And I imagine most of you do, also. Sometimes it seems that the focus of health advice, including mine, is more about what you can’t eat than what there is to enjoy about food. What’s there left to enjoy if you’re not eating gluten – or all grains, or whatever food restriction arises out of your particular food sensitivities. Too much attention to rules about food can obscure the real pleasure to be had in sharing food with friends.
As every season turns, I must admit that I get a little excited, thinking that each new season is truly my favorite food season. As spring is fully flowering where I live, I’m loving salad turnips which only appear this time of year and add a perfect bittersweet crunch to salads which are easy to assemble from backyard garden or farmers’ markets. During the winter and spring, no salad is complete without a good topping of avocado, and perhaps freshly toasted pumpkin seeds or a little crumbled gorgonzola cheese. We’re locally blessed with an internationally renowned cheese maker, Rogue Creamery’s Oregonzola is a “sharp, tangy..fruity” variation on the classic theme.
And have you noticed that collards picked in the spring seem milder and sweeter than collards from the summer garden? Spring collards barely need to be wilted in some good pasture butter and they’re wonderful as a way to sop up my backyard chickens’ egg yolks.
Berries seem to ride the crest between spring and summer, and berries are a great way to start or end the day, for the love of their flavors as well as their health benefits. Richly colored, each variety offers a different array of potent anti-oxidants. Morning berries sit atop dairy-eaters’ yogurt, or blend with coconut milk and whey powder in the smoothie I put together before heading out for a morning row with the women’s racing team. Ashland Rowing Club is heading for the Northwest Regional Regatta in Vancouver, Washington, later this month, so many mornings include a workout on the water! And of course, after dinner, berries are great in so many ways: a little cream on top, or a dusting of lightly toasted coconut flakes. Haven’t done it yet, but once this season, fresh berries on Coconut Bliss. (Coconut Bliss is a dairy free coconut milk ice cream, have you tried it?)
How could I have ever loved any other season’s offerings? Isn’t spring absolutely the best season when it comes to food? Wait, did someone mention… tomatoes?
What do you put on your spring salads?