(gifts from dear Anne)
All signs point to her arrival, colorful eggs, the first morels,
She is seen on the hills and the mountains, moving Northward.
In the last five days we have hid and hunted for treasure, shared meals and gotten sun-kissed with friends.
We have mourned for the winter's dead; my ducks, a hive of bees and let go of them.
We've picked flowers and wild foods.
Even though last year's bounty is the wrinkliest, scantest this season and new sprouts are still just that, there's a sense of abundance; ramps, dandelions, miner's lettuce, those precious morels from our secret spots, fiddleheads, nettles glorious, glorious nettles, whom I was worried I might have missed on my travels.
The long, moody springs of the PNW suit me well, I have always loved the in-between seasons the most, the transitions, rather than the giddy heights.
And in honor of Sprintime and because, as my grandmother Mummi used to say, repetition is the mother of all learning, here's a recipe for nettle pesto for those of you who weren't around the first time I posted it. If you have followed this blog for a while you probably know that I believe in cursory amounts and ingredients and cooking times.
a blenderfull of nettles, five or so cloves of garlic, oil (I used organic extra virgin olive), salt, about a 1/2 cup of seeds of your choice (I use sunflower).
Blend and add ingredients until you get the desired texture and flavor. Not much of a recipe really.
I like my nettles un-blanched and raw. I know a lot of folks blanch them, but that's wholly unnecessary and just removes nutrients from this magical food. The oil will mollify any sting. I don't use pine nuts because a) they're hella expensive b) they mostly come from China c) ever heard of pine nut mouth? It happened to someone I know.
My aversion to using cheese is for similar reasons: unnecessary, expensive, another not local ingredient. Sure it doesn't taste like the pesto one might be used to, but I feel like the whole point of eating local and seasonal is to learn new flavors and I for one love the flavor of nettles! Give it a whirl and add cheese, or whatever you like.
With this recipe I've found you can pretty much make pesto out of anything: zucchini, kale, spinach, radishes. Last year I even added spruce tips to it. Pesto is like salsa, you can make it out of any old thing you've got handy.
Dress-a gift from Nicole on our first meeting
Bag-Frida Marina Vintage in Helsinki coming up in a post soon! The Best. So Inspiring.
How's springtime in your neck of the woods?