Season's Best

I made my first trip to the Green City Market this morning, and the temperature on the air made it seem more like harvest time than spring, but the sun was shining, and at first site of all the asparagus and lilac blossoms, I knew it was a great day.

I wound up with some lovely flowers for the dining room, a hoard of asparagus from Ellis Farms, who seemed to have the most tender shoots, and a variety bag from Green Acres. Green Acres had some stellar wild watercress, which is always quite inspiring, and sorrel, one of my favorite greens. The bright, tart flavor is often bypassed by chefs who cook it into soups, sauces, and the like, eschewing its agressive lemony tang for something a bit milder and more earthy. Me, when there’s a flavor that is so unique and so dazzling, I like to work with it and hopefully let it shine.

The only thing about sorrel is that you can’t serve it straight up as a salad of sorrel, because it would be way too sour, even for me. I did, however, have that wild watercress and our first order of the season on the way from Home Grown Wisconsin.

Shooting Star Farm has a wonderful spicy greens mix they put together with tat soi, mizuna, mustard, peppercress, and baby turnip greens that’s refreshing and springy. So, into this mix goes some sorrel and wild watercress, and chocolate mint, also from Home Grown Wisconsin. Add a light vinaigrette, fresh orange, and top with some sliced TallGrass Sirloin that’s been marinated in lime juice with anchovies and Gray shallots, and you’ve got my meal of the day. While they last, we’re garnishing with forest-harvested violet flowers from Twin Hawks.

You’ll have to check back on the asparagus – most of it’s being pickled for future inspiration, although a limited quantity is available steamed and dressed only with a whisper of olive oil. Not particularly Southern, but we gotta slide on this one – this is some sweet asparagus.