Spring is here!

After the fukinoto and the canola which both announce the arrival of spring and the cold unstable weather that usually accompany the plum blossom end, the next step is the real arrival of spring in late March or early April with the famous cherry blossoms of course, Mole’s quince and the jonquils putting beautiful colors in the garden but also the bamboo shoots (takenoko 筍)and the other wild vegetables: fern (kogomi こごみ), horsetail (tsukushi つくし), angelica tree buds (tara no me タラの芽)…

We don’t have kogomi and tara no me in our garden, or not that I know of yet (I discover new things each year!), I found a few tsukushi in the past but never enough or at the right time to harvest them. This year I found really plenty, enough to consider cooking some. Tsukushi are a bit of a delicate plant and their pollen is not very good so it’s better to harvest them early. The one on the picture below is for example a bit too old, this can be seen by the dark color of the head: the pollen is already about to go out! The pollen of tsukushi is blue to black, and looks like mold!!! I have never seen tsukushi in supermarkets, I assume they are too delicate for transport and shelf time. Their flavor is very subtle so I like simple preparations: quickly sautéed, or simply blanched in dashi. To prepare them, simply wash them and remove the corollas parts using your thumb by simply rolling the stem with the corolla on top of your nail. Then cook them in a pan with a bit of butter or as said above blanched them in a regular dashi. Serve them right away with rice, scrambled eggs… nothing too strong.

I my case I made a simple fried takenoko rice with sesame oil, scrambled eggs season with a few drops of soya sauce. That’s it!

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