The local farmers market you’ve been hungrily stalking finally has something other than winter storage apples and root vegetables for the first time since September. You’ve been dreaming about fresh asparagus since the Second Snowpocalypse. You finally have the chance to buy strawberries that aren’t imported from Chile or someplace so… if you’re anything like me, you just bought more produce than you can possibly hope to eat because it all looked so darn good.
Don’t let it go to waste! I know, you’re just one person and you’ve got a flat of strawberries because once again, you forgot to pace yourself so you can last all strawberry season. but fear not. Here are some suggestions about what to do with all that spring produce goodness.
We talked about preservation last year. The advantage of this approach is that you can bring out a little of that spring/summer awesomeness in the middle of February when everything is gross. And you don’t just have to make jam with your strawberries- preserved whole berries are easy, and excellent on waffles when the only other thing in your house is a box of Bisquick and you can’t stand the thought of going out in the cold to buy additional breakfast food.
Fruit + Alcohol = Delicious
It’s a little early in the season for Bellinis, but if you make them with strawberries instead they’re called Rossinis and they’re equally delicious. Granitas are a good choice for strawberries as well. And I know there’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to make sangria, but the truth is, if you throw fruit into some wine (sparkling or not) and serve it to your friends, they’ll drink it and probably have a great time. In a couple of weeks we’ll have more fruit than just strawberries so it’ll be a good time to experiment without getting hung up on recipes.
Asparagus Goes Everywhere
If you’ve ended up with armloads of asparagus and are tired of grilling/roasting/sautéing it or covering it in hollandaise, you can put it in almost anything. I’m seriously salivating to try this pancetta/asparagus/potato hash after seeing it on Smitten Kitchen. Asparagus also stir-fries well if you don’t cover it in heavy sauce. And this asparagus/arugula/prosciutto roll from Mark Bittman is so stupid easy you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself.
Greens Need Fat
Truth: many of the nutrients found in dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, and arugula are all in spring harvest cycle right about now) are fat soluble, meaning you need to eat them with a little fat in order for the vitamins to be fully available to your body. Which is pretty much an excuse for bacon, as far as I’m concerned. You have to blanch kale first because it can be kind of tough and bitter, but once you’ve done that, throw it in a pan with some bacon to finish cooking. Kale is also good in stamppot, which is basically just potatoes mashed with kale and served with sausage (what’s not to love?). Around this time last year we also got a ridiculous quantity of arugula from the WLDC Dirt Lab garden, so we made pesto out of it- make it just like basil pesto, just expect it to taste more peppery than sweet.
What do you do when you have too much of something from the farmers market/CSA? What do people hear about and say, “I never thought of doing that?” Share in the comments!