The past two Saturdays that wonderful ahhh… I’m home…. feeling has overwhelmed my body and my mind. Market season gives me this odd sense of belonging, of friendship, and of excitement, which I am forced to miss out on for five months of the year. Those five months being filled with potatoes, kale, rain, and miserable days at school.
But, those are all behind me now, and I never thought I would be so happy to see those stands full of everything green. The green now is not that rough, filling, heavy green that the brassicas bring throughout the winter (don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for those veggies). The green now is more delicate, more aromatic, more full of flavor and possibilities.
- green garlic: looks like chives but a little thicker. use the same way as you would regular garlic except cook slower and less time because it is more delicate.
- young green onions: wonderful, light, not as harsh and spicy as the full grown bulb. you can use the whole stalk of these beauties.
- raab: so many types of raab! kale, collard, brussel sprout, yum yum yum. basically looks like mini broccoli florets, accept these are more tender and not as tough.
- chard: so beautiful, big, and colorful. I have been cutting up the stalks and adding them as well to add vibrant pops up color.
- apples: lots still root cellared from last season to help fend us fruit lovers off until the strawberries pop up.
- young carrots: so sweet, so perfect for canning.
- salad greens: loving these light airy leaves and this recent sunshine.
- leeks: great exchange for onions now and add nice flavor for those spring soups.
- radishes: these are the real punch of flavor for the season. spicy, crunchy, colorful, all shapes and sizes. These are a great addition to any salad or side to a meal.
I also picked up a few of my staples from Lonesome Whistle and Camas Country including the Best honey I have ever had (Buckwheat Honey from Camas that shared an adjacent field with sunflowers, so its light and full of flavor), some colorful fun beans (including the “King of all Early Beans” a white and pink bean), and some other bean varieties.
All of this new fresh produce has been inspiring me to move away from my typical “easy” meal of grains and beans, and add some more flavor.
- Noodles of your choice, I use whole wheat penne
- Cottage Cheese (I used local Nancy’s, there was no local ricotta so that is why I used cottage cheese, similar flavor and texture)
- Willamette Valley smoked cheddar
- Tons of Spinach
- Kale Raab
- Green Garlic
- Canned whole tomatoes (from last years harvest)
- Ground beef (Knee Deep Cattle Company)
- Thyme, Oregano, Salt, Pepper
Directions: Saute herbs, raab, and garlic in butter until aromatic. Add whole canned tomatoes. Smash, blend, or food process the tomatoes until sauce-y. In separate pan, cook the beef with fennel, salt, pepper, and basil. Once cooked through, add to tomato sauce. Cook the noodles until al dente. Mix all together except a little bit of the smoked cheddar to add to the top. You may also want to add bread crumbs to the top for more crunch. Bake at 350 until melty and toasty. (Thats how I cook, sorry there’s no real “exactness”)
I also made an ahhmazing scramble breakfast. The eggs I got from Blissfully Produced had The darkest yolks I have ever seen. Practically orange and so full of flavor. I sauteed leeks, chard, green garlic, and white elm mushrooms in butter until soft and aromatic. Added scrambled eggs and goat feta. On the side, an early spring salad with thinly sliced radishes and a dressing of pesto frozen from last season mixed with a little mustard and red wine vinegar. To top it off a vegan cheese bagel fresh baked at the Wandering Goat (I dont know why, but their vegan cheese bagels are just the total bomb!).
I have really been getting back into the Kombucha scene too. I go through my phases, and now am fully immersed in this one. I will be starting a batch as soon as a find a baby. More on that later!
Dont forget about your local farmers markets and get your CSAs soon! Happy Spring!