When faced with a cluster of purple, white, and pink radishes, their shapes alternating between perfectly round orbs and oval-like eggs, what sane person would shove those enticing shapes to the side and opt instead for the greens attached to them?
I compost all of my kitchen scraps, and despite continued vigilance to avoid food waste, I’m frequently dismayed to witness the sheer quantity of discarded food our two person household generates, even with efforts that include using more of the leek than the recipe indicates or sautéing the broccoli stems along with the florets. The silver lining is that onion skins and parsnip tops do have a purpose, just not one that’s immediately edible: as organic matter in a compost pile.
We’re now so far into Spring that daffodils have been replaced by eager tulips, and camellias have faded to make room for the first tentative rhododendron buds. Everything is awash in color and pollen. If you can see through your allergy haze, you’ll notice that spring food is following a similar path. As the days become consistently warmer, the most obvious sign of spring at the farmers’ market are the tables heaped with raab and rapini.
In late March and early April, there’s a limit to my cuisinal inspiration. With the supply of root vegtables dwindling, and the advent of most spring greens (not to mention asparagus or snap peas) yet to come, I struggle every single year with this time period of seasonal eating. I recognize that in a few short months I’ll heap my kitchen counters with more perishable fruits and vegetables than I can eat, preserve, or freeze, but in the meantime, my creativity feels taxed, especially with this recent spell of 70 degree weather that just begs for an edible partner.