Is it my imagination, or has it been the longest, sweetest
spring in recent memory? A couple of months ago, at a time when the
frozen ground usually still rings like iron when struck by a futile
hoe, I had lettuce seedlings sprouting in the garden beds, the kids
were running in the warm grass, and the daffodils were in riotous
bloom. Now the lettuce sprouts have been joined by arugula,
radishes, carrots, peas, and the slightly obscene but lovable and
delicious asparagus tips are shouldering their way out of the
Maybe it's nature's way of apologizing for the winter from hell.
Maybe it's global warming. All I know is that the sight of those
new shoots makes me feel young, hopeful, and... hungry.
Hungry enough to eat salad, which comes pretty far down on my
list of favorite foods (you know, the one that starts, "Bacon.").
If your current repertoire of salads and dressings needs a
jump-start--and whose doesn't?--there are some great resources on
the cookbook shelf. Check out "Raising the
Salad Bar" (a 2008 favorite), Andrew Swallow's new "Mixt Salads", or the colorful and
inspiring salads section of Mario Batali's latest, "Molto Gusto".
Local-foods books are popping up like mushrooms after a spring
rain--all of them luminously photographed, so you can have a garden
on your coffee table even if it doesn't work out, you know, out
back. Janet Fletcher's "Eating Local"
is a Sur La Table production with up-trending, elegant recipes;
"Edible," the cookbook from the Edible Communities magazine
franchise, is more of a manifesto--filled with solution stories and
inspiration from the food-progressive front.
Meanwhile, things are sprouting and growing at Eat Your Books
too. On the Community Page, we have some new features we hope
you'll love: a Buzz section , so you can
quickly find out what people are talking about in the food world,
and on EYB's forums. For all those times when you find a great
recipe on EYB and you want to share it with everybody, tell us
about it at Hot Find. There's
a Toolbox featuring our favorite kitchen
gadgets. And check out the updated Seasonal
Searches for some spring-fresh ideas for the season's