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DINING: Springtime Eating From A To Z

Roasted chicken breasts, garlic mashed
potatoes and fiddlehead ferns. Photo by John
Herschell | Wikimedia.

Have you been taking advantage of the edible joys of spring? Eat seasonally, not just because the products are fresher and less expensive, but because some of them are only available in spring.

  • Veggies: Steam low-calorie artichokes, asparagus, broccoli rabe and Swiss chard. Put marvelous morels, snow peas and sugar snap peas in just about anything. Try nettles (the leaves of a flowering plant with a flavor like robust spinach), ramps and fun fiddlehead ferns. Have some fava beans with a nice Chianti. Zucchini and yellow squash are in season and more reasonably priced. Take a look at spring lettuces such as mâche and mizuna—wonderful flavors! While radishes are available year-round, spring radishes are sweeter. And of course, take advantage of fresh green peas: As much as you may be satisfied with frozen peas, fresh peas are in a class all their own.
  • Herbs: Garlic chives and garlic scapes are a real treat. Garlic chives are immature garlic plants pulled to thin the field; garlic scapes are the flowering stalks of the plant that are cut to promote bulb growth. Both have a mild, garlic flavor and can be snipped into a salad or used in any way that you would use green onion (scallion).
Fruit: Blood orange, with a raspberry-orange flavor, and Meyer lemons with sweeter, less acidic juice, are two of our favorite citrus fruits. If you’re not using them, you’re missing out! While tree fruit won’t appear until summer, there are delicious (and low-calorie) strawberries galore. While rhubarb is a vegetable, not a fruit, stewed rhubarb, sweetened with sugar or agave, is one of our favorite spring desserts.


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