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Chef Brittany Flint

A blog just because...

The purpose of this blog is to provide culinary inspiration by suggesting in season produce, gourmet ingredients, simple recipes and product recommendations. If you're not already submit your email to be added to my monthly campaign. I promise not to fill your inbox with junk - just updates, recipes, culinary tips, history and trends.

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Welcome March!

It's March - which means Spring along with flowers, lush green foliage and early produce is fast approaching. I put together a quick list of my favorite early Spring produce for you to look out for. Some can be found in your backyard or walking trail if you know what to look for.




 

Year-Round Veggies

You'll notice carrots and beets, which are available all year, made the list. BUT when the Spring Harvest begins you'll start to see different varieties and sizes. Baby and Nantes Carrots, Candy [Chioggia] Stripe Beets are something to add to your grocery list. If you frequent the Farmer's Market keep an eye out for "Micro" versions of these. They'll add a unique look and texture to any salad, crudités or quick pickle.


Spring Greens

Swiss chard of all shades will reemerge for the Spring season. Since it's a biennial it's typically planted in the Spring, harvested all Summer, kept in the garden throughout Winter, then harvested a second time the following Spring. Kale, Spinach and Bok Choy are other Spring Greens to look forward to.


The First to Show

Morel Mushrooms are my all time favorite Spring Fungus. When the conditions are right these bad boys will pop up through the remaining leaves on the ground in a couple of weeks. Soon enough you'll start seeing Morels on local menus and in select grocery stores. If you get your hands on some be sure to wash them thoroughly in a large bowl of cold water. Run your fingers through them once or twice while they float. Then scoop them onto a dry, clean towel. Refresh the water and repeat 3-4 times to insure all the grit is washed away. Keep it simple when cooking Morels. They are superb sautéed with butter, garlic and herbs. Add some penne, pasta water, pecorino, a squeeze of lemon and you've got a delicious Spring dinner in no time.


Another favorite of mine are Ramps. This specific variety of Spring Onion hold a very special place in my heart. They can be found growing in damp, wooded, and mountainous areas - if you're foraging. Ramps too will start to emerge in the next couple of weeks. Since they grow in wet areas they are caked in dirt. Fill your clean sink with cold water and prepare your countertop with a piece of parchment or a sheet tray to catch most of the debris. Using a pairing knife [or your fingers] comb through your ramps by taking off the root and removing any undesirable bits. As you go along toss them in the water to soak. Once you've completed your inspection shake the soaking ramps so the dirt falls to the bottom of the sink. Scoop out your cleaned ramps [wiping off any additional mud as you go] and store them as you would scallions. The possibilities are endless when it comes to Ramps. You can put them in your salads, sauté or grill them as a side or make a DANK pesto.


The Classics

Asparagus and Peas are always a hit. Be sure to freeze any excess or scrap for chilled soups or pesto. Along with avocado toast Smashed Peas Toast deserves a little hype. Blanch your fresh peas and keep them on hand to toss into just about anything. The stalks of asparagus can be simmered in cream, blended with parsley [chives or dill], strained, seasoned to taste then chilled. Serve it up with lump crab meat, grilled shrimp or homemade croutons for an elegant addition to any meal.

 

Spring is almost here y'all! If you're a forager get out and start looking for those Early Spring produce. They're closer than you think! Also stay tuned for recipes showcasing these lovely veggies.


- Chef B





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