Camille's Real Food Recipe: First Greens of Spring
First Greens of Spring (or Green Salad, Green Rain)
There is a phenomenon that happens every year sometime in late March or early April that I call the “green rain.” Before this rain, the landscape is still dominated by winter: tightly curled buds and bare branches, brisker temperatures and scurrying winds. The clouds roll in, like thunderclouds, but more gently. The rain begins, warm and soft, and gradually rises to a crescendo. Finally the rain slows and I realize that the world is glowing green—not the green patches of early spring, but a lush verdant haze over every growing thing. Buds have opened to reveal tiny leaves. Branches that were bare are now covered with the fuzz of new growth. The winter has passed and now it is spring.
My tastebuds crave salads this time of year after being lulled by the warming stews of winter. I want to taste new chlorophyl and crunch that make my palate sparkle. One of my favorite spring salad ingredients is peppery violet greens, fresh from my yard. Here I’ve paired them with spinach, shredded carrots, crunchy raw asparagus and purple onions. Yes, those are violet flowers you see on top and yes, they are edible. Top with a simple dressing: in a pint canning jar add 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Add a fresh chopped herb if you have it – mint, parsley or thyme would be delicious. Cap, shake, and pour on the flavor.
This month, take a moment to notice the changing seasons. Wake up your palate with a fresh green salad. And for a beautiful and memorable moment, curl up with your lover, your child or your cat and watch for the green rain. On April 9th and 14th here at AlmaDiem I’ll be joining forces with Herbalist Danna Sharp of Wisteria Herbs to teach Cooking Wild, a class on how to find and prepare foraged foods.
Find out more on her website Camillewatson.com