Bryce Gray| The Communicator
Alli Roberts | The Communicator
Squeezing, sniffing and sampling. At least, that’s how the pros pick their produce. Especially when it comes to seasonally grown fruits and vegetables.
“We have a lot of markets here open to the public, so it’s easy to tell what’s in season based on what’s being sold,” said Candice Craft, experienced cook and former culinary student.
When eating local it’s important to know what’s seasonally grown. In addition to reducing the amount of energy, which is known today to mean oil, put into shipping produce from farms to across the county eating locally ensures the freshest food available. With northwest weather finally defrosting and gardens budding, it seems just in time to address just what produce is in season, how to pick it out, and even better still; what to do with it.
Peas - Should have firm, smooth pods, and be without any overy light or dark areas.
Asparagus - Should be firm and crisp, without any mushiness to their spears. The larger sizes tend to be tough and stringy.
Mushrooms - Should be uniform in color and without soft spots.
Spinach - Should be washed thoroughly in cold water, soaking for 5 minutes.
Cauliflower - Should be clean, creamy white, with compact heads.
“Chlorophyll is what makes plants green, some plants like asparagus can grow without it,” Craft said. “White asparagus is really tender and melts in your mouth like butter.”
(according to simplesteps.org) Grilled Asparagus
-Salt & Pepper
-Lemon juice (optional)
Heat grill (or preheat oven to 425 F). Prepare the vegetable by cutting off the bottom ends, coat with oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Grill (or bake on foil-lined cookie sheet) for 5-10 min.