The lake is thawing, the ground is muddy, and the sap is flowing which means only one thing, it must be springtime in Vermont! Our farmers are starting to till the ground to get ready for the growing season, and we are looking forward to local produce gracing our shelves. To provide some inspiration for your springtime culinary adventures, here is a short list of recipes that are perfect for a quick low-key dinner with friends or your first outdoor dinner party of the season!
As we begin to see buds forming on trees, flowers and bushes, keep an eye out for a local favorite, fiddleheads as they pop up all over Vermont. Mid to late April through early May is the short, yet sweet fiddlehead season so be sure to get them while you can! We carry locally foraged fiddleheads in the store so look out for these curly ferns in our produce section. Fiddleheads are great simply sautéed in a little butter and/or olive oil but if you are trying to be a little more adventurous, here is a recipe for Curried Fiddleheads, enjoy!
Try these dairy-free, gluten-free and vegetarian Corn & Leek Bean Fritters! Leeks are part of the Allium family and are a popular spring vegetable. They have a milder onion flavor and add just the right amount of crunch to soups, salads, or fritters.
Recently, we had our second Minimal Waste Cooking class where class instructor, Meredith Knowles shared a recipe for an Asparagus, Artichoke & Chickpea Ragout. The recipe is from the cookbook Root to Stalk Cooking by Tara Duggan and uses a combination of spring ingredients, including an asparagus stalk stock, a great way to add flavor and reduce overall food waste! Find the recipes for the stock and ragout below.
Asparagus Stalk Stock
Yield: ½ gallon stock
5-6 cups asparagus stalk ends
10 cups water
1 cup celery or celery hearts, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
Few sprigs thyme
Place all ingredients in a stockpot. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce heat to maintain the simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and compost the solids. Use immediately or let cool before covering. Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze.
Asparagus, Artichoke, and Chickpea Ragout
Yield: 6-8 servings
1/4 cup olive oil
2 artichokes, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch wedges
1 cup onion, sliced
1/4 tsp chile flakes
2 cloves garlic
2 cups asparagus stock (or other vegetable stock)
1 tsp salt
1 bunch asparagus
14 oz can chickpeas, with liquid reserved
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp mint
1 tsp thyme
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add artichoke hearts, onion, and red chile flakes and sauté until browned. Add the garlic, and cook for about 1 minutes. Add 1 cup of asparagus stock and salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the artichokes are tender (about 4-5 minutes more). Add the asparagus and cook, stirring, over medium heat until tender. Add the remaining stock, with the chickpeas, lemon juice, mint, and thyme. Simmer for a few more minutes to let the flavors meld. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Looking for more inspiration? You can’t get much springier than Mint Pea Pesto Soup! The freshness from the mint and parsley will have you craving summer flavors that are just around the corner.
Last but not least, try out this vibrant Green Light Smoothie. The color of the smoothie speaks for itself, it is packed with protein that will help power you through the wonderfully longer, spring days. To get a closer look, check out our recipe video along with other fun videos, here!
Find more delicious City Market recipes here!