By Julia Howard
Who’s ready for strawberries? How about the season’s first cool, fresh cucumbers? Crisp greens? Flavorful fennel? Every day, local farms harvest the freshest flavors of spring. So stroll through the pavilions of High Rock Park and fill your market basket because the culinary possibilities are endless!
The crisp sweetness of spring fruit and vegetables can be enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish, along with grass-fed beef, pork chops, farm-raised chicken, or a hearty mushroom main. And the best part of spring cooking is the simplicity. Minimal effort is required to make flavors sing; the bulk is prepping the fruit and vegetables and putting them into a bowl.
In creating a balanced spring salad, tasting is required to ensure the flavors are balanced with an acid, like tangy citrus or vinegar, and then seasoned with salt and pepper taste. Sweetness is optional; if desired, honey and maple syrup are excellent options. However, dressings can be as simple as local Greek yogurt or olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Fresh herbs are ideal in uncooked foods; their flavors brighten and elevate fruits and vegetable combinations in spring salads. Parsley, chives, basil, and dill can often be used interchangeably. Mint lends a distinctive flavor depending on the salad.
Now let’s talk about spring’s fruit and vegetable stars available at the Wednesday and Saturday markets – winning combinations for salads. Strawberries, greens (from spinach to bok choy to lettuce mix), beets, radishes, fennel, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, and even the last of spring’s asparagus.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at High Rock Park in downtown Saratoga. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org, where you can sign up for our weekly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @SaratogaFarmersMarket.