And just like that, everything is new again.
The chill of winter has lifted and life is springing forth from the ground. I see it all around me and I feel it in my bones.
Spring has come.
With the spring comes change. For me, this time of year means many different things; it is a time of celebration, a time of plenty, and a time of joy. It is a time for farmer’s markets and radishes and ramps and spring greens. It is a time for opening up the windows, a time for letting the sunlight and fresh air in.
For some of us, this season is also a time of remembrance. A time of fasting and prayer, in preparation for the death and resurrection of Christ. For the past few years, Nich and I have observed Great Lent (aka Orthodox Lent). For six weeks, we abstain from meat, dairy, and alcohol, in preparation for the Easter Feast (Pascha).
I am only one week into Great Lent, but I already feel the effects of fasting. I feel focused and rested, contemplative and clear-minded. I feel hopeful and grateful. And yet, I am struck by the realization that I have so much. I have the freedom to abstain from luxuries such as meat, cheese, and wine. I know that there are many (many) people in this world who aren’t afforded this choice. They abstain because they do not have.
It is a sobering realization that I do not take lightly. Such is the nature of this season – it is a time of hope and of heaviness.
All that said, here’s to spring and all that it brings.
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 1 small red onion
- 1 heaping cup spring greens (baby kale, arugula, spinach, chard, lettuce, etc.), washed and patted dry.
- 3 radishes
- Slices of whole wheat sourdough (or other bread of your choice)
- Whole grain mustard
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Salt & pepper
- First, I like to ‘quick pickle’ the red onion. You don’t have to pickle the red onion, but I think it adds a nice vinegary kick to the sandwich. To pickle the onion, first peel the onion and slice 1/4 of the onion into very thin slices (reserve the rest for another use). Place the onion slices in a small bowl and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt over the onions. Pour red wine vinegar over the onions, just enough to cover and stir to coat. Allow to sit for 15 minutes (or more).
- Meanwhile, assemble the sandwiches. In a small bowl, toss the greens with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. (Be careful not to overdress, use only a little olive oil and lemon juice.)
- Spread a thin layer of whole grain mustard onto a piece of bread. Top with half of the greens. Slice the avocado in half, and cut the half into thin slices (reserving the other half for a second sandwich). Arrange the avocado slices atop the greens.
- Using a knife or mandoline, slice the radishes into very thin rounds. Place radish slices atop the avocado.
- Sprinkle a few of the pickled red onions atop the sandwich. Season with a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Top with another slice of bread, or enjoy as an open-faced sandwich.