Now, I'm not the most sentimental person when it comes to transitioning between seasons. It could very well be that I am just very accustomed to a seeming lack of seasonality around here; from what I can recall from being a lifelong resident of this geographical region, shifts in temperature trends as the year progresses have for the most part remained quite subtle (until late summer, with insufferable heat bearing down upon us) and no one seems to notice when the trees have gone bare until long after it's happened (we don't get those magnificent color changes that are present in northern California). That said, when I do notice that spring has rolled around, I typically do not suffer allergy problems and I enjoy not necessarily having to bundle up to go for a run in the morning and that my feet won't freeze in my favorite flip flops. I acknowledge that spring is, in fact, a good thing.
But what I tend to appreciate most about any change in season--including the arrival of spring--is the seasonal produce. Farmers' markets, produce sections of groceries, and even backyard gardens are awash with nature's colorful, edible delights. For example, I just harvested this lovely rainbow chard from the backyard:
In particular, I enjoy the abundance of all things green: asparagus, leafy greens, scallions, avocados, etc., all at their peak and readily available practically everywhere. Here is some of what I have been able to savor so far about spring's tasty bounty:
Roasted asparagus. I cut it up the stalks and tossed them in the tiniest bit of oil, then sprinkled them with salt and black pepper before baking. I squeezed fresh lemon juice over after it all cooked. The asparagus was perfect in a bowl with smoky black beans and brown rice.
Spicy, garlicky braised kale. Kale is always plentiful, not just in spring. But it's one of my absolute favorite leafy greens and it goes along with the green theme, so here it is. I roughly chopped the kale and braised it in a small amount of vegetable broth, along with sliced garlic and red pepper flakes, until the greens were tender. I ate it alongside some leftover asparagus and steamed brown rice.
Veganlicious, Blogalicious' Avocado Chocolate Mousse. I know, this is most definitely not green, but hey, there's avocado in it (which is green without the cocoa) and it was so decadent and easy to make that I just had to mention it. I didn't add the dates called for in the recipe (my food processor and dates haven't been getting along lately) and added a bit of almond extract. Rich and delicious. Thanks for sharing the fabulous recipe, Laura Jill!
I am eager to take advantage of all of the great fruits and vegetables this season has to offer. Happy spring, all!