Here is a quick and tasty way to enjoy stinging nettles: sauté them. A hot pan, a bit of oil and garlic and salt, and you have a supremely green side dish. See the recipe here.
Spring comes early in California. We have all sorts of spring goodies coming out right now, not the least of which are stinging nettles. When the time comes, find them in giant piles or heaped into plastic bags at foragers' stands or farm stands that have nettle patches on their property. They are a bit tricky to deal with since they are aptly named - those nettles sting! Bring a large pot of water to a boil and, wearing gloves, put the nettles into the boiling water for about a minute to take their sting out (see How to Blanch Nettles). Drain, rinse, and enjoy their slightly nutty, clean green flavor.
Thinking about making your own corned beef for St. Patrick's Day? Get started this weekend so it has time to cure. See How to Make Homemade Corned Beef for details.
When cranberry beans and other fresh shelling beans are in season (late summer into fall in most places), I make this dish of Savory Cranberry Beans with them. Once winter comes, I turn to dried beans, which work just as well. The browned onion in these beans adds a fabulously savory note. And when lemons are hanging around, I find a grating of fresh zest over the pot before dishing them out is a surprisingly tasty addition.
I'm on a soup kick, I'm on a lemon kick - eventually the two were going to have to meet. Egg Lemon Soup is so simply it seems like it can't quite be all there is to it. But it is just as simple as the recipe sounds: cook some rice or pasta in some broth, whisk egg (a locally sourced pastured egg adds extra color and nutrition) and lemon together before whisking them into the soup. And it's warming and nutritious and easy and quick and... go, go make a pot of it right now.
Roasting vegetables brings out their sweet inner nature and adds a crunchy brown exterior to each piece. It's an easy way to prepare a wide range of vegetables, and is particularly effective with the endless root vegetables that form the backbone of seasonal winter eating (I keep thinking "It's March, it's spring" but the temperature outside isn't agreeing with me). Plus, roasted vegetables are warm and cozy and I think we could all use a little of that this week, couldn't we? See how easy it is with this guide to How to Roast Vegetables.
As bitter winds blow or chilly rain drizzles, this Cream of Celery Root Soup offers towers of comfort with minimal effort (well, minimal after you've peeled off the hairy exterior of the celeriac).
We may all want spring to have sprung already, but warming treats are still in order. If you're looking for sheer deliciousness that will warm the house as it cooks and warm your tummy as you eat it, I have to suggest a Classic French Beef Stew. This dish also has the advantage of being an excellent use of the sometimes tougher and more aggressively flavored grass-fed beef.
Many regions have iconic ingredients, but local cooking in the Northwest section of the U.S. tends to revolve around a quartet of ingredients: berries, crab, mushrooms, and salmon. In a series of e-books noted cookbook writer Cynthia Nims tackles the savory trio therein. Each book contains history, species information, preparation tips, and recipes: Crab, Salmon, and Wild Mushrooms. Check them out for a taste of the delicious Pacific Northwest.
This free-form Potato Galette is super easy and ends with lots of tender-yet-crispy potatoes. If you have kids hanging around, have them layer the potatoes into the concentric circles. In a hurry? Don't feel like fussing with the circles? You can just layer the potatoes into a baking dish instead.