As we say good bye to the month of March and all its food events, we welcome April for its bounty of freshness that now fills the aisles at the markets. Strawberries have been bursting with flavor for the past several weeks. They are ripe and ready and make a great snack and enhance any meal.
Skip the white asparagus from Chile as the first sprigs of springtime green asparagus are ready for crunching as many farmers return to the farm markets. Asparagus, as a food, spurs numerous lengthy discussions about its preparation. There are those who subscribe to the thin spear school as the tastiest product that merely needs a quick dip into boiling water for a wonderful al dente taste. The other camp looks for thick spears that need more time in boiling water; more monitoring. Whatever your preference, it is best to select uniform stalks to even out cooking time. Then there is the whole discussion about peeling and not peeling the outside skin. With the first crop of its season, it needs little attention. OK, a squirt of lemon and a dip into fresh Hollandaise.
Brussel sprouts are still fairly plentiful at market, but it’s time to say good-bye and welcome the other fruits and vegetables that are making their entrance. Mushroom varieties are back with so many wonderful choices bursting from their terroir. The bounty of lettuces have escaped the greenhouses and are ready for light tossing.
Yet, no food is as recognizable at this time of year as the once humble egg. This is the season that egg farmers cherish most. With all the ceremonial egg dishes for both Passover and Easter and the decorated fun accompanying the baskets, no one is happier with this week than sellers of eggs as dozens make their way into uncountable households for traditional foods and fun choices.
Now we’re cooking.