Cooking with Spring Ingredients
These edible thistles contain an acid called cynarin that makes everything taste sweet after eating them.
These small, tender artichokes grow lower down on the stalk than their more mature brethren. They just need to be trimmed a bit, and can be eaten raw if sliced very thinly, or halved or kept whole and then cooked.
The first carrots were cultivated in Afghanistan, and were more purplish-red than orange.
Chives freeze and rot easily, so store them in the warmest part of the refrigerator.
Favas were the only bean known to Europe until the discovery of the New World.
The unfurled fronds of young ferns are a popular ingredient in Indonesian cooking.
Nettles are covered in tiny, hollow, needlelike hairs filled with a toxicant that irritates people’s skin. Cooking, drying, or freezing nettles renders them safe to eat.
Pea sprouts are the first growth of the snow pea or English pea plant. They can be found year-round but become more prevalent at farmers’ markets in the spring. With a sweet, clean taste reminiscent of peas, they’re great in salads or stir-fries.
Peas were originally very starchy; gardeners cultivated the sweet green garden pea during the Renaissance.
This perennial stalk-vegetable of Asian descent has toxic leaves that shouldn’t be eaten.
The French name for snow peas is mange-tout, which translates as “eat it all”—quite true, since not a bit of them goes to waste. These are available year-round but peak in the spring and fall.
Wild strawberries were so plentiful in America that there was limited garden cultivation of the fruit until the late 18th century.
Tarragon was once thought to ward off serpents and dragons and to heal snakebites.