Each season of the year produces a new lineup of unique fruits and veggies found at your Market. Spring ushers in that special time when vibrant colors and beloved flavors begin to multiply as local growers pluck produce from the ground. What would spring be without asparagus and artichokes or peas or leeks? Without strawberries and rhubarb?
Our Market Kitchen has chosen some of these in-season stars to create savory spring choices for your taste buds to explore, so be sure to swing by and see what’s new. And for home cooks, spring fruits and vegetables are perfect for making salads and sides, entrées and desserts.
They don’t call them spring greens for nothing! Tender, young salad leaves are best before the plants grow more mature. To make the most of their earthy, versatile, fresh flavor, keep salad toppings and dressings simple, so the greens’ pure goodness shines through.
Popular spring greens include arugula, with its peppery kick, baby lettuces and butter lettuce, dandelion greens, with their outstanding bitterness, escarole, spinach and watercress. Find a premix of several greens, called a spring mix, in the bagged salads section of your Market’s Produce Department. Otherwise, choose one or more of these bunched leaves to toss together. Find an array of salad dressings in our grocery aisles, too.
Many of these greens also add incredible texture and flavor to cooked foods, as well as important fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Chard, kale, collards, peas and leeks make excellent additions to soups that can still warm us on those chillier spring nights. Fresh seasonal herbs begin to spring to life, too, including basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, chives and more.
Market of Choice recipes that feature spring greens and vegetables: Halibut in Parchment with Spring Vegetables; Shandong-Style Asparagus; Garlic & Italian Bread Stuffed Artichokes; Brunch Pan Bread with Bacon, Asparagus, Ricotta and Egg; Roasted Salmon Citrus Salad with Leeks and Asparagus; Spring Vegetable and Phyllo Tart.
If it’s crunch you seek
Carrots are sold year-round, of course, but they are especially young and add the sweetest flavor, whether raw or cooked, in late spring, during the first “seasonal” harvest. Find a variety of fresh bunched carrots at your Market, including rainbow carrots to add wonderful color to your recipes.
Radishes, too, add both crunch and a peppery bite that we simply love. Try combining radish, carrot and cilantro for an excellent spring salad. Or simply roast radishes with some fresh herbs for a delicious, colorful side to any meat or fish – roasting mellows their flavor and brings out their sweetness.
Some Market of Choice recipes that feature carrots or radishes: Spring Blossom Muffin Quiches; Butter and Sesame Braised Radishes with Grapefruit and Watercress; Halibut Timatar; Moroccan Carrot Pickles.
A match made in heaven
Finally, what’s spring without strawberries and rhubarb, which are often combined to create classic strawberry and rhubarb pie. Strawberries are usually the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
Rhubarb’s pink stalks are easily recognizable in the produce aisle. It provides the perfect tartness for sweet cobblers and pies, but it’s also a delicious vegetable side, either sautéed or roasted, for main entrées.
Market of Choice recipes that feature strawberries or rhubarb: Caramelized Phyllo Napoleons with White Chocolate Cream and Strawberry-Rhubarb Coulis; Strawberry and Arugula Salad; Angel Food Cake; Oregon Vineyard Spring Chicken with Rhubarb, Garlic and Chervil; Rhubarb Grapefruit Crumb Cake.
For even more recipes that celebrate spring’s fresh produce stars, visit the Market of Choice recipe collection and search the category “spring.” Enjoy!