Cooking with the seasons means choosing fruits and vegetables that are at the peak of freshness and flavor. For the purposes of freshness, April is a fabulous month with many fresh options.
Buying locally grown produce is the best. Local produce is less likely to be damaged, uses less energy to transport, and ripens more naturally. In fact, when fruits and vegetables have been allowed to ripen on the vine for consumption, it can taste sweeter and have significantly more intense flavor. And, locally sourced produce helps the local economy as well.
Botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that is part of a flowering plant. Technically, vegetables are considered all the other plant parts, such as the roots, leaves, and stems.
Leafy greens are the plant leaves eaten as a vegetable and sometimes accompanied (or solely used for) its stalks (rhubarb and leeks) and shoots (ramps and fiddleheads).
- Arugula (Also called rocket)
- Dandelion greens
- Fiddlehead Fern
- Lettuce (Leaf and head)
- Leeks (End of the season)
- Rhubarb (Stalks)
Asparagus tips and artichokes are actually flowers. As is cauliflower, which actually has "flower" in its name. You may find that there are a number of recipes that incorporate artichokes and asparagus together.
Legumes are the edible seeds, also called the pulses. Legumes are a significant source of protein, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and minerals.
Root and Bulb Vegetables
Root vegetables are underground plant parts eaten by humans as food. These are usually taproot and tubers, like beets and potatoes. Onions and shallots are more appropriately classified as bulb vegetables, although are closely related vegetables to chives and leeks, which are non-bulbous forms from the same family of plants.
Herbs and Other
Mushrooms are neither a fruit or vegetable, technically, not even a plant. They are a fungus, yes, that you eat. Although, they are often classified with veggies, since, it is definitely not an animal. Chives are in the onion family but are more often used as an herb more than anything else.