Get ready for springtime! March 21 marks the official beginning of the spring season. This means spring showers, spring flowers, and whole new crop of fresh spring foods. This month, take the opportunity to enjoy a few winter favorites that are still at their peak, and to get a first taste of the spring season's freshest picks.
In certain respects, the artichoke might be regarded as the vegetable equivalent of lobster. It's somewhat labor-intensive eating, but well worth the effort. The artichoke can be served whole or trimmed down to the heart, which, like the lobster's tail, is often considered the tastiest morsel. Artichokes are harvested year round. The crop peaks in the spring--March through May--and again, to a lesser extent, in October.
Cabbage is round in shape with layers of superimposed leaves with the inner leaves often lighter in color than the outer leaves because they are protected from the sunlight. They belong to the Cruciferae family of vegetables along with kale, broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts. Green cabbage is an essential ingredient in your St. Patty's Day dinner, while red cabbage is always great for adding color and crunch to green salads.
Super nutritious, with a clean flavor that is tart, yet sweet, pink grapefruits make a great snack. They are also excellent paired with many varieties of fish, and are great for added zing in salads.The three major types of grapefruit include white, pink/red and Star Ruby/Rio Red. Each variety has it's own unique flavor nuances, but they all have a clean refreshing, sweet-tart flavor. Grapefruits are traditionally halved, then eaten with a spoon, but they can also be peeled or sliced and eaten like an orange. Grapefruits are excellent paired with many varieties of fish, and are great for added zing in salads.
Choose the small-leaved specimens for tenderness and mild flavor, especially if the greens are to be eaten raw. Kale stems are edible, so check to be sure that this part of the plant is plump and moist, not withered or collapsed. Kale can be substituted for spinach (with some adjustments in cooking time) in just about any recipe you like. Try it in soups, pasta sauces, stir-fries, omelets, or on its own (sauteed with garlic) as a delicious side dish.
Valencias have very juicy, vibrantly flavored flesh, and unlike the Navel,they have thin skin that is difficult to peel. Valencias are often tingedyellow or green, but the color is generally not an indicator of the flavor. They can be eaten out of hand, but are often sold as juicing oranges.
A cross between a white grapefruit and an acidless pummelo, it is slightly larger in size than a grapefruit but has fewer seeds. When it is ripe, the thick rind is bright green or golden in color.
The pummelo is the largest citrus fruit, ranging from the size of a small cantaloupe, to the size of a basketball. The skin is generally green, with an exceptionally thick pith, and the flesh is pale yellow to pink in color. The pummelo is part of the grapefruit family, but the flesh is drier, more mildly flavored, and more aromatic than a grapefruit.