I finally got into the garden this weekend - anybody else?
It wasn't much of a start, but I put in arugula and spinach,
favas and peas. It's the start of the growing season, when
there's nary a weed or a pest (except for ticks - I've seen plenty
of those already), and good intentions go hand-in-hand with wild
Forget about the new year we started back in January - spring is
the real new year. Every spring I mean to do a better job of
cooking the season, and this spring is no exception. So here
are my spring resolutions - I'll try to keep them to a small
handful, so I have a sporting chance.
Expand my repertoire of salad dressings: I
know, I say this all the time. But this time I'm really going
to do it. The pantry is overflowing with vinegars and I need
to get serious about using them. What I need to do is
develop, say, three basic dressings - something vinaigretty,
something creamy, something soy-based - and then figure out how to
vary them as I like.
Find another way I love
nettles. These grow everywhere around our
house, and I usually make at least one spring batch of nettle
ravioli. I've never quite warmed up to nettle soup, that
classic cleanser, but maybe I'll try the nettle börek in Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume. Or maybe
the nettle and goat cheese pesto in Home Made.
Find another way to love radishes. If no
one stops me, I will eat all the radishes in the garden in the form
radish butter. Sometimes I chop the radishes into the
butter, sometimes I shingle radishes right onto buttered toast.
I can eat radish butter all day long. Seriously, it's
like a sickness. But I have a vague memory of loving them
pickled, too. And I have a feeling I would love very small
radishes gently sweated in a buttered pan, like turnips, or tossed
in a bright salad with spring onions, à la Nigel Slater.
I definitely want to avail myself
of more marinades - because all that time in the
garden comes at a price,and when I drag my soil-encrusted self back
into the house in the afternoons, dinner prep tends to get
drastically curtailed. Fortunately Harvard Common Press has just
the book for me - Marinades by
There are other greens I'd like to think more about too -
asparagus, and arugula, and spinach, say. But I know that if I
overreach, my spring resolutions will go the way of my January ones
- whatever those were.
What do you resolve to cook this spring, before all our time is
thieved away by other pressing obligations?