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Easter marks bounty of fresh produce
April 4, 2007
By Jennifer Chandler

For foodies, Easter marks bounty of fresh produce

By Jennifer Chandler
Special to The Commercial Appeal

April 4, 2007

I have to write about Easter. It is one of my favorite holidays. I love the Easter egg hunts with the kids, finally being able to wear white pants and the flowers all in bloom. I also acknowledge the important religious connotations that this season brings for so many faiths.

Easter marks a new beginning on so many levels.

But for a foodie, Easter marks the beginning of two glorious seasons of bountiful produce. Gone from menus are the heavy root vegetables. No longer will I have to serve aged produce shipped from South America weeks ago.

Tender, flavorful asparagus is one of the first seasonal delicacies to hit the market. If you can find them, fresh fava beans would be a great addition to your grocery basket.

Every day more and more wonderful items will be showing up on menus and in markets around town.

Funny man Robin Williams sums it best, "Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!' "

A Greek Easter

Normally closed on Sundays, Jim's Place East (5560 Shelby Oaks Dr., 388-7200) will be open for lunch on Easter Sunday to welcome families following worship service observances since both Greek Orthodox Easter and Protestant/Catholic Easter are on the same date this year.

In keeping with Greek tradition, Jim's Easter menu will feature roast leg of lamb, prepared with a special blend of Grecian spices, as well as souflima (a savory pork entree made from an original recipe), said Jim's Place co-owner Angelo Liollio.

Spring at Brooks

Brushmark Restaurant (Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1934 Poplar Avenue, 544-6225) has a new spring menu.

To celebrate the coming of spring, executive chef Wally Joe has introduced a new seasonal menu for the Brushmark.

Spring-inspired items such as an arugula salad with beet carpaccio, candied pistachios, and creamy goat cheese dressing; and a fried green tomato BLT with cornmeal crusted green tomatoes, applewood bacon, lettuce and goat cheese are now available daily at this lunch-only spot.

"I change our menu seasonally because you want to cook with nature," said Joe. "Things that are grown now just taste better."

Corks & Courses

There is a lot going on at Davis-Kidd (387 Perkins Ext.) on Tuesday. First Robin Miller will be signing her new cookbook, "Quick Fix Meals" (The Taunton Press, $18.95), starting at 6 p.m.

Following the signing, head on over to Bronte Bistro for its monthly Corks & Courses wine tasting. Starting at 7 p.m., the three-course dinner will feature selections from "Quick Fix Meals." Tickets are $39.95; call 374-0881 for reservations.

Barbecue win

Beating out 97 other entries from across the U.S., Cunningham's Memphis Semi-Sweet BBQ Sauce won first place in the Florida Azalea Festival Sauce Competition on March 4. Made by Memphians Patsy and Michael Cunningham, Cunningham's sauce (18 oz., $3.99) is available at all nine Easy Way locations in the Mid-south. "Our sauce has a little sweetness on the front end with a little kick on the back end," describes Patsy Cunningham. "It's so smooth everyone likes it."

Please share your fabulous food finds and restaurant news with me at jennifer@cookwithjennifer.com.

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