A word about raab, those broccoli-like florets that mean the beginning of the end for kale and other winter greens. Raab might be my favorite thing about early spring eating — the stems and florets can be so tender and toothsome, and they cook to such a brilliant green in moments. I especially love them in udon and ramen soups. And they appear in the garden and at farmers markets just when you’re sure you cannot wait one more second for peas and asparagus to arrive.

But a word to the wise. Rinse well in cold water, adding salt if you like, to chase out gray aphids and other buglikes. I learn the hard way every year, because I sometimes don’t wash stuff I’ve grown with just sunshine and water. Yeah, the critters get cooked, and I think a couple here or there are harmless. An entire flotilla, though, and you’ve got a different kind of soup on your hands.

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