Harbingers of Spring

Jersey Fresh Strawberries

Jersey Fresh Strawberries

My Good Taste story about chefs’ ideas for spring ingredients and dishes is on the Packet Magazine website now, and the print edition came out this past week. I love hearing from our local chefs on topics like this, and home cooks will find plenty of inspiration for their own kitchen, too. A couple of our chefs responded too late to be included (not surprising, given the slew of storms and Super Bowl mania around deadline time), so I am adding their remarks below, with thanks to all those chefs who take the time and trouble to respond to my emails. And if not this time, maybe another, I always like to give a voice to our local restaurateurs.

From Restaurant One53 in Rocky Hill:

“ONE 53 has a few favorite dishes that we present every spring as the new harvest becomes available. When available we serve Pan Seared Halibut or Cod with Spring Pea and Mint Puree. In our pastas we introduce Asparagus into our Ravioli once it comes locally to market. We also do a Spring Vegetable Risotto. Lamb is also another spring dish. As rabbit goes out with the winter, ONE 53 brings in Lamb Shank.

For dessert, spring means strawberries! This spring we are presenting Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits.

ONE 53 likes to present food that follows the seasons, not trends. We offer locally sourced ingredients as they are available. When spring begins to peak its head, our menu shifts with items like asparagus, strawberries, sweet peas etc.”

From Will Mooney at Brothers Moon in Hopewell:

“Our biggest changes come in April when South Jersey/Pennsylvania starts to produce.

We will be bringing in Baby Arugula, Asparagus, Collards and Dark Greens, Herbs, Lettuces, Mushrooms will change and become lighter, Rhubarb should be starting, the great Strawberries and Ramps, Ramps, Ramps.

Its always so nice to have our Jersey produce. Spring is a time of rebirth and exciting new flavors. We are truly blessed to live here with the great farms and farmers caring for the soils around us and also caring for us.

I have been making different pastas nowadays to help with the seasonality, On the menu tonight was a mushroom fettuccine made from dried shiitake that was put into the dough itself. We have been using our supply of tomato sauce from the local heirlooms that I froze this September and October.”

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