We’ve already discussed the benefits of eating local in the Go Green with Your Diet guest post. Still, even I find myself a little overwhelmed whenever I go to the farmers’ market with reusable bag in hand.
To this day, I’ve never cooked with rhubarb nor with fresh artichokes. I don’t think I like radishes (although it’s been so long that I don’t know anymore), I don’t know what I’d do with wild leeks, and I’ve never even heard of Fiddlehead Ferns. How is one expected to buy local when half the produce at the farmers’ market might as well be from Venus?
The solution is easy but one many of us don’t get around to because we’re comfortable with what we know. Get to know your seasonal produce this spring by researching recipes created for the specific purpose of getting you to the farmers’ market. You can find numerous books at used bookstores and Amazon like these:
Eating Local by Sur La Table and Janet Fletcher
Farmers’ Market Favorites by Gooseberry Patch
Local Flavors by Deborah Madison
Fresh from the Farmers’ Market by Janet Fletcher
Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles: Cooking from the Farmers Market by G. Brennan, C. Williams, and R. Eskite
If you’d rather save money and the added carbon footprint, stick to online recipes you can add to your favorites or print out yourself. The Daily Green keeps its website updated with seasonal produce facts and recipes. For spring, they’ve set up a slideshow featuring 13 spring fruits and vegetables and corresponding recipes as well as 27 more spring recipes. My favorite is the spaghetti with artichokes, beans, and spinach, as follows:
5 oz spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
1 scallion, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, halved and sliced
1/2 cup fava beans, fresh or frozen
2 3/4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
4 artichoke hearts, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon raw cane sugar
1 tablespoon marjoram
Salt and black pepper to taste
- Boil the spaghetti in of salted water with a little oil.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add onion, garlic, and red bell pepper. Stir around for 2 minutes.
- Add beans, spinach, and artichoke hearts to the saucepan. Add tomato paste, sugar, and marjoram. If the mixture is too stiff, you can add a little water.
- Cover and let the mixture gently simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Prepare the spaghetti by draining it in a colander (save the water for your plants when it cools). Serve with prepared sauce.
Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and amateur musician. She often finds herself blogging on topics such as college scholarships for women, feminist theory, and the politics of higher education. In her spare time she enjoys reading and practicing yoga.