Scallions and Radishes

These scallion pancakes are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, easy, and tasty. Get savory pancake recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
When the summer harvest hits its peak, one of my favorite meals is a batch of Zucchini Pancakes with Fresh Asian Salad. I enjoy these so much that a freeze grated zucchini so that I can make them all year. But the salad, with its freshy harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil, is really a summer thing. So I’ve been craving a combination I could enjoy earlier in the season, while my tomato plants are still seedlings.

For a quick spring variation, I hit upon the pairing of scallions and radishes. You can easily find scallions, or green onions, at the grocery store year-round, but if you grow a garden you can harvest scallions or young perennial walking onions in spring, the tops portions of full bulb onions in summer, leeks in fall, and chives from pots all year. Each can be used in this pancake recipe. To make this recipe even more accessible, I decided to keep the pancakes gluten free, dairy free, and vegan.
Learn to make Scallion Pancakes with Chickpea Flour and Lemony Radish Salad

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Pickled Asparagus

At some point, even I run out of ways to eat fresh asparagus. That’s when I turn to brine. Get pickling recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Whether you grow it or buy it, asparagus will be among your first spring vegetables. These green, purple, and even white spears can star on your table meal after meal until other produce ripens. I start with Grilled Asparagus as a standalone side dish with some lemon and herbs. I also serve it over arugula or with pasta in a salad. It’s delicious served under hollandaise or on pizza, stirred into risotto, baked into a frittata, or tossed in a stir-fry.

At some point, even I run out of ways to eat fresh asparagus. Whether you grow your own patch or buy bundles in season, you too probably end up with more asparagus in your kitchen than you can eat in one meal. But you don’t want to ignore it: the asparagus season ends as quickly as it arrives. That’s when I fill a jar or two with a brine. Although you can process pickled asparagus in a boiling water bath, it keeps its flavor and texture better when it heads straight to the table or rests in the fridge.
Learn to make Asparagus Refrigerator Pickles and Quick-Pickled Asparagus

No Recipe Required

Spring’s first edible gems are so delicious that recipes are not required. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
May began with a week of firsts for Twice as Tasty. I had my first experience baking in a real woodfired pizza oven during a Grilled Sourdough Pizza workshop, and I taught my first Fine Dining: Front Country workshop for Outsiety. In both classes, I was able to share first cuttings freshly snipped from the garden. This week, I also baked the first stalks of rhubarb into a dessert to share with friends.

My first cuttings are almost always from perennials pushing up through the ground year after year. You probably think little of these plants when you see them in a produce section: they’re not showy, or colorful, or supersized. But when they’re the first edibles to pop through your garden soil, on their own time and with no effort on your part, they’re gems. And my favorite ways to eat them are so simple that you don’t even need a recipe.
Read more about simple spring meals

Eating Local

My local food sources start with the ground I garden in and continue down the road to the closest source. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
I’ve been thinking a lot about local food lately. With last week’s official launch of Twice as Tasty Live, I’ve been making the rounds of local purveyors of flour, milk, coffee, tea, fish, and more to find ingredients for the first two Twice as Tasty house concerts coming up in the next week. I’ve also been inspecting progress in the garden, keeping tabs on what will be ready to harvest and take straight to the host’s table for each event.

But how to define “local food”? Some sources define the local food circle as within 100 miles of where it’s bought or eaten, but many federal assistance programs extend that range to 400 miles. Some define it as food grown and processed within a state, whereas others define local food systems by regions rather than borders. Giant chain stores sell local food; so do farmers from roadside stands and weekly markets.

My local food sources start with the ground I garden in, extend out to local producers and locally owned businesses, and continue down the road to the closest source for any item that isn’t grown in my backyard. I love the way Barbara Kingsolver put it in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life: “Our highest shopping goal was to get our food from so close to home, we’d know the person who grew it.” It’s a lofty challenge, but this may be the month to work toward it.
Read more about eating local