Good Morning, Spring

Now in Season Spring 2017 Issue

Good Morning, Spring

By Terese Allen | Photos By Jim Klousia 0

If you’re a gardener, a forager or a farmers market enthusiast—or, really, anyone who eats in this state—you know the electric pleasure of Wisconsin in springtime. People like us appreciate chirping robins and warm breezes as much as the next guy, but what jazzes us most are those edible firsts: new garlic pushing through mulch; a green-veiled cluster of morels coming into focus; taut spears of asparagus purchased from the woman who grew them. We want it all.

One way to make that happen is with a feast that features as many seasonal ingredients as possible. Make it brunch, because mornings are warmer, longer and more leisurely now, and because, like spring itself, the morning meal is a new beginning. Make it a big gathering, too, and invite all those friends you need to catch up with after winter’s hibernation.

You could start with something celebratory and bubbly, like these maple-sweetened strawberry mimosas.

Then serve a salad that’s both fun-loving and spring-centric—lettuce roll-ups with smoked rainbow trout, asparagus and radishes. These homemade ramp pickles would be excellent on top or on the side.

Eggs—that symbol of new life—are a must for the main course. Slow-scramble them with fresh morels, pile them into individual pastry shells and add a garnish of pickled ramps.

For dessert? Rhubarb, naturally. Bake it in a creamy custard, top it with a crumbly crust and flourish with whipped cream.

Let the revelry begin.

Terese Allen has written scores of articles and books about Wisconsin’s food traditions and culinary culture, including the award-winning The Flavor of Wisconsin, The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids, and Wisconsin Local Foods Journal. She is food editor for Organic Valley, president of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin (CHEW) and a longtime director of REAP Food Group, the cutting-edge food and sustainability organization based in Madison. She is hungry all the time.

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