Cook With Fresh Produce This Spring
One of the best things about the snow finally melting is the fact that you get to change up your regular recipes to incorporate some of spring’s limited-time only fresh produce. Not only does produce taste its best while it’s in season, but fresh produce also offers a higher nutritional value than produce purchased out of season, according to Cooking Light. Set your alarm this weekend to get first picks at your local farmer’s market and stock up on some of these springtime favorites!
Artichokes are in season from March until June. While the artichoke tastes great in all sorts of dips, don’t waste your farmer’s market haul on something that can easily be made with canned artichoke hearts. Instead, try baking these feta-stuffed artichokes from Eating Well.
In addition to a classic spring soup, there are plenty of dishes you can incorporate asparagus into. You have until the end of May to get your hands on some delicious fresh asparagus while it’s in its peak. It’s a short time, so be sure to choose a recipe that allow you to fully enjoy the taste of your produce. Try this parmesan asparagus from All Recipes as a side dish. Be sure to store your asparagus in a cool place so they don’t rot before you get to enjoy them!
You might not even think about picking up some of these legumes fresh, but you should give them a chance! Typically available through July, fava beans make a great addition to soups, like this minestrone from Bon Appetit, but also taste great sprinkled on top of your favorite salad.
English peas hit their peaks in May, with a crunchy, tangy taste that complements any entree. When cooking your fresh English peas, try mixing them with sesame seeds and garlic, like in this English pea recipe from Williams-Sonoma. You can even get a little adventurous and add them to your favorite dips.
Radishes hit their peak during the spring and summer, giving you the perfect opportunity to slice some fresh radishes to top your summer salad. Radishes are also great side dishes, like in this refreshing leek and radish side from Real Simple, flavored with olive oil and lemon juice. If you’re not sure how to choose the perfect radish, look for ones with deep color.
If you’ve never heard of a ramp, it’s probably because they’re only in season for about a month and a half – from April to mid-May. Ramps have a strong flavor, like an onion or scallion, but are a bit sweeter. They make a good addition to most dishes that you’d use a similarly-strong veggie, like this ramp risotto from Serious Eats.
Though rhubarb is technically a vegetable, it’s tart flavor makes for great pastries and pies. These rhubarb muffins from Saveur can attest to that. While rhubarb is known as a summertime treat, the vegetable actually hits its peak in June. So start gathering it ASAP!