Kitchen Notes

Farmer's Market Harvest

by Jennifer Pantin on Jun 06, 2014

One of the best parts of the growing season is late spring and early summer, which produces an incredible bounty of specialty ingredients. Though only on menus for a short time, ramps, pea shoots, chive flowers and fiddleheads and early season asparagus are all intensely flavorful - and easy to prepare at home. Not sure how? We've got the tips (and Chili Salt pairings!) to help you out.

Asparagus: Delicious grilled or roasted, asparagus is simple to prepare and always a crowd-pleaser. Trying pairing it with some olive oil and and Pequin Chili Salt for an updated side dish. The smokey and citrus notes in the Pequin play nicely with the bright flavors of this vegetable - especially when grilled!

Pea Shoots: Though somewhat delicate, pea shoots are packed with flavor and delicious sauteed or raw. Add them to salads, on top of burgers and sandwiches. Making yourself a BLT? Add some shoots and  Aji Amarillo Chili Salt - the sweetness of the Aji Amarillo will play nicely against the pea shoots and tomatoes.

Chive Flowers: Never tried Chive flowers? Image the flavor of chives, intensified by 100, but incredibly beautiful. Perfect to sprinkle on top of salads, or to mix into scrambled eggs, be sure to add Habanero Chili Salt. The floral and fruity notes of the Habanero pair perfectly - and hold up well - against the bold chive flower.

Ramps: The elusive ramp is always incredibly popular on menus during it's short growing season - and for good season. A member of the onion family, the ramp has an intense and beautiful flavor. Add it to any meal as you would an onion, but be sure to saute it with Piri Piri Chili Salt first. The herb and citrus flavors of Piri Piri help to bring out the bright clean notes of the ramp!

Fiddleheads: One of the hardest on this list to find, fiddlehead ferns are beautiful and flavorful addition to any dish. With garlicky flavors, the ramp is very versatile, and is delicious on top of chicken, fish, or even on it's own. To prepare it, saute it with some Guajillo Chili Salt and use it to either top off your food, or add it to a tomato based sauce. The meaty texture and bold flavor with the smoky, tomato notes of the Guajillo will make any dish very special!