Spring Picks: 3 Fresh, Local Food Recipes

After a long winter, nothing’s more gratifying than feeding your family freshly picked, nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables. It’s time to start reaping spring’s rewards.

| May/June 2010

  • Buttermilk panna cotta with cherry compote is simple yet elegant.
    Photo By Joe Lavine
  • This flavored pea soup takes minutes to prepare.
    Photo By Joe Lavine
  • Chard stalks can be several colors, including white, red, yellow and orange. Different colored varieties are sometimes bunched together and labeled "rainbow chard."
    Photo By Joe Lavine

Finding local produce can be a struggle in winter, especially in northern climates. Throughout the long, cold months, I look forward to the spring opening of our local farmer’s market. Nothing heralds spring’s arrival quite like the first taste of fresh fruits and veggies.

The following recipes take advantage of my favorite spring crops: peas, Swiss chard and cherries. Quick and simple, these dishes showcase local produce with simple preparations, giving you more time to get out into the garden or just enjoy the spring weather. To find a farmer’s market, community-supported agriculture (CSA) program or co-op near you, visit Local Harvest

Rainbow Swiss Chard with Toasted Garlic  

Swiss chard is abundant in most gardens (and markets) from June through August.



Pea Soup  

For best quality, cook peas immediately after they’ve been picked. If you don’t have a vegetable garden, look for peas at your farmer’s market. They’ll make all the difference in this simple spring soup. To freeze fresh peas, shell them, then blanch for one to two minutes in boiling water. Drain peas and put immediately into ice water. Drain again and store in sealed containers in the freezer.






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