What’s in Season for Early Spring Farms?

By Dawnie April 6, 2011

Early Spring in Northern California finds many wonderful fresh produce and fruits to use in your cooking!
Spring onions, asparagus, baby artichokes, blood oranges, bergamot, mandarins, braising greens, swiss chard, sun chokes, lettuces, arugula, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, parsnips, turnips, celery root, kohlrabi, brassica, cauliflower, carrots, new potatoes.


2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
3 bunches chard, stems removed and cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces
2 bunches beet tops, stems removed and cut into 2 to 3 inch piecdes
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large saute pan.  Add garlic and saute briefly.  Add chard and beet tops and saute until wilted.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Artichoke, Caramelized Onion and Spinach Bread Pudding


1 loaf “country” bread, crusts removed and cut into cubes (bread is preferably one day old, if not dry cubes out in low-temperature oven)
6 eggs, 2 cups heavy cream ,Extra-virgin olive oil ,½ pound cippolini onions, thinly sliced
2 stalks green garlic or 1-2 cloves regular garlic, thinly sliced, 4 large artichokes, 1 lemon
½ pound spinach, washed and dried ,½ pound cheese-cheddar, jack, or any “melty” cheese
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (chives, parsley or thyme)


  1. Whisk eggs and cream together in a bowl, add bread cubes and let sit while you prepare rest of ingredients.
  2. Heat a heavy-bottom sauté pan over medium-low heat; add a bit of olive oil and onions. Slowly cook onions and garlic, stirring occasionally until they turn golden brown. Meanwhile, add cold water to a bowl and squeeze in juice from lemon, saving the lemon halves to rub on artichokes as you trim them. Cut top 2-3 inches off artichokes and remove tough outer leaves. Trim bottom of stem and peel away outer part of artichoke and stem, rubbing with lemon as you work to prevent discoloration. Cut in half and remove choke with a spoon, rub with lemon and add to water. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and cook artichokes until just fork tender. Remove into bowl with ice and water to stop cooking, and then drain again.
  3. When onions are done cooking, wipe out pan, bring back up to heat, add olive oil and sauté spinach until just wilted. Remove from pan and squeeze water out over sink. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wipe a 9”x13” baking dish with olive oil. In a large bowl mix together bread mixture, all the vegetables and most of the cheese. Add to baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake 30-35 minutes, until set in center and golden brown. Remove from oven, let rest for 10 minutes and serve.