What’s in Season for Spring?

Spring’s Must-Haves

When new season’s produce hits our home, and tart limes fill the fruit bowl, plump Hapuka with Thai fish sauce is back on the menu! So is Mediterranean lamb salad, beetroot salad and cleansing, reviving plates of steamed bok choy and sides of smartly dressed asparagus.

Why Eat in Season?

Digestively speaking, we’re designed to eat seasonally. We naturally migrate from winter’s warming, baked, heavier foods, to Spring/Summer’s lighter, cooler more delicate array: from roast veg to steamed, from soups and stews to salads, from apple pie to citrus tart. Our bodies simply digest seasonal food better.

Science intervenes

No scientist can convince me that a plum presenting in September’s market, picked in January, has the same sweet ‘n’ sour punch. And no, I don’t want Autumn’s treat – home-made sweet potato chips – in Spring. What possible vitality can a fruit or vegetable have so far past its picking day? Supermarkets prevent apple’s natural ripening agent, ethylene, from kicking in, by storing them for months in an oxygen-free zone at zero degrees so their normal processes hibernate.

Wouldn’t you rather miss apples, then look forward to the crunch and salivating explosion of juicy sweetness?

What’s Fresh this Spring

Ripe from the fields of Mother Earth are: lemons, limes, Valencia oranges, pineapple, early-season strawberries and mangoes, asparagus, beetroot, spinach, silverbeet, Asian greens (bok choy, pak choy), green beans, Hass avocado, cabbage, zucchini, cucumber and welcome back roquet!

Recipes to Celebrate

Mediterranean Lamb Salad: Take a plump lamb backstrap, marinaded in rosemary, garlic, lemon juice and virgin olive oil. Cook tenderly.  Rest 5 minutes. Slice into even morsels. Roast chunky-cut beetroot until it exudes earthy goodness. Lightly steam fragrant spears of thin asparagus until delicate skin gives way to juicy crunch! Dunk fresh spinach leaves in a bowl of clear water. Arrange all with care and pzazz on a large white plate. Peel open a tub of fresh feta and crumble generously atop. Drizzle amply with quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Yaaaarrm! This is a louder, deeper, more rigorous version of “yum”.

Beetroot Salad:  Peel and finely grate 1-2 whole, raw beetroots and 1-2 large carrots. Blend through a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, and another of sultanas. Either blend the carrot and beetroot (the beetroot will ‘bleed’ into the carrot slightly), or line the bowl with one and fill its centre with the other, or layer carrot under beetroot. Lightly steam some small broccoli florets until vivaciously green, and arrange prettily on top.

Dressing: Blend 2 heaped tablespoons of tahini with the juice of half a lemon, splish of apple cider vinegar, quality olive oil and a big teaspoon of honey (to taste).