Spring in food (I): Ramsons (Wild leek – Bärlauch)

There are so many things of spring that make us just feel right. The air, the plants awaking from winter, the little flowers popping everywhere…

Also in the kitchen we are grateful to greet a new season and enjoy some of the great ingredients that now become available. Some of these ingredients are now in season but only for a short time, so we try to take as much advantage of them now and I must say that we truly enjoy them. Probably even more than others because we now it is not lasting many weeks.

One of the ingredients I’m referring to is the wild garlic (Bärlauch, aglio orsino, allium ursinum or ajo de oso). I will be updating this post during the weeks we find it at our local market to report on the recipes we make with it.

    To start the Bärlauch season we made a Bärlauch pesto. It is one of our favorite kinds of pesto. I just love it. You can then have it with pasta, potatoes, rice, cereals, bread or in a salad. It really keeps all the flavor and aroma of the leaves. To make the pesto just add the coarsely chopped leaves in a food processor together with a pinch of salt, roasted nuts (we used pine nuts this time but it is also great with almonds, cashew nuts, etc), a bit of lemon juice, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and olive oil. You will probably have to add more olive oil during the process, and just taste it and vary the quantities as you like.

    This week we made Bärlauchspätzle. They are really good and easy to make (well it does take some more time than making a pesto). Just make the Spätzle with the recipe you like, but instead of water you add Bärlauch-water: with your stand mixer puree the Bärlauch-leaves with some water (just enough to get a smooth texture), you will then add more water if the dough needs it, but we do not want to leave out any of the precious Bärlauch-water. In this way the flavor of the Bärlauch is much milder, but on the other hand that is a great thing for smaller children.

Quinoa salads and crumb-coated broccoli

FFwD in April brings again quite nice recipes to our table and a lot of fun in the kitchen. Here is the schedule for this month:

    April 1, 2011- quinoa, fruit and nut salad
    April 8, 2011- garlicky crumb-coated broccoli
    April 15, 2011- vanilla eclairs
    April 22, 2011- mustard batons
    April 29, 2011- bistrot paul bert pepper steak

We made the quinoa, fruit and nut salad for lunch at work. It was nice but as by the beggar’s linguine, it is not our favorite combination. Very good but just not our kind of comfort food.

The week before we had made another quinoa salad from WholeLiving (photo on the left). This one was soooo delicious. It is for sure a keeper, and we will include it regularly in our meal plans. Give it a try!

We have actually try recently this quinoa hash which is also superb.

The garlicky crumb-coated broccoli came also shortly after to our table. It is very good, not better than the usual dishes we prepare with broccoli, but for sure a good dish to alternate, and a great side dish.