Season: time of the year in which certain agricultural works are carried out, or in which mother Earth gives certain products (this at least is what the vocabularies say).
So, one really wonders: why we today do not really know which produce are available in a given season and we actually eat any type of fruit/vegetable at any time of the year?
The answer is very simple, we humans want everything and we want it always available.
Because of this we have completely forgotten what it means to wait for a food until its time has come, to taste it with joy, knowing that this is its time, knowing that the Earth was ready to offer it to us.
Why is it important to resume eating seasonal produce as often as we can? Let’s see some of the reasons together.
- It is more sustainable. Eating what the Earth can offer and when it can truly offer it, will reduce our impact on the world and on CO2 emissions.
- It is healthier and more nourishing. Have you ever thought about that? Choosing to eat courgettes in December is like stubbornly keeping on wearing a swimsuit while spending your Christmas holiday in the mountains: you will be cold.
Everything the Earth gives needs certain conditions to grow, so if you can eat courgettes in December in Italy it is only because they have been imported from some other country or grown with some specific techniques (which does not follow the rhythm of the Earth). Seasonal fruits and vegetables, for the very reason they are seasonal, are much richer in nutrients, because they grow, ripen and are eaten in the time they were supposed to. They taste better, much better.
- It’s cheaper. When you eat seasonal produce, you spend less, which may seem obvious but it is not so for everyone. To cultivate something out of season it is necessary to use many more resources which clearly means more expenses and a higher price tag for the end customer. So when you find yourself drawing up your shopping list, think about this too and fill the shopping cart with foods that belong to the right season.
- It is more satisfying. Here some may disagree, but I believe that eating at the rhythm of the Earth is something that should become natural. Because we as human beings would also benefit greatly from it. I am deeply convinced that we are connected to the Earth, in many ways, and seasonality is one of them.
I remember when my sweet grandmother told me about the time when there was much less traffic, when everyone knew exactly if it was the time to eat something or not, when you could not have anything you wanted to eat when you wanted it but you had to wait. I remember him telling me about it while shelling fresh peas together or cleaning green beans, the ones you now find always ready and already cleaned.
What I mean with these words is: try to eat seasonal produce as often as you can. Do this to rediscover the authenticity of eating as local as possible. Wait, and what if you wanted something that is not in season? Obviously nothing happens if you do that once, what really matters is what you do everyday.
For this special day, Mother’s Day, I thought of a delicious May pasta with asparagus cream (this month’s star), and lemon zest: a fresh and perfect recipe that waves at the summer that is close by and respects the mother of all mothers: Mother Nature
For such a recipe I could not pick just any pasta, so I chose the “Tortiglioni di farro monococco Sgambaro Etichetta Bio” (organic line Einkorn triticum monococcum Tortiglioni) part of the amazing organic pasta line “BIO” by Sgambaro house as good as only this ancient cereal can be, for a mouth-watering result.
Ingredients (serves 2):
“Tortiglioni di farro monococco Sgambaro Etichetta Bio” (I’m not telling you how many of them, you choose depending on how hungry you are)
A bunch of green asparagus
Half an onion
1 tablespoon of cooking powder yeast (optional, but I think it adds an extra touch to the recipe)
8 tablespoons of cooked chickpeas
Salt and pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
In a pan, sauté a little oil with the chopped onion, and then add the asparagus stalks cut into chunks (cut the most fibrous parts small so that you don’t have to throw them away but rather can grind them easily in the blender). Add water and salt and cover with a lid, cook with a medium-low heat for about twenty minutes, until the asparagus are soft enough (add water from time to time if needed).
Take 5-6 tablespoons of cooked asparagus and put them in a jug with 4 tablespoons of chickpeas, lemon zest, yeast, pepper and, if necessary, a pinch of salt.
Meanwhile, boil the water and saute the asparagus tips into the pan with the remaining chickpeas and paprika.
When the water boils, salt it and add pasta, it will cook in just 6 minutes (amazing, isn’t it?).
Blend all that is in the jug together.
Take a couple of tablespoons of cooking water and pour them to the pan where you will pour the pasta once drained, then add the cream you made with the blender.
Mix everything thoroughly together (the pasta may take on a reddish hue if you added paprika).
Serve with a sprinkle of oil and a sprinkling of vegetable parmesan if you like (I make it with a mix of almonds, cashews and yeast blended with a pinch of salt). Enjoy your meal!
Graduated in Dietetics at the University of Padua