One of the most wonderful times of the year, the warmer temperature of spring gives way to new life and marks the beginning of the most exciting time of the culinary year as baby animals are born and reared, the oceanic bounty begins to flourish and tasty fruits and vegetables emerge from their winter slumber, ready for the picking.
It’s possible to go on and on all day about some of the amazing food offerings that spring literally brings to the table, but there are some stand-out ingredients that while they can be eaten at any time, are at their peak in spring, and eating seasonally shouldn’t only be enjoyed by gastronomes and chefs alike.
Some of the best meat, fish, and vegetables you should be looking to eat in the springtime include:
- Wild Alaskan Salmon
As delicious as they are cute, lamb is one of the greatest meats available and almost every part of the animal is tasty while wild Alaskan salmon is primarily in season during late spring and early summer, and artichokes, one of the most underused vegetables, is also one of the most versatile.
Always a delight, lamb is a beautiful animal to eat and tastes no better than it does in the spring. Typically the meat is cut from a lamb before it reaches 12 months old at which point the textures and flavors change as it enters maturity to become a sheep, then the meat is known as mutton. The meat can be purchased almost anywhere, but organic and sustainable products such as lamb from Superior Farms will award the most flavor.
While lamb tends to have a strong flavor, it isn’t so intense as to overpower anything else and is, therefore, an excellent pairing with spring fruits and vegetables such as apricots, asparagus, and savoy cabbage. This makes lamb an excellent choice for Sunday roast and makes an amazing gravy when cooked with garlic, rosemary, and red wine.
Wild Alaskan Salmon
One of the most widely enjoyed fish all over the world, salmon is a wonderfully flavorsome catch with a distinct profile and texture. Salmon eggs hatch in spring which is why it is a great time to catch since any catch made is quickly replenished making the most out of any sustainability options.
Wild Alaskan salmon actually comes in multiple species including pink salmon, sockeye, and chum, all of which swim the waters of bountiful Atlantic and Pacific oceans and rivers beyond. Like most fish, salmon is delicate and flavor pairings should be carefully considered so as not to waste it. Other spring delights like green beans and new potatoes are excellent.
A strange-looking vegetable indeed, the artichoke is vastly underused as most people don’t know how to prepare it properly. Artichoke is actually a flower bud (thistle) and comes in many varieties such as the purple-colored Petit Violet, large-headed Globe, and the classic Jerusalem artichoke.
Artichoke is notoriously difficult to prepare and there are various techniques, but one of the easiest is to simply remove the tough leaves at the base, cut off the stems and then boil for 15 minutes, then drain upside down. Your artichoke is ready when the leaves pull away easily and is beautifully served as an accompaniment with chicken.