YumSugarSource: 5 Lesser-Known Spring Veggies and What to Make With Them
We're nearing the end of April, and Spring produce remains abundant at farmers markets everywhere. But don't get too used to it: these pretty green things are still shockingly fleeting, and in just a few weeks, you won't be able to locate the likes of lesser-known specimens, like Spring onions, fava beans, and freshly foraged morels. Here are five more foods you'll want to track down before the season's over, plus our best recipes for them.
- The Spring Food: Spring Onions: Spring onions are underdeveloped onions that are milder than their more mature allium cousins. Their innocuous flavor makes them ideal contenders for salads, sautés, and caramelized preparations.
- What to Make: Spring Onion Jam With Goat Cheese Toasts: Slow-simmer Spring onions in a zesty agrodolce sauce until a thick, rich jam forms, then top them on toasted baguette with creamy goat cheese for the ultimate appetizer.
- The Spring Food: Fiddlehead Ferns: Wild greens known as fiddleheads - the unfurled sprouts of the plant known as the ostrich fern - are harvested for a only a few short weeks in May
- What to Make: Warm Fiddlehead Salad With Cognac Vinaigrette: Bring out the best of this delicacy by briefly sautéing blanched fiddleheads in a warm salad dressing of cognac, red wine vinegar, and dabs of butter.
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- The Spring Food: Ramps: The wild-grown alliums known as ramps are highly regional (often limited to Appalachia and the East Coast) and have one of the shortest seasons of any vegetable - but their pungent, garlicky flavor simply can't be missed. Look out for these right now, because in many parts of the country they're already on their last harvest for the year.
- What to Make: Ramp Risotto: A ramp's pungency mellows into a pleasing sweetness in this slow-cooked Italian risotto.
- The Spring Food: Fava Beans: Fava beans - also known as broad beans - are incredibly versatile, thanks to their buttery, nutty flavor.
- What to Make: Grilled Fava Beans With Chile and Lemon: Start with young fava bean pods, toss them with olive oil, grill them until limp and blackened around the edges, then season with chile, lemon, and salt, and devour whole. The result's a true testament to the idea that the best foods often have the simplest preparations. Eat this right now, when it's warm enough to fire up the grill, but while fava pods can still be found small and tender.
- The Spring Food: Morels: Morel mushrooms, with their conical caps and shirred crevices, aren't just beautiful to stare at; they also impart a nutty, almost smoky flavor that's filled with umami.
- What to Make: Pasta With Morel Pesto: Our foraged friends don't come cheap, so stretch morels a long way by blending them with pine nuts to create a thick, meaty pesto to toss with pasta.
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