Spring is in full bloom, and that means new and delicious produce is available from our local farmers.
Here’s a few favourite highlights of spring produce in Nova Scotia, along with fun recipe ideas. It’s easy to keep family dinners locally-inspired in our bountiful province!
Easy to find and to prepare, asparagus is available at most vegetable stalls at the farmers’ market; be sure to grab a bunch this weekend. From puree soups to pizza toppings to simply sautéed as a side dish, asparagus can be a part of breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Grill your trimmed asparagus spears on the barbecue, after tossing in oil, and seasoning with salt and pepper. Once done grilling, toss with lemon zest and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the mouth-watering side dish lemon parmesan asparagus.
If you’re looking to use up your asparagus at breakfast, substitute the ham in eggs benny for grilled asparagus spears, or cut into smaller pieces and toss in a garden vegetable scramble with local eggs.
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These funny-looking dark green vegetables can be found both growing wild along riverbeds, and on farms across the province. While many people are skeptical because of their unusual appearance, fiddleheads have a delicate green flavour and are easy to prepare by using simple flavours.
Once removing the brown scales and washing in cold water, fiddleheads can easily be steamed or boiled. Be sure they are thoroughly cooked. Then simply drizzle with your favourite infused oil (I like roasted garlic), or classic melted butter, salt and pepper, and enjoy as a super nutritious side dish.
Also, use your leftover cooked fiddleheads in breakfast dishes like omelettes and quiches.
One of the most versatile leafy green vegetables – spinach – can be used any time of the day. Easily added in a variety of egg dishes at breakfast, substituted into sandwiches instead of lettuce, or sautéed with butter and garlic as a simple side dish, this nutritious green can act as an enhancer or be enjoyed on its own.
One of the best ways is to create a fresh spinach salad, along with some fun ingredients. Take a look at the Seasons by Atlantica spinach salad…
Spinach – baby leaf of spinach, spiced cashews, gooseberries, mango chutney, sesame pomegranate vinaigrette
Rhubarb is a nostalgic ingredient for many Nova Scotians. Grown in home gardens and on properties across the province, many of us have fond memories of enjoying rhubarb as kids.
This unique plant is tart and sour, and absolutely delicious when the right amount of sweetness is added. Rhubarb can simply be boiled down and sweetened with sugar, or can be the key ingredient in a rich dessert like strawberry rhubarb cream pie.
One of my favourite ways to prepare it is with brown sugar in a rhubarb crumble.
Want to know more?
There’s a ton of resources out there for people looking to get more seasonally inspired. Along with researching where your favourite restaurants get their produce and other items, you can take a look at Select Nova Scotia‘s website. Here you’ll find a seasonal food chart, recipes, lists of local producers and even regional maps on where to find farms and farmers’ markets.
Along with that, simply make it down to your local farmers’ market more often, and chat with the vendors about their produce, practises and what’s coming up with the next harvest!