The first hopeful green shoots are sprouting in my garden, confirming what my calendar says – that spring is on its way. I’m grateful because come March it’s no longer possible to be inspired by root vegetables and I’ve made butternut squash every possible way.
Last weekend’s opening day of Chestertown, MD’s farmers market was filled with harbingers of the season to come. Native Daughter Flowers, who in summer offers pails of foxgloves, gladiolas and dahlias, was bundled in a heavy wool coat and cap, and presented only daffodils and potted tulips. But my reliable vegetable dealer from Cedar Farms arrived with spring peas and hothouse lettuces. Stamping their feet in the cold, the folks from Lockbriar Farms were offering tempting tastes of their jams and honey.
The thing I had missed most over the winter was talking with the growers. Each always has a tip or two to share about how to prepare what's fresh that week. And then there's the purely social aspect of chatting with others after the long winter home alone.
Taking a break from my browsing,I strolled over to the bakery to get a cup of coffee. Then I went back out to the market to buy the remaining ingredients for my dinner dish. But stung by the brisk cold breeze, everyone had already packed up and left.
I am wildly impatient for spring, but just like those who grow things, I need to learn the art of patience. The market will return next week, and as spring progresses it will continue to blossom.
Farfalle with Peas, Asparagus, Mushrooms and Cream
This simple pasta combines the flavors of spring with a rich creamy sauce
1 ½ cups shelled baby peas
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and shaved
1 shallot, chopped
16 oz mushrooms, including button and fresh or frozen porcini, chopped
½ cup chicken broth
¼ stick butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbs olive oil
½ cup grated Parmesian cheese
1 lb farfalle pasta
salt and pepper
Preheat oven on broil. Brush asparagus with olive oil. Broil for 5 minutes. Set aside and cut into 1 inch lengths.
Melt butter in sauce pan. Cook mushrooms till tender. Add broth and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
In a large pan sauté shallots till golden. Then add peas, asparagus and mushrooms. Add cream and reduce for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in parmesian cheese.
Heat water for pasta and cook according to directions.
Combine ingredients and serve sprinkled with parmesian cheese.
This is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging edition 376, hosted by Simona's Kitchen http://simonaskitchen2.blogspot.com/