The Somerset Ridge Vineyard is in full swing…. Today the hillside was covered with people seeking delicious wine and beautiful sunshine. In Paola, later this afternoon, we had the 3 big windows on the front of the studio wide open, welcoming the warm breeze and the glorious sunshine. The whole day made me want to put a canvas on my easel and paint an abstract with bright vibrant colors….but I didn't. But...
IT IS FINALLY SPRING!
With the arrival of spring come thoughts of asparagus, artichokes, fennel, radishes and lots of greens from leaf lettuces to mustard greens. The pots of soups and braised meats turn into the barbecue grill and big juicy steaks and burgers. Soon, wonderful salads with every kind of colorful veggie we can find will replace plates of warm sauce laden pastas.
What do you want to bet soon we will hear the bell from the ice cream truck!
I’m looking forward to making Sautéed Baby Artichokes
They take a little preparation, but the rewards are worth it. Look for bags of these tiny artichokes at produce counters in the spring and fall. If baby artichokes aren't available, substitute fresh or frozen artichoke hearts.
Juice of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
⅓ cup parsley, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse baby artichokes. Peel away outer green leaves until artichokes leaves are yellow on the bottom, green on top. With a sharp knife, cut off the green tops. Cut stems even with the base of the artichokes and cut artichokes in half lengthwise. As artichokes are trimmed and cut, place them in a bowl of water mixed with the lemon juice.
In a heavy skillet, heat butter and olive oil until butter is melted and hot. Drain baby artichokes and add to hot skillet with minced garlic. Sauté artichokes until halves are fork-tender.
Add parsley, salt, and pepper to the artichokes. Serve warm with a big juicy grilled steak and a crisp green salad with spring radishes. Heaven!
Take advantage of all of Spring’s wonderful vegetables! Have you ever had Fiddlehead Ferns? No?
You must, you absolutely must! I have found them at Whole Foods, and they are only available for several weeks in early spring. So, what are they? The fiddlehead fern is a unique delicacy from northern New England, particularly prized in Maine and New Hampshire.