Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Early Spring Kitchen-Garden Delights: Pea Shoots & Asparagus

Pea shoots are a delicious addition to early spring menus. Tagliatelle and chopped shoots are simmered together, then drained, reserving some of the pasta-cooking water. Saute a nice dose of minced garlic, finely chopped fresh ginger, and red pepper flakes in some olive oil for a minute or two over medium heat. Add a couple of heaping tablespoons of whole almond meal along with the reserved water till creamy. Stir in the pasta and pea shoots. Salt to taste. Creamy, nutty, spicy, fresh, and good!

Our shoots came from peas planted in a pot six weeks ago

A pleasant brunch can be had by simmering some asparagus and a cracked egg in chicken broth while the toast is being made.

Flip over the egg.

Our 4-year-old plants can be harvested until the end of April

Pour some of the broth over the slices. Top with spears and the egg. Fleur de sel would be a nice sprinkle.

A trap door exposing the golden treasure

Bluebells are just starting their blooming.

Cream-coloured species tulips are being buffeted by the wind.

The bright splash of golden yellow in their centre is a wonderful accent.

The first calla lily bud has made its appearance.

The irises are unfurling their purple blooms.

To get raspberries in early summer in addition to their typical fruiting in late summer/early autumn, I leave the stems from last season alone until they put out fresh leaf growth. Then the spent part of the stems will be clearly seen and can be trimmed off. In a month or so, new shoots will grow from ground level and will fruit later in the season.

À la prochaine!

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