Saturday, May 23, 2009

Spring Produce Tips

(written a few weeks ago; since our temperate weather and vast amount of rain have prolonged spring veggies, I thought I could still post it!)

I enjoyed seeing a greater variety of produce at our local farmer's market this morning. My kids are enjoying our weekly excursions: cheese to sample, dogs to pet, fountains....

In our neck of the woods (Southeast US), we're seeing broccoli and sugar snap peas and snow peas coming in! Cabbages, bok choy, lettuces, spinach, and greens of all shapes and sizes have been abundant now. Strawberries are still in full swing (and are so good!!!). Beets, green onions, radishes--even some carrots are appearing. I hope my own garden is doing well enough that I won't be dependent on the market for my tomatoes and cucumbers later in the summer.

So, what do we do with all this spring produce? I'd venture to bet that most of us can whip something up pretty easily with fresh summer produce (peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.). But greens? Bok choy? How many things can you use cabbage for? Here are some tips:

If your greens/lettuce are wilting before you can eat them up, try immersing them in water for about 30 minutes. They're probably plump back up.

Wash newly picked greens/cabbages/lettuces in 3 changes of water to remove all the sand (I just put mine in a big tub and let them swish around--my preschooler loves to help with this task). If you must choose, eat freshly picked peas first. They'll lose some of their sweetness as they age; greens, etc. will keep a bit longer. If you're going to be eating stuff raw(like broccoli), eat it sooner; if you'll be cooking it, it can sit a bit longer in the fridge.

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