Saturday, April 24, 2010


I have lost my capacity for rational thought when it comes to new arrivals at the market. All I can think to say is "asparagus is here! Asparagus is here!" Though for some reason I'm really not ready to face rhubarb yet.

You can have any color you want, as long as it's green:
3/4 lb. asparagus
3 hydroponic cucumbers
1/4 lb. wild Italian arugula
1/4 lb. mixed lettuce
1/2 lb. white Russian kale
1/3 lb. collard greens
1 bunch lovage
1 lb. crimini mushrooms
1/4 lb. shallots
1/2 lb. Nicola potatoes
Total spent: $48

I'm not a huge fan of hydroponically grown produce because it's never as flavorful as soil-grown, but I'm heading upstate to a barbecue today and really wanted to make a simple cucumber, mint, and feta salad - my mint plant exploded while I was out of town, and it needs trimming back. I'll keep it simple with red wine vinegar, shallots, the cucumbers, plenty of mint, and a sprinkling of Lynnhaven Farms' wonderful feta on top.

As for the rest, I have been craving green salads like crazy since spring started. I managed to eat pretty healthfully on my desert vacation last week, but it's time to ramp up the greens intake for the cleansing sunny season. I'm especially excited about the tiny-leaved, spicy, Italian arugula - it's so delicious simply dressed with a lemon-Dijon vinaigrette, and brings a ton of flavor and freshness to a meal.

I have no idea how to use lovage, but most online sources say it's simply added to a recipe for added flavor, maybe in place of celery. It was an impulse buy for sure - maybe I'll try it in my next batch of beans or lentils.

And the market's best asparagus, from Terhune Orchards? It's everything I can do not to go throw it in a pan and eat it all now, with my fingers. I'll sauté and sprinkle with salt and eat it within a day or two for sure. Spring!!!!!!!!!

Photo from Flickr: Muffet's photostream