Spring flings do a body good.
Get it on with some seasonal produce to treat your bod to stellar nutrition and your tongue to some killer flavors. Chef Jeff Olsson from the hot new restaurant Industrial Eats shows us how to make some healthy, savory dishes that are perfect for revving your engine.
Spring Seasonal Cooking Recipes
Why this matters
- Seasonal produce tastes better because it’s allowed to ripen naturally, instead of being picked prematurely to ship sometimes thousands of miles.
- Buying local and seasonal means reduced transportation, eliminating the chems used to preserve the produce and the energy required to ship and refrigerate it.
- Eating what’s in season means eating what’s in abundance, so therefore the prices are usually lower.
On a personal note
I have no poker face, so when I about fell over in ecstasy after tasting both the fava bean flatbread and the candied beats in this episode, you should know this for sure: they were freakin’ phenomenal!
Ready to try?
- Watch the episode to learn some scrumptious Spring recipes.
- Use this interactive map to see what’s in season in your region of the country right now.
- Look below to give Jeff’s flatbread and beet salad recipes a shot.
A Deeper Dig
To truly “dig in” to local and seasonal produce, nothing beats planting your own garden. Check out The Vegetable Garden to find out the best times to plant what and how far apart to plant them – and then zen out on the great gardening quotes they float through the top banner.
These wooden salad hands are the “it” in salad wear. Not only are they gorgeous and get gorgeous-er with use, but also they come from a sustainably managed olive grove – so every time they cut down a tree, they plant a new one in its place.
Did You Know?
…beets boost production of human sex hormones, and were used mainly as aphrodisiacs in ancient Rome?
Recipes from Chef Jeff Olsson
Beets with Raita
- 3-4 beets (candy-striped beets are featured in this video)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice
- Sea Salt
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 shallot, grated
- 1 persian cucumber, grated
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted
- Mint, cilantro, basil-about ¼ cup total-roughly chopped
- Lemon juice, salt
Put beets in pan, toss with olive oil to coat, add 1 inch water, salt and pepper, cover with aluminum foil and roast in oven for about 45 minutes or until knife pierces easily. Peel with towel as shown in episode, slice ½ inch thick (removing fibrous root end and irregular top). Marinate with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, and Sea Salt.
Mix raita ingredients together and season to taste. Pair with toasted papdam, available at your local Asian market.
Fava and Ricotta Flatbread
- 1/2 gal water
- 1 oz dry yeast
- 1 oz salt
- 5# “00” pizza flour
- Fresh fava beans
- Meyer lemon zest
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh ricotta cheese
- Freshly chopped mint leaves
In a large stainless steel bowl, add yeast to water, let dissolve for about 5 minutes. Add ½ the flour and mix until incorporated, then let stand 30 minutes for flour to fully hydrate. Add remaining flour and knead until dough comes away from sides of bowl but is still tacky. The amount of flour will vary depending on all sorts of factors…Let dough rest/ferment overnight to develop flavor. Next day portion dough in 6 oz balls.
Shell favas form long pod as you would shell peas. Have 1 gal salted water boiling rapidly and an ice bath close at hand and drop shelled favas into boiling water for about a minute, remove and drop in ice bath. Pop inner edible fava out of exterior skin by pinching one end off and squeezing from the other. Season with olive oil, lemon, and sea salt.
Stretch pizza dough as shown in episode. Top with good ricotta and bake in oven of your choice. When golden and crisp, remove and top with marinated, seasoned fava and freshly chopped mint leaves. Add a bit more olive oil if you like and serve!