Here, at Heartsease Cottage a wee, few things are ready to eat now. And, this makes these few things all the more prized, enjoyed, and relished!
Asparagus and dandelion blossoms!
Asparagus, if you grow them, will not be those uniform, pencil-thin spears found in supermarkets.
Grow your own and you will have thin ones, fat ones, slender and thick ones! Perhaps, as your asparagus patch ages, you will have more fat ones! As I do...and like the Beekman Boys (www.beekman1802.com), I've come to prefer and relish those thick, stubby, robust, buttery and tender FAT ONES!
Dandelion blossoms are being gathered, now, for an herbaceous, tonic wine! And, not just the blossoms, but leaves, too. Tasty, healthful dandelion leaves dressed with a mustardy, peppery vinaigrette will capture your heart and palate!
Oh, just add chives to everything. Of course, baked potatoes and cottage cheese! But, don't forget omelets, salads, pasta, rice, meat, cheese spreads, softened butter...EVERYTHING!
I love nettles! Packed with calcium and silica and lots of vitamins and minerals, these tender leaves make a wonderful tea, a healing, revitalizing tincture, and substitute for greens in soups, bean dishes, and stews. They can be pickled, too.
Dried or cooked, nettles lose their sting. They add a "meaty" richness to broths and soups. I crumble the dried leaves into herbal tea mixes.
In addition to parsley, a few other herbs are returning from dormancy.
These first herbal sproutings are ultra-flavorful, intense, and have a "green", fresh urgency. Nor, will they be this piquant for the rest of the Season. Their flavor will slightly mellow from their present Springtime flavor-full bite.
Other herbs that can be used now are lovage, salad burnet, and tarragon. Lovage has a flavor that is celery-like, but with a musky-anise undertone. Salad burnet tastes like cucumber and adds that flavor to salad via its small, serrated leaves. Tarragon, well, this herb is a classic with its licorice-anise subtlety.
In the next few posts I'll graze and cook, and suggest various ways to use these wonderful Springtime comestibles for Seasonal enjoyment and eating bliss!