The Token May Basket (Weekly Harvest)

May is always fun in France. There are multiple public holidays: May 1st is Labor day, May 8 marks V-day 1945, and then there are the floating religious holidays, Ascension and Pentecost. If we are lucky, as we were this year, and they fall on Mondays or Fridays, numerous three and four day weekends abound. Combine that with warming weather and the dramatically lengthening days and it is starting to feel positively summer-like ‘round these parts.

You know who else apparently needs to rest during the month of May? My vegetables. Clearly. Turns out that any week containing a Monday or Tuesday holiday (this year, three of the five weeks of May) also resulted in a cancellation of our Wednesday CSA pick-up. Boo.

One of the remaining two weeks of potential vegetable goodness found me in California for a short break (I took no photos. I know. Shocking), so I signed on to get a double make-up delivery the next week. One set is pictured above. For the entire month of May I received 2 times this take: lettuce, spring carrots, radish, white asparagus, chives and potatoes. Not even a fruit! Color me slightly disappointed.

For the next two weeks I ate my way through the salad mother-load. This was my template, lettuce, carrots, chives (two bunches are a lot of chives) and radishes, variously topped with roasted potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and ham, bacon and goat cheese toasties, poached chicken and blue cheese… any permutation I could think of.  I am certainly open to suggestions from you all for the extensive summer of salads I suspect is in front of me…

 Dealing with the white asparagus, on the other hand, was a bit more daunting. The French love their white asparagus usually, as far as I can figure, drowning in butter. I, on the other hand, am not so much a fan. Don’t get me wrong – I love butter… oh and asparagus, but almost always the green stuff – especially grilled and sprinkled with vinaigrette.  I find the white version to be excessively woody, lacking in distinctive flavor and just sort of meh. My only solution to this problem, no matter the actual vegetable culprit, is to roast it and somehow smother it in cheese or bacon. Or cheese and bacon. Enter the roasted asparagus, mushroom and bacon risotto. Winning.

So, yeah, there it is. May happened. A long and restful month to be sure, but severely lacking in my now-expected level of freshness and vegetable challenge fun; not to mention, fruit! I am ready for June (and the rest of the summer) – for a number of reasons that will become apparent in the coming days and weeks… Plus, I just checked what I can expect for next week’s basket (if I can remember where to pick it up) and am so excited. There will be strawberries and artichokes. Now I cannot wait for Wednesday to roll around…


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