It’s official: May is here. This is the month of flowers, sunshine, warm(er) breezes, and spring veggies! Vegetables in the spring are delicate and delicious. In this post, I explore 6 veggies and 19 ways to prepare them with 14 yummy recipes! Enjoy.
Depending on where you are in the country, spring veggies look different. To find out what is in season near you, click here. The site allows you to click your location and learn about what you might find at a local farmer’s market. For the purposes of this post, I am going to stick with spring veggies referenced via the “More Matters” website.
Did you know that asparagus comes in more colors than green? Try white and purple asparagus as well! This strongly flavored veggie goes with just about everything. The crunchy stalks add a wonderful flavor to a whole grain pasta, and great texture to an ancient grain and veggie side dish. Or, enjoy it by itself—it cooks beautifully on a roasting pan, in a steam basket, and even on a grill pan
Notable Nutrients: Vitamins A, C, and folate
Baby spring lettuces are tender, buttery, and add a crispy texture to your spring dish. I love spring lettuces tossed with a light spring herb vinaigrette. If spinach is in the mix, make sure you purchase organically—spinach is number seven on the Natural Resources Defense Council’s “Dirty Dozen” list.
Notable Nutrients: Vitamin C, folate
Peas and Pea Shoots
Sweet, crunchy spring peas give your taste buds a rapturous spring introduction. Eaten raw, the sweet, crunchy flavor is at its finest. I stick them in a plastic container to munch on as a snack. And of course, when slightly sautéed with olive oil, peas can be a fabulous side dish. Or try them tossed in salad, folded in with eggs, stirred in a spring soup, or thrown in with wild rice.
Notable Nutrients: Vitamins A, C, folate, and fiber
A peppery radish can be a wonderful addition to a raw spring salsa or a fabulous addition to an egg dish
for brunch. When roasted, the radish loses its spicy bite and takes on a carmelized, sweeter flavor. Try it roasted and tossed with olive oil as a spring side dish.
Notable Nutrient: Vitamin C
I tried watercress for the first time at a shabu-shabu (or “hot pot”) restaurant in Boston called Shabu Zen. It held up beautifully in the lightly simmering broth. This peppery, tender leaf is a fabulous addition to a spring salad, soup, or egg dish. It works well in a light sauté, and is also delicious raw and tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. If you haven’t tried watercress on pizza, you must.
Notable Nutrients: Vitamins A, C, and Calcium
Young carrots are a bright, sweet, and crunchy addition to just about any spring dish. I love them sliced and incorporated with roasted spring veggies. A carrot soufflé (made with low-fat milk instead of heavy cream) is a family favorite. And they hold up well as a spring snack that is satisfying and easy to pack.
Notable Nutrients: Vitamins A and C
What’s your favorite spring vegetable? Let us know by commenting below.
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