It’s springtime and that’s great news for foodies. We’re already dreaming about those fresh vegetables which will soon be sprouting up out of the soil.
For many of us, “fresh” has taken on greater importance in recent times. Some now consider foods to be truly fresh only if they’re “local,” grown or raised within a narrow proximity. Environmental groups and other activists such as those involved in the Slow Food movement advocate strongly for eating fresh, locally-grown fruits and veggies.
Eating seasonal vegetables grown within a limited radius helps reduce our carbon footprint. Less packaging, less refrigeration and fewer miles of transport result in lower energy consumption and contribute to a greener planet.
Know what’s in season
One of the keys to eating local is knowing what’s in season. Some supermarkets are starting to label foods with their place of origin. If you’re unsure of when fresh vegetables are available in your area, you can find produce seasonality guides on several websites. Here’s one good one.
Whether you prefer to grow veggies in your own backyard plot, belong to a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group, or like to pick from what’s available at your area farmers market, using fresh-picked vegetables in your recipes takes the dishes to a whole new level of flavor.
Butter Makes It Better
Here’s a recipe that works beautifully with a variety of fresh vegetables. It has a fancy French-sounding name, but it’s actually quite simple to prepare. Vegetables en Papillote (translation: in parchment) with Lemon-Herb Butter Sauce works with choices like fresh zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus spears, sugar snap pea pods, or baby carrots—the greater the variety, the better.
The other element that really makes this particular dish come alive is, of course, the lemon-herb butter sauce, made with lemon and pepper seasonings, fresh dill, chives, and Plugrá® European-Style Butter. This recipe calls for Plugra’s unsalted butter, allowing you to control the amount of salt in your recipe, just as a professional chef would do—and salt/sodium consumption is something many people are trying to cut back on today.
Plugrá butter also results in a more even, consistent base because it contains less water. This brings about a richer, more buttery flavor that really complements the taste of the fresh vegetables.
This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and is a wonderful dish to welcome the fresh vegetable of spring and summer.
Editorial post paid for in part by Plugrá® Butter.