While I’m not a vegetarian, at this time of the year I easily could be. The diversity of locally grown vegetables being harvested now is a wonder to see and delightful to taste. However, when a friend offers some fresh crab they just caught and cooked, thoughts of being vegetarian succumb to the flavor of fresh seafood.
Still, the vibrant colors and crisp snap of ripe, just picked vegetables is attractive, and makes imported vegetables pale by comparison–literally. Besides that, the nutritional content of ripe fresh vegetables is phenomenal.
Many fresh vegetables can be eaten raw. Besides the usual salad greens, celery, and carrots, many other vegetables can be eaten raw as well. For example, try buying young and tender beets. If the beets are young enough, you won’t have to peel them. Simply scrub them well, grate them raw, and mix in a little locally grown apple cider vinegar (from BelleWood Acres in Lynden). Voila! A tasty salad that needs nothing else for perfection!
Most vegetables can also be cooked, and some taste better after cooking. For example, in this week’s menu, I included beans. Green bean pods can be eaten raw off the vine, but they can be a little tough. Lightly steaming them softens the pod, brightens the color, and makes the beans more digestible.
This week’s menu includes a salad made with three kinds of beans (including the flashy Dragon’s Tongue variety), a simple recipe that doesn’t overpower the delicate flavor of fresh crab meat, and a locavore adaptation of classic biscuits. Enjoy!