By the end of winter I eagerly await the first spring greens, herbs, and shoots. The prospect of peas, asparagus, cilantro, baby lettuce and chive blossoms motivates me to prepare and plant my container gardens. I frequent the winter farmer’s market and enjoy some early greenhouse grown items, but I tend to hold out for my own first harvest. There’s nothing more rewarding than satisfying a seasonal craving with you-grown foods!
Happily, I can proclaim that it’s finally that time of year! One key to my enjoyment of spring veggies are the sauces and dressings I serve them with. Here are a few flavor combinations and recipe ideas I enjoy most in the spring:
Baby Greens with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette and Chive Blossom Garnish:
-An easy and delicious vinaigrette is simply 1:1:1 Balsamic Vinegar to Maple Syrup to Olive Oil. Adjust to preference and consider adding garlic, salt, and pepper.
-A fun dip if you like cilantro and want to add some spark to steamed or grilled veggies. Start by combining 4 T. mayonnaise, 1 wedge squeezed lime juice, 1 small garlic clove, salt, pepper, 1/2 t. honey, several sprigs of cilantro finely chopped, and flowers from several chive blossoms (finely chopped red onion can substitute). Adjust to taste! I added in toasted cumin seeds just before serving.
Remember your garnish: Herb blossoms or finely chopped herbs are usually available from spring gardens and add great sparks of flavor. They also make your meals look great! Grated sharp cheeses like parmesan also add great savory and salty flavor to veggie-heavy meals.