Early morning, Saturday, 1st September.
First day of spring. We have, I have, survived the winter.
Today the world starts anew. Oh, I know that there is no magic switch that flicks on the first day of spring, unleashing new life and green shoots, but there is something about knowing that spring has come that leaves a tingling promise of renewal, and rebirth, in my veins. I am so lucky that the first day of spring this year is also a market day. What a wonderfully pagan way to celebrate the coming of the season; a season of growth, ripening, and harvest. While we enjoy mild winters here it is still exciting to live with the seasons: each one dictating what the earth will nourish, what thrives. I truly believe there is a primal desire in humans, in all creatures, to live by the clock set by Mother Nature. Each turn of the earth brings an opportunity for us to learn, to live, to nourish ourselves another way.
Spring is the season to begin, to sow and foster new growth, to work hard under the strengthening sun so that what you yield will be strong, sweet, nourishing.
Spring brings longer hours for exploring the world around us, clearing out winter’s inertia, renewing our bodies as well as our spirits. Spring is to make the most of the warmth and put winter’s plans into action so that come summer we may harvest the fruits of our imagination.
May they be sweet.
Early morning, Saturday.
Spring, here I come.
Baby turnip, zucchini ribbon, and butter bean salad
Serves one for a bright, springtime brunch. Also, a disclaimer, this isn’t really a recipe, more of a collection of ingredients and a suggestion of how they could be blended together into a celebration of spring produce.
- 3 baby turnips, peeled
- 1 baby zucchini
- 2 spring onions
- 1/2 can butter beans, well-rinsed
- Handful of mixed lettuce
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Pinch of dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons flaked almonds
- Using a mandoline, or a very sharp knife, thinly slice the baby turnips and baby zucchini. Place into a large bowl, and thinly slice spring onion and add to the bowl with the butter beans.
- Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and dried oregano to the vegetable and bean mixture. Stir well. Cover the bowl and allow to macerate (don’t you love that word?) in the refrigerator for about half an hour.
- While the salad is macerating (oh, there it is again), spread the flaked almonds on a baking tray and place under a grill for 2-3 minutes. When the nuts start to brown remove and allow to cool.
- When the salad is finished macerating (oh, can you blame me? I won’t get this opportunity again for a while), mix in the salad leaves and spoon into a charming salad bowl. Top with the flaked almonds.
Go outside into the spring sunshine, and take a moment to listen to the world waking up.