? I don’t even cook it. Chop it and toss with a good lemon vinaigrette (preferably with Meyer lemons because their flavor is better) and some fresh herbs, chopped shallot, and steamed peas? So good! Sometimes I use it as the base for a salad nicoise. Sometimes I add something like chickpeas to make it a full meal on its own. Really, it’s amazing. You could add fresh parm or feta if you wanted some cheese (although it’s not necessary and I learned recently some folks here are not fans of parm).

Another fantastic thing to do with spring asparagus, if the only available is thicker stalks, is to roast it along with red onions and fennel. Unless you hate fennel, in which case… yay more for me!

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24 Comments

  1. It used to be peas, but we aren’t growing peas anymore so I guess it’s asparagus.  Our bed is all cleaned up and ready for the growing season.  I’d expand on this, but I’d just be ripping myself off from what I’ve already wrote for this weekend’s Dirty Business.

      • Fresh peas are delicious and so are frozen ones. I don’t know why they can’t be successfully canned by agri-business, like Del Monte or Green Giant. They’re always these half-dead, sloppy messes. 

    • ooh!
      When I was a kid, I knew a couple places where wild (maybe feral? i dunno…) asparagus existed.  although, it was always a pretty short window twixt when it was a visible stalk, before it bloomed into some feathery behemoth…

  2. Spring is mostly a continuation of winter for me in culinary terms, at least until the local farmers markets really get going later in the season. I’m still buying whatever off season produce I want from the grocery store. 
     
    The only ingredient I can really think of that I associate with spring is fiddleheads. I didn’t grow up with them, but discovered them as an adult, especially as I started spending more time in Vermont. They’re very tasty, a bit similar in subtle flavor to artichokes maybe, and they’re only around for a short season in the spring. 

  3. Ramps. Apricots. I also love asparagus, which I’ve already enjoyed from the green market. And English peas are great, but I rarely have the opportunity or budget, so I tend to enjoy them at restaurants, or in ravioli dishes. 

  4. Rhubarb! Asparagus! Spinach! Garlic scapes! 
     
    The extent of my gardening ability, unfortunately, is the potato in a jar on the kitchen windowsill. I love the IDEA of gardening, I can, I cook… but I can’t get anything to grow. I murder house plants effortlessly, and what I manage not to kill, the cat usually takes care of for me. And here, there’s really no good place for a garden. The only sunny spot is on the hillside next to the road, and I don’t think that would work too well. 

  5. if it warm enough for me to think salad is dinner…its probably spring…
    or couscous
    generally if i stop making food that goes down like a brick…its spring…or summer
    well…probably not winter at least

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