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Fresh eats offer a taste of spring

  • Article by: Bill Ward
  • Star Tribune
  • April 10, 2013 - 4:53 PM

If we can’t have spring, we can at least eat it.

Here are some spring-evoking dishes from “The Splendid Table’s” Lynne Rosetto Kasper:

• “Microgreens are very spendy but, boy, do they make you think of spring. You can grill vegetables and spread microgreens on top with just a shot of lemon, good olive oil and black pepper and you just feel like you’re getting a shot of spring even if it’s sweet potatoes. A little winter, but a lot of kick of spring.”

• “Dandelion greens, even the big ones. Now that’s a pure spring, pardon the expression, cleanse. Long before they became trendy and expensive, our ancestors were using them to cleanse. Take dandelions or other bitter greens and parboil ’em for 2 or 3 minutes and then sauté or roast them. You get that sense of spring. They’re a tonic.”

• “The grape tomatoes [in stores] are pretty passable. I just did a pico di gallo, quartered the grape tomatoes and tossed them with fresh basil and onion that I had marinated in lemon, then some olive oil and garlic that I also had marinated in lemon. Or do the grape tomatoes with ginger and pineapple, which is coming in, plus fresh ginger, a bit of garlic and onion and olive oil. That pineapple and tomato combination is wonderful.”

• “The plants of fresh basil you can buy, again, are spendy but wonderful. Toss with spaghetti and add some Parmigiano-Reggiano and you’ll think you’re in summer.”

• “I also go the Southeast Asian route a lot. I splurge on mangoes because they are to me the peaches of the tropics, and I don’t do peaches at this time of year. Even with the frozen mangoes, you grate ginger and add lime juice for a sorbet, and you have a huge treat.”

• “Or I take unripe mango and I shred on the mandoline and I toss that Thai-style with coriander and ginger and garlic and fish sauce and mix it with noodles.”

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