Winter Foods...Spring Menus (When still it feels like winter outside)

Oh, mother nature, you like to keep us on our toes. We all thought we were going to slide by with a mild winter that would blossom into a warm, early spring. Yet following that mild winter, spring is now here...in full, frigid, wintry force. With a forecast that shows snowflakes as a real possibility for the second week in a row during this month of April, I’m starting to feel a bit desperate, and hungry for sunny, mild days to work in my garden and play outside. I want to watch things sprout from the ground and to be finished heating our house for the season. And I want to eat spring food. But weather and harvests aren’t things that can be rushed or changed. This is what it is.

We aren’t without hope, though. Even if it’s snowing outside and the season is still providing us with cool weather food, we can employ a few strategies in the kitchen to trick ourselves into thinking that spring is here. While the ingredients in your CSA box may at first glance evoke thoughts of heavy, rich meals, I’m offering up a strategy for light, fresh flavors and dishes that will fix your winter-in-springtime blues. In that spirit, I bring you a spring menu for cool weather food.

I’ve assembled recipes for two menus - the first for those who enjoy robust flavors, and a second that highlights the more classic qualities of the ingredients. Some of the dishes will work well as a meal all on their own, while others will pair nicely with eggs, bread, fermented vegetables, lentils, or bread to make a meal. These menus pull from ingredients in recent CSA shares including the frozen tomatoes and garlic scapes. So hang in there. Whip up some spring-ified cold weather food, play some music that tricks you into thinking the sun is shining, and remember that warmer days are coming soon. Oh, and if this cold weather has you craving the warmth of an adult beverage, check out the Melting Olaf - the perfect opportunity to highlight one of those lovely Brookford carrots as a garnish while enjoying a little chuckle.

 

Menu for Adventurous Palates

Potato parsnip latkes

Grilled cabbage with bacon

Thai carrot soup

Turnip salad with bacon and pickled onions

Double green garlic soup

Tandoori carrots

Open faced shaved beet sandwiches

 

Menu for Lovers of the Classics

Roasted potato salad

Root vegetables and eggs

Green cabbage salad

Garlic scape pizza

Pickled beet salad with chive oil

Tomato risotto

Roasted carrot, potato, and parsnip soup