What are we cooking during this spring month? Deserts, surely, but with the arrival of the first berry fruit next month, we will have a real explosion of colors on dessert plates. Nevertheless, I must tell you that I bought the first of this year’s strawberries and are not bad at all.
In April we look forward to: asparagus, radishes, bananas and rhubarb.
The asparagus season is short (maximum 3 months), but in that period we get very high quality asparagus. You can actually buy fresh asparagus only in the markets and on that morning when it’s harvested. Once they are harvested, they deteriorate very quickly, so you’ll easily recognize if they are picked out that very morning. The most tasty and healthiest are the asparagus only shortly treated and spiced with olive oil, pepper and, if desired, with a little Parmesan. Although you might think that thinner asparagus are more easily prepared, it is the exact opposite, they can often be tougher, so it is safe to always take some thicker. After washing them, cut the bottom of the stem and cook for 4-7 minutes. Interestingly, the asparagus was first raised in Greece 2,500 years ago and the Greeks used them to treat toothache.
Fresh radishes on a salad and white cheese, ideal snack, right? Juicy and crispy, radishes arrive at the markets after the winter break. The bark of radishes has a peppery taste, so it is often used in appetizers, because it opens the appetite. Due to its delicacy and unique taste, the radish is usually consumed fresh in salads.
You’ll tell me: well, we can buy bananas all the time. True, but in April there is a special variety of bananas: Windward. Historical data suggest that bananas have been consumed in India and China since the beginning of the calculation of time. Each of us seems to like bananas of different maturity, I prefer green and somewhat harder bananas, and the sweetest ones are certainly the ones with a few brown spots. If you serve bananas in fruit salad, sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent tanning. For one occasion, I dipped them into chocolate, which is certainly a perfect combination.
For rhubarb it is said that is a vegetable, pretending to be a fruit. So you will find recipes for pudding from rhubarb, but also recipes that suggest rhubarb as a side dish to meat or fish. In China, it was used as medicine. Marco Polo brought it to Europe in the 18th century and it is consumed as food ever since. When buying, look for pink, firm stems, without visible damages. After washing it, cut off both ends of the stem; remove the leaves as it is not edible. You can cook it or prepare it in a dessert.
I wish you a tasty and sunny April!