Some foods simply say spring. For those who live in the Midwest, asparagus is the first spring vegetable to appear. It grows right out of the ground, looking just like the spears to the left. From the small tip appearing to this size only takes a few days. Cut it off and another appears shortly.
Baby lettuce is another spring visitor. Before it gets too hot here in Arizona you can grow almost any kind of lettuce. Once again, just pick the outside leaves and the lettuce plant will continue to grow, or harvest several varieties while they’re still small and make a delicious fresh lettuce salad like the one in the photo below.
Radishes and strawberries also fit the spring mode. Radishes can be planted the minute it’s warm enough to put out seeds, and they have a very short growth period, so you can harvest them when all of your other vegetables are still in process. Strawberries tend to produce in the spring, but you can buy ever bearing varieties that will give you fruit for a longer stretch.
Even if you don’t have a garden, spring is the best time to pick up these fresh ingredients in the grocery store or farmer’s market.
Cook your asparagus gently in the microwave or steamer and just add a little butter and lemon juice and they’re ready to eat. The salad shown will shine with a light vinaigrette. Mix olive oil, a delicate vinegar such as white wine or raspberry, a bit of Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and a hint of sugar to your taste. You can also sweeten it with fruit juice to add more of a fresh fruit flavor.
This salad also works well with fresh blueberries or raspberries. You may even be able to get your salad-resisters to give a dish like this a taste.