The warm weather has brought a surfeit of ripe, early strawberries. Yakira is serving them with crema di latticello (a smooth, eggless, buttermilk pudding),  old aceto balsamico, and peppercorn ice cream.  (We won't see the exquisite Albion, Seascape, and other later strawberry cultivars for a while).

The warm weather has brought a surfeit of ripe, early strawberries. Yakira is serving them with crema di latticello (a smooth, eggless, buttermilk pudding), old aceto balsamico, and peppercorn ice cream. (We won’t see the exquisite Albion, Seascape, and other later strawberry cultivars for a while).

Welcome, strawberries! Welcome, asparagus!

We’ve certainly got enough iconic representatives of spring on our menu for it to be, unequivocally, an early spring menu:

Pea tendrils have entwined themselves with spring onions in creamed gemelli pasta with Guinea hen sausage; multiple dishes are graced with an abundance of early asparagus; the distinctive perfume of green garlic mingles with the oceanic perfume of razor clams; fava leaves are here; beautiful wild-headed puntarelle have been tamed into a bright, refreshing salad; and artichoke crema lines the plate of a juicy pork porterhouse.

It’s EARLY spring, however, for in spite of earlier and earlier flowerings all over the world, this time of year still gives us citrus (some varieties are at their peak), Brussels sprouts, winter squash, all trying to compete for our attention with what we’re longing for: the flavors of spring.