Along with the blooming flowers and warming weather, fresh produce is undoubtedly one of the best parts of spring. Try adding these beauties to your table this season.
Little gems. They are like single-serving mini versions of romaine lettuce. Remove the outer leaves, and the sweet, crisp interior is great raw or grilled.
Fava beans. To shell and peel them, split open the pods and remove the beans. Cook in boiling water 30 seconds, drain, and rinse under cold water. Squeeze each bean to remove the skin.
Sweet peas. They pack a significant amount of vitamins C and K, magnesium, and fiber.
Sugar snap peas. These should be super crisp and, true to their name, give a good snap when broken in half.
Leeks. This member of the onion family is fibrous raw but meltingly tender when cooked.
More harbingers of spring
Finding these three growing outside or for sale at farmers’ markets is a sign of the season. Here’s what to look for:
Garlic scapes. Bright, pale green, they should snap like beans, and taste like garlicky scallions. Young and tender, they’re great broiled or sautéed. Later in the season they’re tough and are only appropriate for pesto.
Fiddleheads. Grassy, earthy, and nutty tasting, these ferns should be tightly whorled and firm, not slimy. Blanch (boil briefly, shock in cold water, drain) before cooking—trim stem ends just before blanching.
Ramps. They should have firm white bulbs with unblemished leaves, and a pungent, but never sour, aroma. Part of the onion family, their flavor is like a blend of onions and garlic.
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