Taste of the Season: Spring
Treat your taste buds to the season's bounty
Delicate spring vegetables make easy dinners when flash sauteed
With the spring season comes a delicious variety of vegetables. The arrival of asparagus, artichokes, baby greens, and berries all leave no doubt that winter is over!
Flash in the pan
All of these delicate spring vegetables make easy dinners when flash sauteed--cooked briefly in a pan heated to medium-high--in a small amount of olive oil, then simply seasoned with salt and pepper for a great side dish. If you want to get a bit more creative add sesame seeds, fresh herbs, or garlic.
For a complete meal, add slivered cooked chicken, cooked shrimp, or diced tofu. When adding these extras, be sure not to overcook the vegetables so they keep a bright color and a trace of their crispness. Serve the stir-fry alone or over a bed of a tasty whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa, or whole-wheat couscous.
The only kitchen rule: Make sure that the harder vegetables are added earlier and all together. For example, asparagus, peppers, and onions will cook in about the same time. If you decide to use something soft, like tomatoes, add them at the end of the cooking process to preserve the natural character of the vegetable.
Serve your stir-fry with a salad
Spring fruits such as apricots and berries are incredible when tossed into a baby field greens salad with extra virgin olive oil and raspberry or balsamic vinegar. Throw in some walnuts or pecans and crumbled blue cheese for a salad that you will crave in all four seasons.
Best bets for the season
Chef Steve Petusevsky is a syndicated columnist and cookbook author who frequently carries a bunch of asparagus in his attache case to remind himself that it is spring while living in South Florida.