Bring on Spring!

Springtime in Minnesota is a great time of year, especially in our Produce department! It’s when many of those special, once-a-year items appear – like ramps and morel mushrooms. Read on to learn about cooking with these seasonal favorites and tips on where to find them growing wild!

Asparagus
While asparagus is available much of the year, late spring is one the best times to enjoy it. Look for tender green asparagus stalks – and the less common purple and white varieties too! Asparagus is delicious any way it’s prepared, especially when paired with fresh lemon.

Fiddlehead Ferns
These curled new leaves of the ostrich fern are a seasonal favorite. Blanch them in boiling salted water for two minutes, then add to your favorite salad or pasta dish.

Garlic Scapes
Scapes are the flowering bulb of garlic plants. Slice them into thin coins to top pizza, or char them on the grill as a tasty accompaniment to grilled fish.

Morel Mushrooms
Often found near dead or dying elm trees, morel mushrooms are the ultimate spring treasure. Spray them liberally with water prior to cooking to remove any insects or debris. Cook them in butter and enjoy their rich, earthy flavor!

Nettles
Young nettles make a great cooked green. Blanch them and serve them as you would spinach or cooked kale – or steep the leaves in hot water with a little honey for a soothing spring tea.

Ramps
Identified by their broad leaves and pungent onion aroma, ramps are found in rich, moist soil in early spring. Ramps are wonderful with eggs. Try them in a quiche or scramble for a springy brunch!

Sorrel
Easily mistaken for clover, sorrel is known for its distinct lemon flavor. It makes a great addition to springtime salads.

Watercress
Spicy and flavorful, watercress is delicious in salads and soups, or as a garnish to any dish.