Make the Most of Early Season Produce | Chef Elizabeth Buckingham

“I want people to know that fresh is a flavor and should be considered as such.” – Chef Elizabeth Buckingham

We’re entering mid-June, the early harvest season in the Denver region. I’m pleased to welcome back Chef Elizabeth Buckingham of Moveable Feast Colorado to the first in a series of episodes to help us get the most of the produce we’ll see in the early, mid and late harvest seasons.

In the early season, we’re expecting:

  • Salad greens: lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens
  • Herbs: mint, arugula, flat-leaf parsley
  • Radishes
  • Early onions: chives, scallions, walking onions
  • Green garlic and garlic scapes
  • Really limited time veggies like fava beans and early-season peas

Chef Elizabeth is going to talk us through:

  • What we’re going to see in early season
  • What to look for when buying it
  • How to best store it before we’re ready to use it
  • How to prepare it

Chef Elizabeth Buckingham is a Colorado native; she earned a Grande Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. A spontaneous scuba diving trip to the Bahamas following her culinary school graduation led to a passion for the ocean and the next eight years of her career, first cooking aboard dive boats and later progressing to head chef aboard private yachts worldwide. In 2009, Elizabeth returned to Colorado and started her own private chef venture, Moveable Feast Colorado, through which she offers all kinds of fun and useful services from in-home classes to edible garden setups. Elizabeth is also a certified Master Gardener and runs a tiny urban homestead complete with chickens and a large vegetable garden. She is an avid home canner and preserver, a passionate advocate of local food and thinks everyone should know how to cook at least a little bit.

  • Why early season produce seen in the culinary magazines isn’t what we see in Colorado
  • Why keeping your greens airtight and washing them in advance isn’t the best move
  • How making shakes (and juicing, to a lesser extent) is a great way to absorb a lot of greens
  • Why you might want to make the farmers market the last stop on your list (and you should bring a cooler!)
  • Why shopping at the farmers market takes a lot of the guesswork out of buying the best produce
  • The power of an ice water bath to revive wilted greens
  • Why asparagus, while an early-season veggie, isn’t generally a great bet in Colorado
  • Why joining a CSA, and getting the most out of it, requires some adjustments to our cooking habits and our perception of value
  • Why we should think of seasonal vegetables as old friends

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