What I’m Reading Today

Since spring is here, today’s favorites all stem from lovely seasonal veggies.  Hit your farmers’ market and enjoy!

Spinach and Parmesan Tart from the LA Times.  The marriage of a homemade crust with that creamy rich filling is a match made in heaven.  Any greens would work here, I’d love to try it with chard and sub Pecorino for the Parm.  Use your imagination-it’s really a method to work from and you can let your pantry be your guide.  My son was reading over my shoulder as I wrote this and said, “Mom, that would be a lot better with berries and sugar”.  Yes, you can try a sweet version too.
The words “rice bowl” conjour up images of hippy food for me.  Time to think again.  Martha Rose Shulman, who writes the Recipes for Health column in The New York Times talks today about sprouted brown rice.  I’m already a convert to brown rice-love the nutty taste and texture, especially when perfectly cooked using this method. Sure, sprouted brown rice is healthier but, Martha is a fan because she says it is “sweeter and more delicate” than regular brown rice.  It can be found at health food stores and is packaged just like the traditional variety-it’s dried after it has been sprouted so it isn’t so perishable (you can even make your own).   I’m hunting some down so I can make her modern rice bowl-lemon infused olive oil (I like Round Pond’s), spinach, and smoked trout.  
Fennel is one of my favorite vegetables.  Also called anise, it has a faint licorice scent but don’t let that steer you away.  Black licorice is not my thing-you can take my Ouzo and Sambuca from me any day.  This is a sweeter flavor-very subtle but unique in its own right.  Raw or cooked, I’ll take it either way.  Diane Rossen Worthington, in today’s Chicago Tribune, shares her very simple method for roasting fennel.  Cut in big wedges and paired with some leek, garlic, and olive oil it caramelizes beautifully and you’ll be amazed how fantastic it is.  A perfect spring side with lamb or fish, give it a try if you haven’t before. 
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