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 Mar 29 - Apr 4, 2018 
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Season's Eatings

Winter/Spring Edition

What fruits and veg are good this time of year?

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Who has two thumbs and is really, really excited about market season? This girl. The first Downtown Growers’ Market happens on Saturday, April 14, and that means that tons of locally grown fruits and veggies are about to be available in spades.

Everything you find at the farmers’ markets around town will, obviously, be fresh and in season. But when you’re shopping at a conventional grocery store, it’s harder to know what’s going to be at its peak, flavor-wise. Since you might not have a copy of the Farmer’s Almanac or know Casey Holland, Farmer Extraordinaire (featured in this issue) yet, it’s understandable that you don’t have this knowledge already. Which is why we like to print it here.

Here’s some of the produce that are in season through the spring and into early summer: Arugula, asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, garlic, lettuce, onions, peas, pecans, radishes, rhubarb, spinach (and a ton of other greens—grab whatever looks good).

If you need an idea for what to do with some of this seasonal bounty, here’s an easy recipe for ridiculously addictive carrot pickles. There’s a Mexican restaurant in Houston that I went to a lot when I was growing up, and they always served this spicy carrot pickle alongside their entreés. I’ve been tinkering around with trying to make it at home for a while, and this is about as close as I’ve come to replicating the irresistible tanginess of those carrots from my youth. Put them in your tacos, on top of stews, or just eat them out of the jar like an animal. Seriously, I could put away a whole jar of these in one sitting if there were no adults around to intervene. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Ridiculously Addictive Carrot Pickles

Ingredients:

5-7 carrots
1 head of garlic (yes, you read that right.)
1 jalapeño
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. black peppercorns
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)
Instructions:

Start a pot of salted water boiling—large enough to hold all the carrots once they’re chopped. Peel the carrots and chop off the tops (you can save the leaves to add into salads or pastas—they taste similar to parsley). Chop them into bite-sized pieces. Peel the garlic cloves, tossing out any that are bruised or sprouting. Cut the jalapeño into thin rings.

Boil the carrots for 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside to cool.

Put the AC vinegar, salt, sugar, peppercorns and herbs (if using) into a 4-cup canning jar or similar vessel, preferably glass. Stir to dissolve salt and sugar, then add the garlic, jalapeño and carrots. Add as much cold water as needed to just cover the top of the carrots. Let this sit in the fridge for two to three days before you crack it open—the vinegary flavors only get better with time. This can keep in the fridge for about a month.

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