Food Topic: Spring edibles 1
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It takes a couple of years to get an asparagus patch started, but well worth the patience. Spring is the time to start an asparagus patch and you plant the rhizome crowns.  They look like large white leggy spiders.  The first year, don’t pick the asparagus. The second year, you can pick some and by the third year, the patch is all yours. The spears need to be harvested when they are no taller than 12” and the head of the spear is still compact and tight.  If they get too big, they can become tough and they will go to seed quickly. I check my patch on a daily basis and I still miss some that have gone to seed. Asparagus contains flavonoids, vitamins: A, B, folic acid, C, E and minerals: calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, selenium, iodine, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, silicon, florine.

 Dandelions get their name from the French ‘dent de lion’, meaning lion’s tooth. As we all know, dandelions grow under all conditions, requiring no special attention or feeding. The young tender leaves can be used in salads and soups and you can deep fry the flowers.  Dandelions contain vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and minerals: rich in calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium, silicon, zinc.

 Indigenous to Europe and Asia, horseradish is a hardy perennial with large oval leaves. Leaves are unusual in that, two, quite different; leaf forms can appear on the same plant.  The whole plant is pungent and hot to taste, but the flavor is intensely concentrated in the root. Be careful handling horseradish root not to touch your eyes and even the juice can burn your eyes.  I use a food processor to grate the root and leave the lid on until the fumes settle before opening. 

 Morels are called many different names, like, wild mushrooms, sponge mushrooms, woodfish, or shrooms. Morels are among the most prized of wild mushrooms. The cap, honeycombed with pits and ridges, is continuous with the stalk, so if you cut one lengthwise, it's hollow from top to bottom, with no division between the cap and stem.  They are mild in flavor and are wonderful lightly sautéed with garlic, onion and heavy cream.  See recipe below.

 I have a nice recipe for Fresh Horseradish Sauce that makes a nice condiment for all grilled foods.  Contact me at office@889JOYFM.com for the recipe.

 

 

Sautéed Fresh Morels

1 # morels, well rinsed and drained on towel, left whole or cut in ½

4 T butter or olive oil

1 tsp garlic, minced

½ onion, chopped

½ c heavy cream

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

 

Heat butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion and cook 2 minutes.  Add morels and cook 5 minutes, stirring often.  Add heavy cream and salt and pepper and simmer 5-8 minutes more until the heavy cream has a saucy consistency.  Adjust seasonings (this means taste the sauce to see if it needs more salt and pepper).  More heavy cream may be added for a saucier dish. Fabulous served by itself with crusty bread to sop up the sauce or served over a steak.

 

 

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