5 Spring Foods to Look Forward to
When it comes to food, spring is easily my favorite season! There is so much freshness around this time of year, it’s tough to pick my top five! In Northern California, we recently had a good rainstorm followed by warm sunshine. While the rains only made a small dent in our drought, the rains brought much needed water to us.
The result of that weather is that the hills have turned green, bringing out the wildflowers. The rains also helped out the farmers and ranchers in the state, who have been struggling to grow their crops and feed their animals. We need more rain for sure, but it’s wonderful to start to see spring produce showing up at the markets. My favorite thing about so many spring foods is that most of them require very little prep – many can even be eaten raw.
Here are the top five foods I’m looking forward to this spring!
Typically in season from March-May, artichokes are delicious however you cook them. My favorite way is to steam them and dip them into a mustard vinaigrette, but you can also grill or bake them. They can be a little intimidating the first time you approach them, but I wrote a guide on my blog for those of you who want some more instruction.
Usually available from February until May, asparagus are best when the stalks are crisp. Thick or thin doesn’t matter, that’s just a matter of personal preference, but whichever you pick it’s best to cut or snap off the very bottom of the stalk as it’s usually too fibrous to chew. I find that cooking them quickly in a sauté pan with a little butter or oil really brings out the fresh flavor of spring asparagus. Season with a squirt of lemon, salt & pepper, and maybe some parmesan, and you’re set!
Fresh peas start to appear in late March or April, and to me the flavor really symbolizes the start of Spring. These are truly at their best right after harvest, within a few hours even! Popped out of the shell and eaten raw, or whole pods on a crudités platter, spring peas are one of my favorite things. They are so sweet and delicious!
Be sure to pick out crisp stalks of rhubarb, they should not be flimsy or curled. And don’t eat the leaves! Something to keep in mind is that the darker the red color of the stalk, the sweeter the taste will be. My favorite way to use rhubarb is in my mom’s pie recipe, I look forward to it every spring!
Spring Onions (both the red and white varieties) have a short season, so be sure to enjoy them while you can! My favorite way to prepare them is to lightly season with oil and salt and pepper, and throw them on the grill with some organic, pasture-raised steaks.
Bio: Lindsay is a holistic psychotherapist in Berkeley, California. She also has training as a health coach, and incorporates health and wellness into her mental health practice as well as her personal life. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking as well as cooking and blogging about nutritious foods. Please visit her website for more about her therapy services, and www.zwickspicks.com for her recipe blog.