We celebrate spring – despite the overwhelming to do list. We all make time to hunt for spring treasures and delight in the tender, nutritious shoots that push up just as the snow recedes to lift our spirits.
My family and I searched through our forests and fields collecting wild leeks or ramps, fiddleheads, morels, asparagus, spring onions and garlic…mmm. Then I hit the kitchen.
I really don’t get what “foodies” like Amy Rosen for example have against local spring veggies. She trashes them way too hard in her recent Globe & Mail Spring Rant. I disagree so much…I surprised myself how often I caught myself thinking about this article as I savoured yet another spring vegetable from the farm. When they are in season I just can’t get enough!
I’m actually sort of sad for her, somehow she must have eaten asparagus that was overgrown or overcooked, and now despises it. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I am convinced she just needs to go asparagus picking at a local farm and experiment in the kitchen.
I was lucky enough to enjoy a best-ever May carefully harvesting wild leeks or ramps – which are sweet and with a delightfully light and fresh onion/garlic flavour…and certainly not “hipster propaganda”. They are so delicious and will substitute beautifully in any recipe calling for onions and garlic. We made an amazing wild leek guacamole, an even better ramp pesto and even pickled some bulbs which made my last cheese platter.
The only thing Amy and I agree on is the importance of careful wild foraging. Eaters and responsible producers should know never take more than 10% of a patch when picking the whole plant (ie. wild leeks), beyond that I am baffled at the hate she has on for spring veg.
Ignore those haters and try all the local wild leeks (aka ramps), fiddleheads, spring onion and garlic and fresh picked asparagus while you can!