Monday, May 9, 2011

A Spring Monday

And also my only night home this week. I've got to make it count but it's still a Monday. So I head to the fancy market after work, with no idea in my head other than I want lots of veggies, want to stay away from meats, want something light but also something filling. And so it begins. I spy fiddlehead ferns, a spring delicacy I thought my little sojourn in Texas had deprived me of this year, then some pretty little golden and forest colored patty pan squash and finally, giant blooms of hen of the woods, my favorite mushroom.

I would just saute it all and then toss with some spaghetti, right? But somehow not special enough, too Monday and not enough May. So I pass the pasta section and end up in dairy, where I pick up some of my favorite ricotta, locally made Salvatore. And then there it is. My Monday dinner amped up. Pre-made crepinis from The Crepe Team, something I wander past every time I'm in my fancy little market but always discard as a silly little indulgence. But perfect for tonight.
Voila. The month of May on a plate
And no, I'm not making crepes... exactly. My Grandmother once told us how one of our favorite dishes that she made, a creamy shrimp dish with egg noodles (which my sister has made here), was originally made with crepes, cut into strips just like a pappardelle. I can't even imagine how many crepes it would take to first make then cut up to feed our family and never got a chance to try it. But the idea never left my mind and here was the perfect shortcut for a simple but perfect Monday night dinner.

It really doesn't require a recipe, just saute some spring vegetables: asparagus, artichoke hearts, squash, zucchini, ramps, fiddlehead ferns, any kind of mushroom in some olive oil until browned and slightly crispy. In the meantime, take out the packaged crepes and if frozen let thaw at room temperature. Roll up about 5 or so and slice into 1/2" ribbons. Unravel and then add to the sauteed vegetables at the very last minute for just 1-2 minutes. (If you don't have access to pre-packaged crepes and don't feel like making your own, this is still great with some actual pappardelle pasta). Season lightly with salt and pepper and top with a dollop of ricotta, maybe drizzle some balsamic over as well.
Fiddlehead Ferns
These are green unfurled fronds from a young fern, typically harvested around late spring to early summer and very popular in North England. Uncooked fiddleheads are thought to be bitter and also harbor microbes so I'll blanch for a few minutes in boiling water after I've rinsed them to get rid of any grime and then submerge in an ice bath to keep them green and crispy. Fiddleheads contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are low in sodium but rich in potassium and are a great antioxidant and source of dietary fiber.


  1. This looks amazing! Fun stuff, girl! I cook, but I don't blog about it...I thoroughly enjoy reading about your cooking experiments and thoughts! :)

  2. Hi Alicia,

    This recipe looks so good. This was a fun read. What made me chuckle was this line, "I would just saute it all and then toss with some spaghetti, right? But somehow not special enough, too Monday and not enough May. "

    We're honored that you are a fan of our crepes and that it helped your recipe. Let's keep in touch. We look to keep in contact with food connoisseurs. My e-mail is and hope we can chat soon.

    Take Care,




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