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Well, Spring has finally arrived where I live! My purple crocus are up and blooming, and all the other bulbs are at least up and my yard gets its first haircut (mowing) of the year tomorrow afternoon.
This morning at breakfast I had strawberries, eggs, and the first of the asparagus with a bit of clarified butter! This afternoon I spent planting my herb pots, trimming back the dead stuff that was around the strawberry plants, and general spring yard stuff. I really want to put out my swing in the backyard, but it’s still too early for that I think.
So, for the seasonal eating BTD-ing AB, what does spring bring with it? Obviously, the return of eggs, strawberries, and asparagus as I have already mentioned, but what else?
fennel bulbs (which are great braised, cut thin and made into a salad, or added to an au gratin), green garlic, Swiss chard (silverbeet or chard), kale, sorrel, frisée, dandelion salad, arugula, and Belgian endive (wonderful blanced to removed some of the bitterness and then baked in bechamel sauce with some swiss cheese and turkey bacon), baby spinach, watercress, lettuces of all sorts of types, broccoli rabe, white/button mushrooms, snow peas & sugar peas, green onions (scallions), baby leeks and beets, and red skinned potatoes, fresh ginger root, limes, lemons, papayas (which are nice mixed with lime and honey to make a fruit slush), pineapples, and if you are incredibly lucky: the tiny and perfumy frais des bois (Alpine strawberry). Cherries are still months away. They are sort of a bridge between spring and summer.
From the protein angle: salmon will soon be in season, the big succulent sea scallops, and of course, the traditional lamb. Herbs to go with these foods that are especially nice now or will be just very shortly are mint, dill, chives, parsley, thyme and various edible flowers to both candy for dessert garnishes and to toss into salads to add color and a peppery type of flavor. The herbs can be fun to play with to make new types of dressings and pesto like concoctions.
So, what kinds of things do I plan to make using these ingredients other than the obvious salads? One of my favorite breakfasts is swiss cheese & asparagus quiche with a rice crust. Asparagus drizzled with walnut oil and sprinkled with walnuts is good, too. There’s potage St. Germaine and one of my Belgian favorites: potato leek soup! Gravlax is good, too. Oh, I can't not mention manchego-swiss cheese puffs filled with asparagus.
With this spring time fare I also tend to actually prefer to switch to the white wines...sauvignon blanc, champagne, and assorted sparklings are my personal top three.
On to desserts now: lemon cheesecake, lemon trifle, layer cake with marzipan filling, white-chocolate mousse, pineapple compote, lemon or lime meringue style pies, tuxedo strawberries, and pink champagne wedding cake!
I tell ya folks, it's absolutely a terrible thing to be an AB - there’s just nothing whatsoever for us to eat! :-)