Spring Produce

Julie Grice By Julie Grice 05.12.11
Spring Produce
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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?

 

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  • basilandcatnip By basilandcatnip
    05.19.11  

    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
    05.19.11  

    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
    05.17.11  

    AWESOME post, thanks so much! :)

  • msfriendly By msfriendly
    05.16.11  

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

  • marocmama By marocmama
    05.15.11  

    Love the idea of arugala as a pesto!

  • socialzigi By socialzigi
    05.13.11  

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

  • Azigel By Azigel
    05.13.11  

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

  • zigi818 By zigi818
    05.13.11  

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

  • scentednights By scentednights
    05.13.11  

    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
    05.13.11  

    What a great round up of recipes

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