What We’re Looking Forward to This Spring

ICYMI, here’s the Edible Feast Victory Garden profile of New York City shot by the award-winning Perennial Plate team. Learn more about the subjects in the video here

Talia Ralph: Pimento cheese and tomato sandwiches with mint iced tea by the East River
The BeeHive Oven makes me wish I was Southern — they’ve got the homey atmosphere, heart-of-gold chef and owner couple, delicious-fresh-simple-cheap thing down pat. However, though the restaurant is lovely, I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to take out a heartstoppingly good pimento cheese and tomato on a fluffy buttermilk biscuit and a giant mint iced tea, and bike on down to the water with a blanket and magazine. Sure, I’ll still stay for a chat and a plate of veggies with their signature buttermilk dressing, but there’s nothing like a sandwich in the sun to make this girl happy to be alive.

Caroline Lange: Iced coffee
If autumn in New York is a relief, spring in New York is a revelation, and after a winter like this one, it will be nothing short of magic to see the pear trees all over the city grow frilly and white. It’s hard to give just one thing that I’m looking forward to — I’m looking forward to jean-jacket weather, and to bare ankles and to the magnolia tree on Barnard’s campus blooming. I’m looking forward to sprouts and rhubarb and the Greenmarket. I’m looking forward to an ice cream cone from a Mister Softee truck on the first really warm day. But the thing I’m looking forward to most is the first iced coffee of the season: icy and strong and gulped at through a straw, preferably outside, with the sun on my face.

Sari Kamin: Spring vegetables
While every season brings new produce to the market, the ones that appear for those brief weeks we call spring, are for me the most prized. It may be partly due to their brevity, but I start fantasizing about garlicky ramps, earthy morels and grassy fiddleheads sometime in the dead of winter. I love making fava bean spread with lemon, olive oil and garlic, and ramp pesto on cold noodles is the stuff of dreams. These special vegetables embody everything that spring is: verdant and lush, bursting with flavor and a renewed sense of purpose. After a long winter of sleepy stews I can’t wait to wait to fill my plate with fresh vegetables, simply prepared.

Tove Danovich: The Sunday line-up of Grand Army Plaza food trucks
Now that it’s finally looking like Prospect Park might lose its thick layer of ice and dirty snow, I’m excited to get back outside. Living only a 15-minute walk from the park is wonderful once spring rolls around. And how do I know it’s really spring? When Grand Army Plaza starts filling up with food trucks again every other Sunday. Starting April 12, I’ll be able to find food trucks selling everything from empanadas to gourmet tacos, gourmet ice cream sandwiches or hot dogs. Though it’s standing room only between the actual trucks, your best bet is to bring a picnic blanket and walk to Long Meadow where you can enjoy your snacks while getting rid of your winter pale.

Gabrielle Langholtz: Dandelion greens
Not to knock winter and all her roots and roasts, but goddam am I ready for a spring salad. When I was farming upstate we ate dandelion salad every day in March. Long before most seeds are even in the ground, we dressed those wild greens with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce for salt and a liberal application of just-sprouting green garlic. By April, the dandelion would send up buds and became punishingly bitter, but we feasted on the young leaves every day in March, occasionally crowned with a fat goose egg brought in from the barn.

Claire Brown: Ping pong
Spring nights and ping pong bars are a match made in heaven. Doris serves great cocktails with a slice of lime that’ll leave you ready to ace your first game. While I’d love to steal a page from Susan Sarandon’s “dating a ping pong mogul” playbook, I’ll likely spend my time crafting backhanded compliments to lob at the competition when I fail to make up for my double faults.

Ariel Lauren Wilson: The spring issue of Chickpea Magazine
I had the pleasure of visiting the offices and studio of the vegan quarterly Chickpea Magazine while in Rochester, NY, last fall. Cara, the mastermind behind the gorgeously styled blog-turned-periodical, showed me their tiny and sun-bathed test kitchen that’s stocked with thrift shop gems including bold fabric prints and a kitty cat teapot (the lid had a small ball of blue yarn for a handle). She shared her hand-lettering and zine inspirations, where she gets the exquisite produce she styles for shoots and how she and her boyfriend assemble each issue with both original content and reader submissions. Now I chomp at the bit for each new issue, eager to see how she’s captured and assembled stories from her talented community of writers, photographers and illustrators. She just released her spring issue (see a digital teaser here) and I look forward to delving into her stories on “cooking around the color wheel,” “a big breakfast spread” and one of spring’s often unsung veggies: white asparagus. This should hold me over until temperatures start to rise.

Carrington Morris: Permaculture
Excited to embark on my first permaculture design course at the historic Old Stone House. On land where George Washington himself once battled during the American Revolutionary War, we’ll be learning principles of design for living systems that emulate nature’s complexity. Symbiotic, self-sustaining systems that can be as small as a window box and as vast as urban planning. Catchy terms like hügelkultur, agroforestry and biomimicry beckon. More to come in the summer issue of Edible Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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