Words by Ashley Locke
Winter produce is heavy, starchy, and full of carbs—perfect for cold-weather comfort food such as stews, soups, and chili. Every holiday get-together features multiple desserts, and chilly nights are met with mugs of cocoa or cider. By the time spring comes around, we’re all ready for food that’s lighter, fresher, and greener.
Spring is the season of abundance. Crisp salad greens and flavorful herbs are right there waiting when the frost begins to melt. Much of what grows in the springtime can be eaten raw, and since cooking produce causes it to lose nutrients, snacking on raw veg is a great way to ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
If you decide to give your diet a spring cleaning by eating a few extra salads each week, you may be tempted to buy bagged lettuce mixes. Don’t do it! Living lettuce and fresh bunches of spinach not only have less bacteria, they also last longer in your fridge. If you plan to wash your lettuce before storing, a salad spinner is your best friend. Make sure you get rid of as much water as possible before you put it away.
Before heading to the grocery store to prepare your spring plates, make sure you check to see what your local farmers have available. There’s nothing better than supporting your local community by enjoying a delicious meal!
Kitchen Tip: If your herbs are about to go bad, chop them up, put them in an ice cube tray with olive oil, and freeze. The infused oil will be perfect for a future meal!
- Arugula (add ripped herbs such as mint and basil, then make a simple dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, and honey for a simple salad)
- Bok choy
- Rhubarb (the leaves are toxic—toss or compost them)
- Kale (massage with olive oil and a pinch of salt to make it more tender)
- Chives (heat can destroy the flavor, so always add chives last minute or as a garnish)
- Morel mushrooms