Of late the department of garden negligence is producing raab, the long thin flower buds that signal the end of season for overwintered kale and broccoli. A few false starts, and we’ve learned that the taste is all in the timing. So I cut them down just before they bloom and use immediately; store in the fridge more than a day or two and you get gross, yellowing stems. You can also get bundles of them at the farmers markets that are now open all over town.

No recipe needed here. If you feel the need to do some actual cooking, consider quickly sauteing whole stems in olive oil with garlic or hot pepper flakes. But I like things even simpler. With just a few moments of steam heat they’re rendered a bright, shimmery green and become incomparably tender, with just a hint of mustardy bitterness. They make a great foil for a rich and creamy main course, or for hot, spicy food too.