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Spring

Spring

Spring! Everyone will be so glad to see those first little baby lettuce salads and fresh parsley, celery, rhubarb, and asparagus. Celebrate by making parsley boniet with crackers, parsley pesto on baked potatoes, and celery-mushroom soup with fresh bread. Chives grow in early spring: try baked sole and cauliflower with chive oil. This is also the time of year when free-range chickens start laying eggs again, so celebrate with asparagus quiche and chopped chicken liver or egg salad, or hollandaise sauce on broiled asparagus, or chopped chives in an omelette.

In late March or early April (usually) it's Passover - a really food-oriented holiday. We start by letting Passover give us the push we need to clean out all the cupboards and throw out anything that's too old or looks nasty or has bugs in it. Once the kitchen's nice and clean, we start cooking. Passover, long long ago, was in fact a celebration of the first fresh foods of spring, especially the barley harvest (this would be the barley harvest if you lived in Israel). And also eggs and fresh greens, which both appear on the Seder plate with the barley. So we make barley matzo (yes, you can!). We also make other traditional Passover foods: haroset, gefilte fish, chicken soup with matzoh balls, roast chicken or lamb, and new potatoes with parsley. Afterwards, don't forget to enjoy matzobrei!

By the time the holidays are over, you're already starting to get local cherries and then finally strawberries, and you can make cherry pie, or chocolate-dipped strawberries, or pound cake and strawberry sauce, or just eat strawberries plain with a little sugar and wine. On a warm day, try making celery ice for a great spring treat! It's time now for fresh green peas, too: make potato samosas, or pea soup, or just eat those little peas raw. And if you start to have really more lettuce than you wanted from your garden, try lettuce soup, or Thai lettuce wraps.