6 Calgary dishes to summon spring

CBC's Julie Van Rosendaal shares six spring dishes you can find in Calgary for the final days of winter.
Spinach and kale risotto. (Julie Van Rosendaal)

In these final drawn-out days of winter, it can seem like spring might never arrive. Luckily, CBC's Julie Van Rosendaal has tracked down six dishes guaranteed to help bring a little of that spring spirit into your dining experience.

Risotto at Teatro

For nearly 20 years, Teatro has been serving sublime, contemporary Italian cuisine — including perfect risottos. Right now, their dinner menu features a saffron risotto with braised short rib, ginger yogurt and caramalized carrots for $29.

200 Eighth Avenue S.E., 403-290-1012

Rhubarb mojitos at Candela Lounge

Nothing says spring like a bubbly cocktail, even if it's still too chilly to sit outside on a patio. Rhubard is as spring-y an ingredient as any and at Candela they mix fresh rhubarb with mint and lime before shaking it all up with white rum for $10.

5110 56th Avenue S.E., 403-531-4790

Greens Eggs and Ham

Almost twice the size of a chicken's egg with a rich, creamy yolk, duck eggs are delicious in all kinds of spring dishes from frittata to eggs benedict. Greens Eggs and Ham is a sustainable 10-acre mixed farm near Edmonton but their products are available at Forage in Marda Loop, Crossroads, Calgary farmers markets and on restaurant menus across the city. Try them for a special brunch or to decorate for Easter.

Greens Eggs and Ham, RR #2, 48534 Range Road 240, Leduc, Alta., 780-986-8680

Calgary Farmers' Market, 510 77th Avenue S.E., 403-240-9113

Crossroads Farmers' Market, 1235 26th Avenue S.E., 403-291-5208

Forage-Farm to Fork Foods to Go, 3510 19th Street S.W., 403-269-6551

Lamb from Driview Farms

There are plenty of great lamb producers in southern Alberta. One of them is family-owned Driview Farms, where they have raised lamb for nearly 35 years. Their hormone and preservative-free lamb is delivered to Calgary weekly and you can find it on restaurant menus across the city. It's also available for purchase at Bite Groceteria in Inglewood or you can order directly from the farm.

Driview Farms, 403-553-2178

Bite Groceteria, 1233 Ninth Avenue S.E., 403-263-3966

Crispy Cracklin' Chicken at Brava Bistro

Although it's popular year-round, roast chicken just somehow seems like a spring dish. Brava is known for their crispy crackling chicken, pan-roasted with scallion mashed potatoes, buttered carrots and a white wine chicken jus for $26. Another don't-miss dish is their lobster poutine with shellfish butter sauce and mascarpone for $16.

Brava Bistro, 723 17th Avenue S.W., 403-228-1854

Pickled asparagus (or asparagus relish) from Edgar Farms

It's still last year's crop but until those first purple-green stalks poke through the thawed ground, it's the best way to get a taste of real Alberta asparagus in the middle of March. Look for their pickled spears and asparagus relish at the Innisfail Growers booth at the Calgary Farmers' Market (and other markets as they open for the season).

You'll also occasionally find some on store shelves at smaller gourmet shops around the city. Their own farm store opens in early May.

Edgar Farms, 403-227-2443