I’m trying a new series on the blog this year and I’m really excited about it! Around Western PA, the snow is melting and the daffodils trying their hardest to force spring into existence. I thought it would be an appropriate time to roll out a seasonal recipe spotlight. I hear the same thing from a lot of people: “I want to eat locally and seasonally.” Seems simple, right? Just hit up the local farmer’s market, grab some veggies, and done? It is and it isn’t…
You might be interested to know that not all the veggies sold at your local farmer’s market are local. Or seasonal actually! While I’ve gotten plenty of resistance with this tactic, I don’t ever hesitate to ask my local farmer’s market vendor if they are re-selling produce or if it’s home-grown. I’ve touched a few nerves over the years, but I don’t see anything wrong with expecting transparency from a grower. I’m not a snob about it and it doesn’t stop me from purchasing out-of-season food (farmer’s have to make money during he slow seasons, too!), but I like to know as much as I can about the food I buy. If you want to eat locally, make sure you ask if you’re eating locally. Either way, you’re supporting a local food producer/grower/vendor – but educate yourself about what you’re buying and why.
If you’ve ever grown your own food, you know that some things don’t just spring up year round. In Western PA, there is a very limited amount of seasonal product that’s available from March-April. It’s still early spring and that means LOTS of greens, but it also means some staples like broccoli, carrots, beets, mushrooms, rutabagas, and turnips. There are some things I usually pass over because they seem a little intimidating – like artichokes, kohlrabi, even endive is a mystery to me. Well not this year. This year I’m embracing all the things I’ve never embraced before. That’s what 2015 is about, remember? So this year, I’m not only embracing local, seasonal eating – I’m going to try as much of the produce that my region has to offer!
March-April in Western PA:
Artichoke, Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Beet Greens, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Broccoli Rape, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cardoons (not sure I’m this adventurous yet!), Carrots, Cauliflower, Chard, Chicory, Collards, Cress, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Fava Beans/Greens, Fennel, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Onions, Parsnips, Pea Shoots, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Sunchokes, Tatsoi, Turnips
If you have been curious about how to work with any of the ingredients found in this list, shoot me a comment and I will make sure I find a great way for us to get comfortable with them.
Keep an eye out for the new series on Twitter and Instagram, I will be posting under the hashtag: #springeatsSFTS