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We, like many Bostonians, were a bit taken aback when the promise of our early spring was ripped from our grasp and replaced with five inches of snow last week.
Even though at this time a year ago we had barely installed any new gardens, there was something cruel in last week’s abrupt reversal. While the snow and cold delayed our farmers from planting, however, they’ve been plenty busy performing “Spring Awakenings” to refresh the soil. And in beds outfitted with cold frames (including some at our office), we’re finding the lush greenery of the first perennials to emerge from their overwintered slumber.
We couldn’t be more excited to announce a new partnership with local recipe developer and food blogger Desiree Curie, whose blog, What’s in Season with Des, is the perfect compliment to what we do here at GCG. Each month, Desiree will offer a recipe that showcases a vegetable (or part of a vegetable) that is unique to those who grow their own, while in our blog, we’ll explain the horticultural side of the recipe.
This month? We’ll be talking about sorrel – a bright, lemony green that is one of the first to emerge each spring. In this partnership, we hope to shine a focus on ingredients like sorrel, which is tough to find in traditional markets, as well as timely recipes that align with what’s happening in the garden. What do you do with the tops of carrots? What do you do when you have a big frost coming and you’ve harvested pounds of undersized eggplants? Stay tuned for these and more!
Over on her blog, Desiree has whipped up pasta e fagioli with sorrel. The recipe takes advantage of the brightness of this early spring crop and is a real treat to those who have planted in sorrel in previous growing seasons. But how does sorrel, this seemingly insubstantial green, survive when other plants cannot?
It’s easiest to imagine perennial vegetables like trees – after frost, during the cold winter months, the plants will lose those parts exposed to the cold (namely their leaves and stems). All the while, the roots will leech out a lot of their excess water into the surrounding ground so that subsequent freezing and thawing cycles don’t harm the plant. Finally, and this is the really cool part, the excess sugars and salts in the plant will become hyper-concentrated in the roots, lowering their freezing point. The roots then lie dormant until the spring, when a warm burst of air will perk them back up! It’s a fascinating look into plants’ resiliency, and a delicious way to kick of your spring.
So go check out Desiree’s website now for her recipe for pasta e fagioli with sorrel. We know we’re good and hungry.