Monday, March 16, 2015

Turning the Bend

They say you add a few pounds in Winter, perhaps to insulate you from the cold. I've always liked this idea. When it turned horribly cold a few weeks ago with the arctic air pushing south into the continental U.S. and with it, the mercury in the thermometer, I felt my appetite skyrocket. It's as though one's appetite might be inversely related to the temperature. For me, the Winter is a time for soups and while I began to turn sick at the sight of a root vegetable a few weeks ago, their hardy structures make for great tartines and stews. Onions, turnips, parsnips: they all lend themselves to a great caramelization with their stores of sugar. I remember hearing once that the starches in root vegetables are what lead to its higher content of sugar compared to other, more water-dense ones. Either way, they are great to convert into a hot dish on a cold day. Speaking of soups, I recently downloaded the Blackberry Farm app from the eponymous resort's website. In it, one can find various recipes related to each season of the year. Under Winter, a simple recipe for roasted parsnip soup makes my mouth water and I would urge anyone to download the app and make the soup before we are full swing into Spring.

Spring, of course, is fast approaching and with it, a slew of new ingredients to be incorporated into new and different recipes. As I am relatively new to the field of cooking, my mind is abuzz with what to make, which vegetables to use and if I am preparing them in the best way possible. Enter: Manger, Mimi Thorisson's beautiful blog on all things epicurean. Offering anecdotes on French-country living, she also supplies readers with a vast array of delicious recipes. Flipping through the recipe section today, I came across one for vignarola, a Roman dish made with spring vegetables. Fava beans, spring onions and mint are just a few of the ingredients included in this "stew" of sorts. In earlier times, according to Thorisson, such vegetables often grew in the vineyards and to which they owe their namesake. In current times (i.e. today), as we turn the bend into warmer weather, I can't wait to shed the weight of winter vegetables and move towards the (quite literally) lighter vegetables produced in spring. I've loved you, root vegetables, but it's time for the cellar.

P.S. When posting the page to Google+, I noticed a recipe featured under +Williams-Sonoma  "Recipe of the Day". For #MeatlessMondays, Williams Sonoma featured a recipe for Artichoke, Spring Pea and Mint Soup. Guess everyone's getting in on this action!

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