Spring Awakening

By Jenna Grady | Boston Magazine |

Bored with asparagus, morels, and other warm-weather standards, adventurous chefs are getting creative with new seasonal flavors. Look for these ingredients on menus in the coming months.


Roses
Pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick of Oleana in Cambridge captures the heady fragrance of beach roses in a jam used to accent desserts like lemon tarts and frozen nougat.

Violets
Salad greens at the Dunaway Restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, get a hint of sweetness from these intensely hued blossoms, plucked from the on-site garden.

Fennel Pollen
At Southborough’s Tomasso Trattoria, the spice adds aromatic depth to the slow-roasted pork rib chop.

Watercress
Truffle oil softens the spicy bite of this vitamin-rich leaf, which Cambridge’s Dante serves with grilled hanger steak.

Nettles
Also called stinging nettles, the spiky leaves are a favorite of chef Steve Johnson, who loves their earthy flavor in pastas and soups at his Rendezvous in Central Square.