Asparagus

This article was written by Rosemary Wolbert and originally published in The Kitchen Journals When you’ve tasted the first asparagus of the season, simply cooked, maybe spritzed with a bit of lemon and topped with a tad of butter, you’ve just tasted spring. Although good asparagus can be found year-round, it is at its peak

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Peas

The pea is the edible seed of of the Pisum sativum plant. Enclosed in long pod, it is technically a legume and is believed to have been first domesticated in Asia. Varieties can be divided into two categories: Green, or sweet, peas and field peas, which are dried for long-term storage. The most common variety is the English, or garden pea.

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Carrots

In his book, The Carrot Purple, food historian Joel Denker tells us that the iconic carrot as we know it today, brightly orange and deliciously sweet, was once nothing more than a novelty.  Up until the 17th century, carrots were generally purple or yellow, and fraught with issues. It seems the purple carrot juice stained the

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Parsnips

Admired for its earthy flavor and delicate sweetness, the parsnip (Pastinaca sativum) is an ivory-colored taproot from the umxbelliferae family and a close relative of carrots, parsley, fennel, and celery. This Eurasian native once grew wild and was considered a luxury food by the aristocracy of ancient Rome. In the 16th century, Europeans brought parsnips to the

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Blueberries

Native to North America, there are generally three varieties of blueberries grown in the US. Lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium agustifolium) grow only about a foot tall and prefer the cooler climate of Eastern Canada and Maine. They produce a small, intensely flavored berry and have a powdery blue hue. You will often find them referred to

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Asparagus

When you’ve tasted the first asparagus of the season, simply cooked, maybe spritzed with a bit of lemon and topped with a tad of butter, you’ve just tasted spring. Although good asparagus can be found year-round, it is at its peak – and least expensive – during the spring months. In California, the first crops

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Artichokes

The artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) may have thorns and an armor-like appearance, but it is a vegetable with a tender heart. This member of the thistle group of the sunflower family is a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region and one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, recorded as early as the

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Figs

The fig is the tasty, sensuous fruit of one of the world’s oldest trees, genus Ficus carica or common fig, a member of the mulberry (Moraceae) family. This deciduous tree grows 10-30 ft. tall. Its broad palmate leaves, with 5-7 lobes, feel rough on the surface and softly hairy on the underside. The branches do not bear

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