POST #903 Here is a quick list of the vegetables in season right now. You can often save money buying vegetables when they are in season. If you shop farmers markets, you may not see these vegetables except when they are in season.
RHUBARB- Rhubarb has a flavor all its own – it looks sort of like red celery, but it tastes more citrus-y. The first time I received it in my CSA box, I had no clue what to do with it – all of the recipes I found involved cooking it with a lot of sugar. Finally, I just cut off a little piece and chewed it to see what would happen. Lemony flavor! RHUBARB: Rhubarb has a flavor all its own – it looks sort of like red celery, but it tastes more citrus-y. I ended up chopping it fine, putting it in the blender, and making a lemonade-like concoction (I sweetened it that time with some agave syrup). Since then, I have ground rhubarb and added it to salads, put it in juices and smoothies, and made a “tea” of it, by grinding it up with some hot water.
AVOCADO – You can eat avocado just plain, you can blend it into a smoothie, you can blend it with chocolate and make a mousse, you can chop it and add it to whatever you’re making, or you could just make guacamole. I often make a wakame (sea vegetable) salad with marinated greens, chopped onion and red bell pepper and tomato, add chopped avocado, and toss all with a little hot sesame oil and apple cider vinegar.
MOREL MUSHROOMS – These cute little mushrooms have a buttery taste. You can cut them up into your salad, chop them up to add to a sauce, dehydrate them, or whatever your heart leads you to. The morel season is very short, so get them right away if you see them.
PEAS – Fresh peas are delicious. You can add them to salads, you can grind them up in the food processor or VitaMix and make a soup; you can even sprout them if your heart leads you there.
TURNIPS – At this time of year, you can find all sorts of turnip varieties in farmers’ markets. Turnips have a slightly sweet taste. I usually grind them up to an applesauce consistency, add apple cider vinegar and my seasoning of choice (usually garlic), and some olive oil for good measure – I either it this as is, or combine it in a salad with sea vegetables and marinated greens. You can also ferment them with a little salt, water, and probiotics (sometimes I add some jalapeno for a kick) I usually add this to sea vegetables as well. You can also slice the turnip paper-thin and use the slices as the outside for “rawvioli”.
RADISHES – Radishes are on the spicy side. In supermarkets, you usually see little ones, but in the greenmarkets, sometimes I see rather large radishes, which are close to the size of turnips (when they are that large, I do use them as rawvioli “wrappers”). You can slice or julienne or grind radishes for inclusion in whatever you are making (I’ve noticed that the spicy-ness disappears if you put it in hot water for a soup and it gets a kind of turnip-y flavor). Pickled radish slices, fermented in brine with some probiotic added, is also a popular condiment.
STRAWBERRIES – Oh, la la! Fresh strawberries! You can combine them with rhubarb for a nice juice (add some agave syrup), you can slice them up on their own, you can make a strawberry pie or strawberry shortcake, or, if you find you are not going to finish them all, you can slice them up and dehydrate them for a yummy snack. Oh, yes, and you can add them to bananas and agave syrup and make a super smoothie.
SPINACH – Oh, spinach! It is lovely on its own in a salad, perhaps with a bit of onion or tomato, or some sauerkraut. You can chop it up fine, then squeeze it together into a Japanese-style cube (but why would you want to?), add it to a cashew pate, or blend it into a green drink.
ORANGES – You can just eat an orange plain. You can section it and put it in salads, or combine it into a smoothie or other juice drink. You can make an Orange Julius or Dreamcicle-flavored drink by blending up oranges with cashews and vanilla. You can make the traditional Southern ambrosia, by cutting up oranges, then tossing them with some coconut flakes (and, if you choose, a little agave)
KIWI – Use kiwi in fruit salads, in smoothies, or desserts.
LEEKS – First you have to remove the outer layer, halve the leek and wash out the dirt. After that, you can chop leek up to add to salad, or make a cream of leek soup with cashews and, perhaps, a dash of garlic and salt. You can also include leek in green drinks.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS – I tend to treat Brussels sprouts as baby cabbages. You can chop them up and add them to salads or whatever else, or, as I often do, you can halve or quarter them, and pickle them with salt, water, probiotics, and cayenne or jalapeno, or even dill and garlic!
DANDELION GREENS – Use these in a salad with a little minced garlic, cayenne, and chopped onions. I often add some wakame (sea vegetable) to the mix.
PINEAPPLE – Yumm! So many things you can do! Blend pineapple with dried coconut and water for a pina colada. Toss pineapple chunks with unsweetened desiccated coconut for a snack. Add pineapple chunks to smoothies, salads, desserts, or whatever. Or just freeze the pineapple along with some bananas, then make pineapple banana ice cream! Or… just eat it plain.
CABBAGE – Is cabbage ever out of season? It has been my basic food for so many years! Grate cabbage, sprinkle with salt and some seasonings then mash it around until it gets juicy, and you have a basic salad with “self-dressing”. Add grated cabbage to a sea weed salad, or use it as the base with chopped onion, tomato, red bell pepper, a sprinkle of kelp powder, black pepper or cayenne as you like, a little apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and you have a salad whose leftovers can be turned into a soup tomorrow (this was my basic food in graduate school!) Then, of course, you can make sauerkraut very easily with some sea salt and probiotics and have a finished product in 3 days – add your sauerkraut to any and everything you make for a new experience. (Flavor your sauerkraut with jalapenos, dill and garlic, garlic, ginger and cayenne, or whatever strikes your fancy, or make it with onion, carrots, or other vegetables).
BROCCOLI – Break up broccoli in for dipping. Blend broccoli with cashews for a cream of broccoli soup. Toss flowerets with cashew cheddar cheese and dehydrate for a nifty snack. Pickle broccoli flowerets in brine with dill and garlic.
WHITE ASPARAGUS – Use this tender variety for dipping, make cream of asparagus soup with cashews, add it to salads, or pickle it with garlic and dill.