Tuesday, April 05, 2011 • Chicago, IL 60657
April is a bit of a tease when it comes to seasonal foods. The sun is shining longer and more intensely, the snow is melting and it feels like we're coming out of hibernation, which should mean more fresh eats. But April serves as the bridge month between winter and spring. In locavore speak, that means there's still not more going on in most of the country when it comes to fresh produce. But take heart! There are some seasonally available goods this month. For example, if your only knowledge of fava beans is the infamous Hannibal Lecter leer about eating them with his victim's liver (and a fine Chianti, of course!), then you're really missing out on a fantastic taste treat ( and visual delight). Take the time to shuck and prep the beans yourself, or grab a friend or one o your kids and do it together. The insides of the pods are like velvet, and when you finally peel this nutty little legume out of its second winter coat (you have to parboil and then cold-shock the actual beans to remove the skin around them), you'll feel justly rewarded when you see and then taste the bright green treasure inside. Then there is the season's first crop of asparagus to wax poetic about. enjoy these and more on this months' fresh-picks list: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, beets, carrots, cauliflower, celeery, cucumber, fava beans, parsnips, rhubarb, scallions and spinach.