Well folks, it looks like we’re finally climbing out of the winter. Just as I was beginning to think that the days of going outside sans a ski-mask were a thing of the past, the temperature climbed over 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the ice around my melancholy heart melted. With the return of the warmth comes a brand new basket of vibrant fruits and veggies, ready and waiting to be chopped up and eaten. Lets take a quick look at the fruits and vegetables that you can expect to see at your local farmers market within the coming weeks.
Many people are unfamiliar with fiddleheads mainly because their peak season is so fleeting. Unlike other fruits and vegetables, they are not cultivated. They are harvested in the wild and thus, they’re only available for purchase while their season lasts. So, get ’em while they’re hot! Tasting like a cross between asparagus and green beans, fiddleheads have a wonderful earthy flavor. Try sauteeing them with a bit of garlic and olive oil (or another healthy oil) for a simple side dish that is light and fresh.
Here’s another spring vegetable that gets little to no love: ramps! While they have a large following in the foodie world, the everyday home cook hardly ever gets to enjoy the unique flavor of this green. Sweet and funky at the same time, ramps are sometimes referred to as wild garlic. After the blandness of the stored produced we’ve been enjoying all winter, the fresh, pungent flavor that ramps deliver will be a welcomed change. Grilled, boiled, chopped, sauteed, or roasted.You can even try them on a homemade pizza recipe! The options are endless and the results are delicious.
Turn off your ovens and break out your salad spinners because spinach is back in season! While you can buy it year round in your local supermarket, nothing compares to biting into a your first salad of the warm season and tasting the mild flavor of the fresh and versatile spinach. Forget subjecting it to the heat of your stove and enjoy it straight up with some craisins, sliced almonds, and a light vinaigrette!
I guess green really is the color of spring! A warm weather favorite, asparagus is everything we’ve been waiting all winter for: bright, sweet, and delicate in flavor. Its harvesting season is short, so it’s best to grab a couple of bunches as soon as they hit the market. Be careful not to over cook the stalks, as you’ll take them from tender to mushy in minutes flat. A quick blanching is all asparagus needs to slightly soften its stalks without sacrificing any of its flavor. Once you’ve cooked it correctly, feel free to munch on it solo or use it in a dish.
Lastly, add some color to your spring shopping list with the addition of rhubarb! Tart, crisp, and vibrant, rhubarb is a stalk-like vegetable that is commonly used as a fruit but amazing as a dessert. It has a unique flavor that pairs best with sweeter fruits, such as strawberries or oranges. Though often found in the dessert section of most menus, rhubarb can be used in plenty of savory dishes. It’s sour flavor compliments delicate meats such as chicken so try using it in conjunction with lemon to deepen the flavor profile of your next dish! The bright color and tart flavor will drag your mind and body out of hibernation and back into the elements.
What are you going to try this spring?
For more inspiration on what ingredients to start incorporating into your diet, find our full collection here.All images via Thinkstock