SAVORING the MOMENT

Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle

Wednesday

Dreaming of spring

In the aftermath of what felt like the last big storm of winter (fingers crossed), spring is in the air today. Everything is washed clean. The sky is piercingly blue and dotted with a few creamy clouds. Breathtaking, enlivening, inspiring to any cook who loves local and seasonal vegetables. After many months of depending on crucifers (see yesterday's post) and root veggies, the baby spring vegetables are soon to appear at the farmer's market and produce stands.

Here are a few ways I plan to enjoy young and tender spring vegetables:

1) Add shelled peas to a minced shallot that's been sauteed in butter. Splash in a bit of white wine and add just a little salt and pepper. Cover and cook for a minute or two, until the peas are just tender.
2) Toss baby spinach leaves with thin apple slices, toasted walnuts, and an apple juice vinaigrette (simply replace a couple of tablespoons of the oil with apple juice)
3) Saute asparagus in olive oil with ground fennel seed until barely tender. Add pinch of salt, top with lemon zest, serve warm.
4) Saute shelled, parboiled, and peeled fava beans with briefly in olive oil with garlic, chile flakes, scant salt. Toss with fresh pasta and top with shaved Parmesan.

That sounds like a good start to the season of delicate and exquisitely fresh cuisine. Of course, it's not officially spring until March 20, but a girl can dream, can't she?

Blessings and bon appetit!

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