For many, this is the exciting time of year when farmers markets start to open again. But I have a confession to make.
I am not excited about spring produce.
This happens year after year, although in the past I believe I made an outward show that went something like, "Ooh, asparagus! Look at that salad!" But on the inside, I was saying, "Oh great. Leaves."
When I would get excited about morels or the rare find of fiddleheads, I was being honest. And I do like green garlic. I will get excited over ramps, although I've seen those in Portland as late as July. But I can't get excited about the bulk of spring produce, and it seems that some market visits only supply those, no green garlic, fiddleheads, or unusual not-found-in-grocery-stores thing you didn't know you wanted. Most of the time, it's leaves. Called by the more appealing, "spring greens." Blech.
I like salad greens, especially arugula, but I can't say I'm excited by their abundance at the market. See, I don't want to say goodbye to winter produce. I really like winter produce, all those squashes and root vegetables and cabbages. I am not ready to let go of Brussels sprouts! And certainly not when what I get out of the trade is lettuce.
So for the next couple of weeks, you may find me less at the farmers market and more in the produce aisle, buying imported, out-of-season crucifers and beets. It's still cool enough for soups, stews, and casseroles!