So Fresh and Fabulous

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring has sprung. Farmer's markets are opening after the long winter months to bring seasonal fruits and veggies nearly to your doorstep (Charlotte's opens on April 3 ).

With's exceptionally cool interactive From Farm to Table guide, you're left with little excuse not to do give your diet some spring cleaning. A wealth of resources at your fingertips, the information that has been pulled together not only can help you determine what's available in season in your area, but also includes detailed pictures of herb and vegetable varieties along with complementary recipes to match the mood or occasion. 

Recipe slideshows for colorful spring favorites like rhubarb, asparagus and artichokes are included along with freshness shopping tips and preparation pointers.

Check out the herb guide to learn how to create your own garden or master the balance of adding season and spice for winning springtime dishes. Break out of the culinary blues that ensue following colder months that were full of comfort food fixes. Your taste buds will thank you for the change.
Mint is an example of an herb featured in an interactive guide.
Photo source:

Why not try...

Pasta Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh is possibly one of my favorite dishes because of the unique Mediterranean taste accomplished with this colorful blend of lemon, tomato and fresh herbs. A self-proclaimed tabbouleh connoisseur, I like this version in particular because of the texture and taste dimension added by substituting a more traditional bulgar wheat base with smooth and pearly orzo. Tip: the flavor of the herbs infuses itself with the pasta over time, so this dish is often better served the next day. 
1/2 c. orzo pasta, cooked
1 c. chopped fresh mint
1 c. chopped fresh parsley
3 c. peeled, seeded and finely chopped tomato
1/2 c. sliced green onion
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients, mix well and cover. Chill thoroughly and stir before serving.
Ginger Shandies
With the Kentucky Derby just around the corner, this springtime drink is fresh and flavorful. Food & Wine recommends the following simple steps for a concoction that's sure to please!

This drink should be reserved for those wearing oversized 
wide-brimmed hats and arm-length gloves. 
Photo source: Food & Wine

Add thin lemon slices and small mint sprigs to a large pitcher. Gradually add three 11.2-ounce bottles of chilled Hoegaarden beer and one 12-ounce bottle of chilled ginger beer. Fill rocks glasses with ice. Add thin lemon slices and pour in the shandy. Garnish with more mint springs and serve. Makes 6 drinks.

Tuna Cornbread Cakes
Easy to make, budget-friendly and all around delicious, this Southern Living recipe is definitely a keeper for my recipe files! Ranked as an outstanding recipe by MyRecipe's users, I couldn't agree more.

My sister and I agree that Tuna Cornbread Cakes were 
love at first bite.
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