Spring is spilling out of every pocket of Creation, and I simply can’t get enough of it. Even the harshest winter seems tame in comparison to the sensual riot of a dazzling spring. This year, spring is bursting so adamantly that I’m already envisioning brambles thick with blackberries and market tables mounded with tomatoes and summer squash. I have to remind myself that these things are still a few months distant. But with weather like this, it won’t feel long.
In the meantime, there are still fresh plants to enjoy, so get your pocket knife and head outdoors! This is a perfect time of year for foraging dandelions and wild onions. Choose dandelions that are off the beaten path from passersby and cars, and away from lawns and gardens that have been sprayed. Dandelion leaves can be cut off and added to salad, or used in any recipe that calls for spinach. The younger, smaller plants will have a mildly bitter flavour, with bitterness increasing with the size of the plant and the lateness of the season. The roots can also be dug up and used to make coffee, although I haven’t tried this yet.
Fragrant and spicy green onions are also plentiful in spring. Find them on hillsides, open grassy areas, the edges of forests–almost anywhere. Their stalks will be smooth and taller than the grass around them, and they will have an unmistakable oniony aroma. Gently dig around the plants to get up the bulb, or just cut off the stalks. Both parts can be used as a substitute for green onions. They’re good in scrambled eggs, quiche, salad, soup, and casseroles.