Make the Most of Spring Vegetables
Spring is a great time to take advantage of the colorful greens and vegetables that are in season this time of year as a way to add a healthy punch to your plate.
Pasta Shells with Spring Vegetables
Pea tendrils, the tender tips of pea vines that taste just like the peas, make an unexpected and charming garnish.
All the Green Things Salad
This salad is absolutely chock-full of lovely green spring produce, with textures ranging from crunchy to creamy. You can make the zippy lemon dressing and blanch, drain, and chill the peas and asparagus up to 2 days ahead, but combine all the elements shortly before serving to preserve the color of the avocado and the crunch of the greens. Delicate pea tendrils or shoots would be spectacular here, but watercress makes a delicious peppery substitute. Though you may be tempted to use only one herb, we urge you to use both: The parsley adds a burst of freshness, and the mint contributes deep herbal goodness.
Charred Spring Onion and Baby Artichoke Pizza
Getting some deliberately over-browned edges on the onions and artichokes adds wonderful flavor that makes your home-cooked pizza taste as if it came out of a wood-fired oven. When baby artichokes aren’t in season, you can use frozen artichoke hearts; thaw them, cut them into quarters if they’re whole, and char as directed in step 6. Be sure to allow the dough to come to room temperature so that it’s easier to work with (if too cold, it springs back when you try to shape it) and so it rises more in the oven.
Herbed Ricotta, Asparagus, and Phyllo Tart
If working with phyllo dough fills you with fear, don’t worry—this recipe is beginner-friendly. There’s no crimping or folding the dough; you just lay flat sheets of dough on top of each other for a rustic, unfinished edge. Do make sure to thaw the phyllo according to package directions—preferably overnight in the fridge. Properly thawed dough won’t stick together and is relatively easy to work with. Skip past the big, fat asparagus spears you might see this time of year; you need thinner spears so that they’ll get done in the 20 minutes it takes to crisp the dough.
Eggs in a Garden Breakfast Tart
Thanks to ever-handy, store-bought puff pastry, this stunning savory tart is shockingly easy to make. The flakey puff pastry crust cradles 8 over easy eggs, surrounded with vibrant spring vegetables (thus, the recipe’s name). What you have here is an incredibly impressive option for your next brunch gathering. Serve with a side of roasted red potatoes or fresh fruit for a complete meal that’s sure to wow.
Radish and Parmesan Salad
Arugula, Egg, and Charred Asparagus Salad
Just a hint of char on the asparagus adds fantastic complexity to this simple 5-ingredient spring salad. Look for medium stalks rather than pencil-thin ones—those would char and dry out too quickly. A soft-boiled egg adds protein and richness; let the slightly runny yolks mingle with the rest of the salad before enjoying. Whole-milk Greek yogurt has a lusciousness and milder tang than lower-fat yogurt. It’s the perfect binder for the lemony dressing. Serve with a slice of multigrain bread spread with goat cheese and a dash of cracked black pepper.
Braised Artichokes, Favas, and Carrots in Creamy Lemon Sauce with Fennel
The olive oil emulsifies with the braising liquid to create a silky sauce that deliciously coats the bright spring veggies. Thin lemon slices, charred and caramelized in a cast-iron pan, make a nice garnish.
Green Gazpacho with Corn and Radish Salad
Green (unripe) tomatoes have more vitamin C and calcium than the more popular ripe red ones, and they are rich in B vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They make a deliciously tart, tangy addition to a chilled gazpacho.
Vegetable Soup au Pistou
A traditional French pistou is a nut-free pesto, but the spinach pesto (or any refrigerated brand) is delicious here. Don't rinse the canned beans after draining; any remaining starches will help bring the soup together.
Indian-Spiced Pea Fritters
Spring Vegetable and Quinoa Salad with Bacon
Quinoa offers this dish a hearty base, while the spring veggies take over along with the bacon for a flavorful ode to spring.
Kale and Beet Salad with Salmon
White balsamic vinegar is slightly sweet; cider vinegar is tangier. Either will be delicious here.
Balsamic Kale and Radicchio Sauté
Serve a delicious and healthy side dish made with kale, radicchio, and garlic.
Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Soup
To make your satisfying supper hit the table even faster, go ahead and prep this creamy soup through step 1 in the morning. Then, all that's left to do is heat the soup and throw together a salad.
Asparagus with Lemon-Parmesan Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs offer a crunchy texture to these asparagus stalks.
Spring Vegetable Soup
Braised Mustard Greens with Spring Onions
Crunchy Zucchini Chips
Ann's kids fell in love with these chips, and you will, too. Besides the savory seasoning, the crispy zucchini rounds have a secret whole-grain weapon: amaranth in the breading. It makes them amazingly crunchy without overpowering the vegetable. Serve them with burgers, sandwiches, or grilled chicken.
Snap Peas with Herb Butter
These gorgeous peas are lavishly tossed in a butter and herb mixture with dill, chives, and lemon juice.
Spring Beet and Pea Salad
Wilson suggests using your best olive oil to indulge both your veggies and your palate.
Beets, Snow Peas, and New Potatoes with Garlic-Parsley Skordalia
Skordalia is a traditional Greek garlicky puree enriched with potatoes, nuts, and bread. The skordalia base can be made up to 3 days ahead; stir in the yogurt just before serving. Skip bland crudités (baby carrots, celery sticks) and try earthy beets infused with cinnamon, red potato wedges, and crisp sautéed snow peas. In addition to a dip, you can use the skordalia as a spread for sandwiches or crostini.
Savory Carrot Ribbon Tart
With its tangle of bright carrot strips and bits of spicy chorizo, this beautiful tart makes an exciting appetizer or even a light main dish. An all-butter puff pastry, such as Dufour, gives especially flavorful and flaky results, but it's delicious made with any kind of puff pastry.
Spring Vegetable Soup
Fresh Peas with Mint and Green Onions
The combination of fresh peas with mint yield a harmonious and nutrition side dish. Peas are in the legume family, and these vegetables are typically high in protein and fiber, yet low in fat and cholesterol. Because they're higher in protein than many other types of vegetables, they're a good source of protein in vegetarian diets.
We love the interplay of crunchy, peppery radishes with refreshingly tangy yogurt spread. If you can, use a variety of radishes for more color.
Tarragon Asparagus with Eggs
Choose thick asparagus instead of thin for this dish. The wider spears have an excellent sweet flavor and can stand up to the bold tarragon vinaigrette.
These simple spring radishes offer a punch to any dish. Save the greens for use in salads, smoothies, or pestos.
Roasted Asparagus and Baby Artichokes
To get a head start, prepare the recipe through step 2 up to two days in advance. Shortly before serving, place asparagus on pan with roasted asparagus, and proceed with step 3.
Braised Mustard Greens with Spring Onions
Feta and Pea Tentril Omelet
Vibrant, crisp seasonal greens breathe new life into a classic French omelet. Jeanine Donofrio, author of <em>The Love & Lemons Cookbook</em>, guarantees a bright start to any spring day with eggs, avocado, feta, peas, and pea tendrils. Delicate pea tendrils, also known as pea shoots, aren’t usually sold at grocery stores. Look for them at farmers’ markets at the beginning of spring or grow them at home; shoots require little sunshine or space. A finishing touch of chili flakes adds a wake-up punch.
Feta and Pea Tendril Omelet
Reprinted from The Love & Lemons Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company.
Minty Pea Soup with Parmesan Croutons
This pea soup gets a pop of flavor from sprigs of mint.