Ingredients For Fresh Spring Recipes
Fresh Spring Vegetables At long last, winter is over. If you're freshening up your house with spring cleaning, why not freshen up your repertoire of dishes, too? Spring means there are all sorts of produce items that aren't available...
At long last, winter is over. If you're freshening up your house with spring cleaning, why not freshen up your repertoire of dishes, too? Spring means there are all sorts of produce items that aren't available other times of year, such as:
Ramps, also known as spring onions or wild leeks, are a wild member of the onion family. They have a taste similar to a scallion or a chive -- milder than onion and not has strong as garlic. Once a mainstay of recipes from rural areas, ramps are now popular on high-end restaurant menus during the rare window they are available each spring. Look for them at farmers' markets and make sure that when you prepare them, you don't overwhelm them with seasonings or spices.
Over the course of the summer, fiddlehead ferns will unfurl and grow into what we all think a fern looks like. In the spring, however, they remain in graceful curls. Chefs prize these delicate greens in salads. We've found that they are an excellent accompaniment to something light, like chicken or fish. Try this recipe from one of our older posts!
Pea shoots are the leaves, vines and stems of sweet pea plants. They can be added to salads, but retain a freshness and vibrancy when they're sauteed. Unlike ramps or fiddleheads, pea shoots stand up to strong flavorings, like garlic or chili oil. Pea shoots are popular in Chinese cuisine, so it you spot them in the produce aisle, consider something along those lines.
No roundup of spring ingredients would be complete without mentioning strawberries. Sure, they're available year-round, but these big, imported berries tend to be rather flavorless. Spring strawberries are "real" strawberries -- smaller, darker and more intensely flavored than what's available at other times. When shopping for strawberries, buy ones that are fragrant. Strawberries are delicate and very perishable, so do give them a once-over. You want to make sure the ones in the middle of the container haven't molded or mildewed.
It's a similar story with asparagus. Thanks to modern agriculture, you can get asparagus any time of year, but it tends to be woody and flavorless. Spring asparagus is the real deal; fresh, vibrant and delicate. Asparagus is best blanched or very quickly steamed. Make sure that it doesn't get mushy!
If you use any of these ingredients in some fresh spring recipes, let us know how it goes in the comment section of this blog!
As always, please feel free to contact us for more cooking ideas, inspirations or answers to questions.