Haven’t you just about had it with winter? Thank goodness it’s almost time for rhubarb, asparagus and blackberries to start appearing in the produce section.
After months of eating frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, do you need a reminder on how to pick out the best spring produce? It’s easy. Choose crisp stalks of rhubarb that are blemish-free and without dry-looking, split ends. When you bring rhubarb home, remove the leaves, if present, before tightly sealing in plastic bags or wrapping in plastic wrap. Unwashed and uncut, it will stay fresh for about a week. When buying asparagus, choose stalks that are crisp and firm with buds that are tightly closed. The cut ends should not look dry or cracked. Refrigerate unwashed asparagus wrapped in a damp cloth in a loose plastic bag. It’s extremely perishable, so use it within four days of bringing it home from the store. Choose plump, dark purple blackberries without juice stains at the bottom of the container indicating crushed fruit. Of course, avoid moldy berries. Arrange unwashed berries in a single layer on a plate and refrigerate them, loosely covered, for up to 2 days.
Now that you’ve chosen the best of the spring produce, what in the world do you do with it? We’ve probably all had rhubarb pie, so branch out! Make a rhubarb cobbler or maybe a crisp. One of our recipes for refrigerator jam combines two spring favorites – strawberries and rhubarb. Asparagus can be prepared in many ways. Serve roasted asparagus as a side dish or toss with pasta or in a salad. Why not make it into a creamy soup? It’s delicious served warm or chilled. Stir asparagus into a quiche or use on a white pizza. The possibilities really are endless. Use blackberries in more than just smoothies or tossed on top of yogurt. They make a fabulous salad dressing for spinach salad and they’re also an unexpected addition to barbecue sauce for ribs.
For more recipes using produce, check out our fruits and vegetables Pinterest board.