Recipe: Spring Vegetables

Nothing beats a heaping plate of lightly cooked spring vegetables. For me, four or five vegetables and a good bread is a great dinner; people who need more protein may want to add a little tuna, or a few slices of veggie “turkey”.

A is for Asparagus. Choose crisp stalks with tightly furled tips. Wash well, snap off the ends, drop in boiling water until tender – about 8 minutes.

A is also for Artichoke. Trim the stalk flush to the base of the artichoke. Pull off any leaves at the base that look dry or damaged. Boil in a non-aluminum pot until the stalk end is tender, 30-60 minutes depending on size.

B is for Broccoli, the last of the season. I like it “steamed” in the microwave until barely done – cut into florets, put in a covered container and cook 1-2 minutes at a time on high, stirring in between.

C is for Cauliflower, also the last of the season. Cook as for broccoli.

C is also for Corn, when it gets here. Husk it, rinse it, trim the ends so you can stick in the corn holders, and drop it in boiling water. “Done” depends on your tastes – 5 to 10 minutes.

C is always for Carrots, good any time of year. Serve them raw, a nice crunchy contrast.

G is for Green Beans, which are lovely this time of year. Trim off the ends and steam them lightly.

O is for Onions, any kind of onions, but especially sweet ones. Slice and sauté with button mushrooms, or chop and toss in the water with your peas.

P is for Potatoes, the tiny spring ones. Wash and boil in their jackets until tender. Lemon juice is nice instead of butter.

R is for tender young Radishes. Wash well and trim. Do the whole bunch, and keep in a covered dish in the fridge.

S is for Spinach, washed and tossed in a big hot pan where two cloves of garlic have been gently sautéed in a little oil. Slam on the lid and steam until done.

S is for Summer Squash, ‘cause we’re not sick of them yet. Slice them thinly, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on finely grated Parmesan and run them under the broiler until they’re lightly browned.