Spring Produce

   By Julie Grice  May 12, 2011
24

Rising temperatures this month herald in fresh spring produce.  And it’s about time -- I don’t think I can take many more starchy potatoes and winter squash!

Now is the time to revel in savory asparagus, tart rhubarb, juicy strawberries, sweet peas, spicy arugula and crisp lettuce.

Not sure what to do with your bundles of fresh spring produce?  Try some of these ideas!

Asparagus

Asparagus is terrific grilled.  To keep the spears from falling through the grates, I like to lay down a piece of aluminum foil, and grill the asparagus on top of that.  You don’t get the deep brown grill marks, but you also doesn’t get charred charcoal all over your veggies!

Roasting also brings out the sweet flavors of asparagus.  Simply toss with olive oil, a little sea salt and some ground pepper, and spread on a baking sheet.  Roast at 400F for 25 minutes.

Other asparagus recipes:



Rhubarb

Ah, rhubarb.  The one piece of spring produce that I’ve been wary to try.  But I’m determined to overcome my hesitance and experiment with rhubarb this spring.  Here’s a few recipes I have my eye on:



Strawberries

Fresh sweet, juicy strawberries.  Does it get much better?  If you’ve only ever had them from little plastic boxes off-season, go out to a U-pick farm or farmer’s market and pick up a fresh pint.  You’ll never go back.



Sweet Peas

Sugar snap peas are terrific in stir fries and on top of salads.  As for the shelled variety, try them in pasta and other grain-based dishes.  



Arugula

Arugula adds some spice to salads, but is also perfect when served raw on top of a thin-crust pizza, as I discovered in Italy.  

Arugula also makes a great pesto.  Blend freshly-picked leaves with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts in a food processor, and serve over pasta, fish or chicken.

Some other uses for arugula:



Lettuce


Go beyond the typical salad and make some lettuce wraps.  Choose the largest leaves of lettuce, and fill with your favorite grain or meat-based dishes.  

 

What’s your favorite spring produce? Do you grow it yourself?

 

Make a Comment

 
SHARE
Comments
basilandcatnip by basilandcatnip | GARLAND, TX
May 19, 2011

I used to grow Rhubarb as a kid, my aunt would make me pies from it, good memories. My father is the big gardener in the family, he grows about everything from all sorts of berries to lettuces. I love ALL the organic produce. Me, I still to growing simple things, mostly small pots I keep on the patio of basil, stevia, cherry tomatoes. Easy while I'm cooking to just walk out and pinch off a bit. And a lot cheaper too when making pesto.

makeovermomma by makeovermomma | STAUNTON, VA
May 19, 2011

I've never tried rhubarb before (wouldn't have even thought of that)... now I'm pretty curious! I LOVE lettuce wraps though... yum!

yogajane by yogajane | WINSTON SALEM, NC
May 17, 2011

AWESOME post, thanks so much! :)

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
May 16, 2011

This is great! I can't wait to try some of these!

marocmama by marocmama | Eau Claire, WI
May 15, 2011

Love the idea of arugala as a pesto!

socialzigi by socialzigi | MANDEVILLE, LA
May 13, 2011

i just got my pasta press! can't wait to try the arugula pasta

Azigel by Azigel | ALBERTSON, NY
May 13, 2011

the spicy asian lettuce cups sound great! i am going to try them with morning star farms "fake" ground unturkey!

zigi818 by zigi818 | ALBERTSON, NY
May 13, 2011

has anyone else cooked with rhubarb? I am a bit hesitant myself. Any tips to getting kids to eat it?

scentednights by scentednights | CASTLETON, VT
May 13, 2011

Rhubarb is my very favorite spring food. We have a huge plant out in the garden that is just about ready now!

msgran by msgran | SOUTH AMBOY, NJ
May 13, 2011

What a great round up of recipes

Bluebear by Bluebear | Maplewood, NJ
May 13, 2011

I'm very excited about Rhubarb pie-oh and the coleslaw and potato salads.

memama by memama | New York, NY
May 13, 2011

Crushed Peas recipe sounds liek something I could make.

himahome by himahome | New York, NY
May 13, 2011

I am thrilled to eat new season strawberries, its a race to see if we can pick them before the wildlife in our garden. We also make a trip out to the Upick and stock up. We lay them on trays freeze them and then bag them so we have great fruit for the next 6 months. I've just started to make room in my freezer for all the fruit we are going to pick. Thanks for the great recipe ideas

memama by memama | New York, NY
May 13, 2011

Recently I've been adding a little herb to my water, juice or soda, I'm not sure if its more healthy but it makes my drink a lot more interesting.

RoyalT by RoyalT | NEW YORK, NY
May 13, 2011

This is my all time favorite Tomato salad, it's so good and I love grabbing all the fresh produce and herbs to make this. It's so fantastic on bread too. Making myself hungry!!!