Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, Gabriella Paiella shows us how to make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety.
Today: Budget-friendly ways to enjoy spring's vegetables.
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Spring vegetables are the most fetishized produce around.
I understand that winter is terrible, that after months of eating root vegetables and cabbage and other tough, hearty things, we're all ready for a change -- for something more delicate, something that isn't increasing your starch intake with every bite. That said, I've heard people talk about ramps more lustily than I've heard them talk about their partners. (They're just fancy onions -- control yourselves.)
Radishes, asparagus, peas, and ramps have all been hyped up, and tend to run a little pricier at the farmers market. Besides asking for seconds (produce that's bruised, or not as pretty, so it can't be sold at full price) at the market, here's how to enjoy them like everyone else, without overspending:
Pickle your spring produce and you'll be enjoying them as a garnish long after the season is over. Introduce your asparagus, peas, and ramps to some brine for year-round enjoyment.
Use Them As Pizza Toppings
Adding radishes or asparagus as pizza toppings allows you to enjoy a touch of spring flavor -- and makes for a lighter pizza -- without using up your whole batch.