Spring Pea Salad…YES SPRING!!

The impossible has occurred: Spring is making its way to DC!! Or at least it felt that way yesterday…

In honor of the END of winter (we know, we know…from our blog to G-d’s ear), enjoy this spring-y recipe from Real Simple Magazine!

Spring Pea Salad

Spring Pea Salad

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound green peas, blanched (if fresh) or thawed (if frozen)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the mint, capers, shallot, zest, oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the peas and goat cheese and toss gently. Serve at room temperature.

Hate peas? Look for recipes that favor spring produce like:

Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Bok Choy, Carrots, Fava Beans, Herbs, Salad Greens, Radishes, Rhubarb, and Spinach!

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At the Market: Spring produce, organic eating, and local food-sourcing!

To market, to market!
This past weekend, I started tackling that spring to-do list and I am so glad I did.  The Farmer’s Market at Dupont Circle has so many wonderful, fresh, local products!  Cheeses, meats, eggs, soup…

And of course, veggies, more veggies, fruit and more veggies!  The best thing to do at farmer’s markets is to look for inspiration.  Try something you have never heard of.  For me, that was Stinking Nettle.  I juiced it as was recommended to me. It was similar to spinach, and is rich in vitamins A, C, potassium, manganese, and calcium.

It was a great find!  I also stocked up on local apples, kale, and honey.

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Walking around, I was struck not only by what was there, but also by what was not.  Farmer’s Markets strive (and should succeed) to bring local produce into your home.  In order to do that, they can only provide items that actually grow in the area, and are in season.  There were no peaches or grapes.  I didn’t see tomatoes or cauliflower.  They are not in season right now.  So what is?

What’s in season right now?
Between April and May, you should expect to be cooking, eating, or juicing apples, asparagus, broccoli rabe, carrots, chard, mushrooms, kale and collard greens, onions, arugula, beets (which did look particularly red and wonderful), parsnips, nettles, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, spinach and other salad greens, turnips, and sugar and snap peas and strawberries will be making an appearance in May.

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Based on what is in season, this Spring Salad recipe should be a wonderful treat!

To organic, or not to organic? That is the question… 
The other thing I started to think about as I was arm deep in cheese samples, was why local?  Why organic? There was a study released by Stanford University back in 2012 that found no “strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods.”  Well, of course not!  There is not more calcium in an organic banana (versus a conventional one).  Just like it doesn’t have fewer calories!  Rather than regurgitate what Mark Bitman said, please read his excellent editorial on the subject.

So why should we eat organic?   Continue reading