Spring has sprung, and with it, a bounty of fresh produce is making its way to farmers markets and the seasonal vegetable displays in grocery stores.
From A-to-Z, you’ll see fruits and vegetables come into season. Apricots are beginning to show up on store shelves while artichokes have their first beautiful harvest in the spring. Arugula and other salad greens are year-round staples thanks to modern agriculture, but they are particularly wonderful in spring.Read More »
The humble pea in all its form is super pleasing — think garden peas, snap peas, snow peas, and the like. Radishes are sweet and crunchy spring delights. And the heroine of southern cuisine, the Vidalia onion is sweet and perfect in everything — except for strawberry dishes. Although, there is that strawberry salsa recipe we’ve been meaning to try.
Cooking with seasonal produce has benefits beyond the obvious yum-factor. Because produce travels fewer miles to reach you, it’s better for the environment. Plus, locally grown fruits and veg support local economies. Win/win. As if you need another reason, seasonal produce will also save you money because you’re purchasing at its peak availability.
To make the most of the farm to table bounty, we’ve gathered recipes for appetizers, quick lunches, delightful dinners, and desserts that will leave you wanting more.
Vegetarians and Vegans, Rejoice
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P.S. You don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to enjoy veggie-based dishes. When produce is at its peak, you might be able to tempt even the pickiest eaters over to the fresh side. Fresh herbs and simple preparations bring out the best in these fresh dishes.
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Cashews make this pasta salad a protein-rich vegetarian meal, perfect for a light lunch on a warm day. And if you sub out the Parmesan cheese for toasted sesame seeds, you can play up the Asian flavors. If a vegetarian main just won’t cut it in your house, top with miso shrimp or teriyaki chicken for a more robust offering.
Risottos don’t have to be a labor-intensive process. This faux-risotto with cauliflower rice and fresh peas and spring asparagus is lactose and grain free for those with special dietary considerations.
This hearty side dish could be a meal on its own the next day. If you’re looking for a true vegetarian option, substitute a vegetable broth for the chicken broth in this crunchy, tangy broccoli couscous.
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Will you even miss the meat with this halloumi and carrot salad? Cheesy does it. But if endless salads aren’t your thing, check out these spicy vegetable samosas. You might never order takeout again once you master this wrapping technique.
Simple Flavors, Simply Dressed
We love the pink perfection of sautéed tarragon radishes. Even more, we love that this is a 25 minute recipe, from prep to table.
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Can you even have a spring table without roasted asparagus? If you are intimidated by the stalky stuff, this step-by-step guide will help you out. Healthful and flavorful, roasted asparagus doesn’t need a lot of fuss to be the star of the table. Roast on parchment or silicone pad for easy cleanup — or roast on the grill for a smoky flavor.
If you are feeling super fancy and ready to level up your asparagus presentation, serve up literary legend’s asparagus with whipped cream. Yes, whipped cream — it’s a dream!
Don’t be scared of artichokes! They’re poky and have sand hiding in all the wrong places, but they are some of spring’s greatest offerings. Soaking and washing them is key, but you don’t have to slave over a hot stove to get them tender and ready to eat. Prep these for the slow cooker and you will have steamed lemon thyme ‘chokes without even having to think about them until it is time for supper.
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Five minutes to fabulous! Whip up sugar snap peas as a side for your favorite poultry. Olive oil and good sea salt is all it takes to make these crispy and delicious. Go rogue and throw in some brown sugar and soy sauce for an Asian kick.
The Toasts Have It
We love a good toast. Whip up a quick avocado and radish toast
or something that sounds a little fancier like this radish and butter tartine. (Don’t be intimidated. It’s basically toast with French flair.)
Hummus is a toast-topping favorite, but spring calls for fresher flavors. Move over canned chickpeas, make your hummus with fresh spring veg. This beet hummus is perfectly pink and is tempting us to rename it Princess Toast for our littlest littles. And the humble pea makes an extraordinary hummus crostini you’ll want to serve as appetizers or just have on hand for a quick afternoon snack.
Better With Bacon
Meat lovers, we didn’t forget you. We all know everything is better with bacon, and that includes the spring bounty. For a hearty, handheld meal, try out these wrapped bacon and asparagus rolls made with store-bought crescent roll dough. To be super elegant for a dinner party, we think you could make this with puff pastry sheets from the freezer.
Bacon, mint, and creamy spring sugar snap peas will bring back memories of childhood.
Whether you’re having family over for spring holidays, or just special weekend supper, this carrot and parsnip soufflé will wow. Serve this indulgent pot of veggie gloriousness with a simple protein and veg.
With show-stopping filo florets on top, this herby spring chicken pot pie is pretty enough for the glitziest dinner party. No sides needed.
If you want to spend more time with your guests than in the kitchen, whip up some savory tarts, serve with cheese and wine, and you’ll have an easy spring feast.
Rich, Creamy Pastas and More
If it’s still a little chilly where you are, warm up with a dreamy mascarpone spaghetti with spinach and seasonally beautiful Meyer lemon or a chicken and veg risotto.
These simple bowls are nutritious and feature some of spring’s tastiest harvest:
Don’t Forget Dessert!
From a light, old-fashioned strawberry shortcake to a decadent rhubarb gingernut cheesecake, to a carrot cake that will make you forget your last name, you can round out any spring meal with the perfect finish.
And if you’re looking for something quick, you can’t go wrong with a boozy, fruity poached rhubarb. Serve with a sabayon or ice cream.
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