Finally winter has melted away and now we find ourselves in Spring. The clocks sprang forward, and yes, losing that extra hour was a little bit painful. But the extra daylight gives us more time to play. The trees are blooming, the flowers are blooming, and everything is…well…covered in yellow-green pollen. *Cough* *Hack* * Sneeze* Yep, allergies are crazy this year, so I hope you’ve got yours under control.
But all that doesn’t stop us from enjoying Spring. And the best part for me? Spring produce! We’ve turned the corner on heavy winter vegetables, and now it’s time to enjoy the bounty of spring with all its colors and flavors. Wow! It’s a great time to mix and match and experiment with all veggies red, orange, yellow, and green. Radishes, carrots, onions, and lettuce. All great foods, and that’s just a short list.
All these scream Spring to me, but like everybody else, I do have my favorites. Here’s my TOP 5!:
1. Asparagus. Big and fat, or small and skinny. This powerful vegetable is kind of a big deal. These tasty spears not only provide high levels of nutrients like protein and calcium, but they also provide a whole bunch of antioxidants. Did you know you can actually watch asparagus grow? You can even find both white and purple varieties.
2. Peas. These little green balls of fiber, protein and minerals actually belong to the family of legumes. They’re not really a vegetable; they’re considered a fruit. That’s because the pea is the seed of the pod. And no, Clarence Birdseye did not invent peas. He was actually the first one to freeze these little gems during the 1920’s. We’ve been freezing peas ever since. (Chef Tip: frozen peas are one frozen vegetable that I actually recommend!)
3. Lemons. Now, who doesn’t love a tall glass of tangy, tart lemonade sweetened to perfection? Nobody I know of anyway! The acidity in lemons is a natural thirst quencher and can brighten up a dish. Vinegars and lemons are widely used to balanced the flavors of a dish.
4. Blueberries. Muffins, cakes, tarts, scones, and much more. There’s so much you can do with blueberries. Naturally sweet and tasty, they’re incredibly healthy and nutritious. They help boost heart health and brain function, so they’re worth adding to your meal or snack. Besides that, their deep indigo color adds a certain pizazz to any plate. Buy them in bulk at your local farmer’s market, or even take a trip to a local farm and pick your own. (If you’re in Knoxville there’s a pick-your-own blueberry farm on Bluegrass Rd off Ebenezer. Check for it on Google!)
5. Strawberries. Oh, these luscious berries are truly a delight. Bite into the goodness of a plump, juicy berry and savor the sweetness as remnants of bright red juice run down your hand and arm. Honestly, that’s a real treat. We can thank a French spy for that. Yessir. A French spy smuggled a load of strawberries from Chile, into France, and from there, those decadent berries made their way to the United States. All because of espionage. Imagine that!
So, those are five of my favorite Spring flavors. I use them throughout the entire season. And in a lot of different ways. You might be wondering how…well…I’ve got you covered. Read on for a quick and easy, spring-inspired recipe. Hope you enjoy.
Here’s to making life better one meal at a time!
Chef Kevin Culinary
Food For Thought:
Here’s a quick and easy (and healthy) Spring recipe…
Spring Vegetable Pasta
- 1 lb linguine, cooked
- 8 oz, radishes, sliced in half
- 1 bunch asparagus spears, ends trimmed
- 8 oz, frozen peas, thawed
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 Tbl, olive oil
- 1 Tbl unsalted butter
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- boil linguine according to package directions; reserve 1 cup of cooking water, drain but do not rinse, set aside
- heat a sauce pan on medium hi; add 1 Tbl of olive oil and saute radishes until tender, turning heat down as necessary; set radishes aside
- in same pan, add 1 Tbl of olive oil and sauce asparagus until tender being careful not to overcook; add frozen peas
- add lemon zest, linguine, reserved pasta water, butter, and olive oil; stir with tongs to evenly coat the noodles
Give this a try. Experiment with it. Change it up any way you like. And let me know what you think.
My in-home meal prep service has always been about saving you time and solving the inevitable dinner dilemma. It’s been my priority to deliver a high quality service with attention to detail.
It’s been with much consideration I’ve decided it necessary to increase my service fees for meal prep coming Summer 2023. I’ll send more details soon but please know this will ensure I can continue providing you a great service and an amazing value!
Making your life better one meal at a time