Two of my favorite springtime treats are coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally) flower buds.
The first, asparagus, is one many people are familiar with. With today’s global agricultural market, asparagus is available from far flung regions for much of the year But I don’t really waste my taste buds on it until I know it’s time for the local season. Why am I willing to wait? The flavor and tenderness of truly fresh asparagus is simply unmatched by its air-freighted counterparts. I don’t even need to get political on this one, your tongue will tell you! One of our favorite farms–Big B Farm in Canby–has blessed us with a steady fresh supply. At $2.49/lb you don’t even have to splurge!
The second spring snack of my heart is garlic scapes. Scapes are the flower bud put up by garlic in the late spring. Farmers and gardeners cut or snap the scapes off of the plant for an early harvest, and also to encourage the plant to put its reproductive energy into the bulb under the earth. These graceful stalks have a mild, sweet garlic flavor and a texture very similar to asparagus when grilled or broiled. Cut off the very end because it may be a little stringy, and you can chop the entire thing up and use it just as you would garlic. It is a bit tough when raw, so I do recommend cooking it. My favorite way to prepare is to keep it whole, brush it with olive oil, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on it, and lightly grill.
Comments (0) Original post date: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013