Spring 2015, a slow start but officially here and going fast now..
Wow, the fervor of spring, ie the beginning of the growing season, feels new and exciting each year but if I look back at written words over the years, it’s like groundhog day, and I’m an annual seasonal broken record.. Maybe that’s partly why I don’t blog as religiously anymore.
So I’m streamlining here with main highlights and an updated slideshow of spring edibles (below), most of which are peaking now.. And honestly, it is indeed different and ever as thrilling year after year, I just no longer feel like repeating everything ten years later.
Spring 2013 post with more detail and photos.. (back when I was able to upload photos here)
No Doubt, Spring in St-Roch really is the jackpot season, when there is the most abundance of edibles in our backyard. Highlights are always the wild salad greens which are really good this year; with the cold start, the dandelion isn’t bitter at all for instance, the spring beauty, trout lily and daisy so sweet, the live-forever juicy..
Beyond the little curiosities such as apios (wild potato), the day lily shoots and varied sprouts, roots, spruce tips and such, it always comes down to two main topics in spring..
About ramps: I have said it all before, but..
Bottom line: Know where your ramps are coming from, they are slow to reproduce and need to be harvested sustainably, which is why they are illegal in Quebec. Pick on your own property and you won’t be ripping out any roots, picking carefully and moderately. Harvest the leaves at the end of the plant cycle and use in salads or as an herb, make pesto for the freezer. Same story with crinkleroot and wild ginger which also have a slow cycle, and so are on the endangered list - you can’t be ripping out the roots. Pruning a healthy population on your own property is the only way to go, which is what we do. Chefs and diners should be aware, there are a lot of hacks out there wrecking it for the rest of us.
About fiddleheads I have said it all before, but..
Bottom line: Don’t worry, they aren’t toxic, you just need to wash and cook them. There is a molecule that is hard to digest, but it is water soluble and denatured by cooking. They grow in swampy areas, so another reason to wash and cook. But they are super nutritious and delicious if fresh and cooked properly. 5 minutes in lots of boiling water is all it takes, then sauté with garlic, butter/olive oil, a squirt of tamari and cider vinegar, salt&pepper. I like a splash of hot sauce too. They are great with bacon, as well as in curry or stir-fries, or just plain with a meat dish.
Get out there, breathe the spring air eat some greens!
Visit us at the restaurant Our spring menu
And our workshop dinners are every second Sunday from May to July.
Visit us at the Jean Talon market! The walls are down and producers will start showing up as of this week..
Like our Facebook page Les Jardins Sauvages if you want to stay tuned to what is in season and available at the market..