Making the most of the early pickings
A quick rhubarb dish can make for a tasty spring treat.
Try some raw radishes with a bit of butter and salt.
Spring seemed to take forever getting here this year, didn’t it? I am happy to be seeing green again, and grateful for the ability to work outside in a T-shirt and light shoes. This time of year I am also happy to move on from the heavy foods of winter. Luckily, Mother Nature indulges this desire as perennials start to come back in strength and salad fixings grow quickly.
Rhubarb is big and bright among this new bounty. I pulled some just last night to make a quick and easy crisp.
I mixed the chopped rhubarb with a little flour and some sugar, and topped it with a mixture of oats, brown sugar, and coconut oil (can be replaced by butter). Bake for half an hour at 350 and voila! Tartly sweet springtime. I like this recipe particularly because I never measure anything for it; I add ingredients until it looks or feels right, and every time it’s come out great.
Radishes, crisp and tangy, are also popping up. My favorite British chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, recommends serving these raw with a little butter and salt as an appetizer. I also like eating them cooked. You can fry them lightly in a little butter, salt, and pepper, or even roast them in olive oil. Try adding a little lemon juice and some of the fresh thyme that’s also growing now.
And now I must tell you that this is my last column as your CSA box explainer. I am hanging up my muck boots for a while to study social policy and research with a focus on childhood nutrition.
To this end, my husband and I will be moving to England later this summer, where I am particularly excited to learn more about the local food movement in the UK and the differences in our food systems. I plan to continue to write for this paper and share what I learn with you, so keep an eye out for me this fall. In the meantime, I wish you a season of bountiful vegetables and delicious meals.
Catherine McCosker is the farm and CSA manager at The Well School in Peterborough.