Spring has sprung!
Finally! Signs of life everywhere have begun to show! After what seemed to be an interminable winter, our day lilies and hostas have popped up, and our magnolia tree is in full bloom. While the green grass and pretty flowers are beautiful to see, the real excitement for a chef this time of year is the start of the food growing season.
Fortunately I have developed relationships with several area farms who have greenhouses and can provide me with some vegetables year round, so it never feels like complete famine. But the variety of vegetables and fruits I will be able to source will increase dramatically as the weeks progress and summer gets into full swing.
Particular favorites this time of year for me are the abundant fresh greens I have been getting, including arugula and claytonia. For those who do not know claytonia, it is also called miner’s lettuce and was discovered by the gold miners growing wild in California. It is a tender and sweet green that has an almost clover like shape and is fantastic as a garnish in soups as it does not wilt like spinach. And of course arugula is fantastic in both salads and in pesto. I also am extremely fond of asparagus and cannot get enough of the fresh specimen. I use it for soups, salads, roasted, grilled, shaved raw ... you name it.
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