Although fruits and veggies can be enjoyed year-round when they’re frozen, canned, dried or juiced, nothing beats the taste of consuming them fresh. The spring season – from March, April, to May are the months of the year when you can enjoy most fruits and vegetables at their freshest, and at their best. There are certain crops which come in season at the beginning of spring while other crops do so towards the end.
Take a quick look at the list of crops which you can best enjoy during the spring season:
- Apricots, Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Cardoons, Chards
- Cherries, Fava Beans, Fennel, Fiddleheads, Garlic, Green Onions/Scallions
- Greens, Kiwis, Kohlrabi, Kumquats, Leeks, Lemons, Lettuce, Mint, Morels
- Navel Oranges, New Potatoes, Parsley, Pea Greens, Radishes, Ramps, Rhubarbs
- Spinach, Spring Onions, Strawberries, Sweet Onions, Turnips
Top 10 Spring Recipes
Now that you already have an idea about which fruits and veggies are at their sumptuous best during the spring season, why not get started on cooking? Here are our top 10 spring recipes so that you can enjoy these fruits and veggies in mouth-watering home cooked dishes!
1. Spring Pasta with Fava Beans and Peas
- 1 1/2 cups shelled fava beans (about 1 3/4 pounds unshelled)
- 6 ounces uncooked campanelle or farfalle (bow tie pasta) $
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided $
- 6 center-cut bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces $
- 1 1/2 cups sliced red onion $
- 8 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 ounces thinly sliced mushrooms $
- 1 cup fresh shelled or frozen green peas, thawed
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice $
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh pecorino Romano cheese (about 6 tablespoons), grated and divided
- 1/2 cup torn basil leaves
- Place fava beans in a large pot of boiling water; cook 1 minute. Drain; rinse with cold water. Drain well. Remove tough outer skins from beans.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add bacon; sauté 3 minutes or until bacon begins to brown. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add mushrooms; sauté 3 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown. Add fava beans and peas; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil, pasta, juice, and salt; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove pan from heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons cheese. Divide pasta mixture evenly among 4 bowls, and top evenly with remaining 3 tablespoons cheese and basil. Serve immediately.
2. Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas and Spring Herbs
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon flour, divided
- 1 pound thin-sliced chicken breast cutlets
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas, cut in half (2 cups)
- 1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed
- 1/4 cup sprouted beans, (see Note), optional
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon or dill
- 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar, or white-wine vinegar
- Whisk broth, mustard, salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons flour in a small bowl until smooth. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in two batches, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
- Stir the broth mixture and add to the pan along with snap peas, artichoke hearts and sprouted beans (if using). Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the snap peas are tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, nestling it into the vegetables, and simmer until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in herbs and vinegar.
3. New Potato, Spring Onion and Montgomery Cheddar Quiche
For the pastry:
- 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 140g cold butter, diced
- 1 tsp. icing sugar
- 1 egg yolk
For the filling:
- 250g new potatoes, peeled, cooked and halved, or quartered if very large
- 2 bunches spring onions, sliced
- 250g Montgomery cheddar, diced
- 5 eggs
- 100ml milk
- 200ml double cream
- Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the icing sugar, egg yolk and 3 tbsp. cold water, then quickly bring together to form a firm dough. Wrap well in cling film and allow resting for 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and line a deep 23cm tart tin. Cover with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and cook for 5-10 minutes more until the tart case is pale and sandy in texture (see p14 for tips on making and baking pastry).
- Remove and turn the oven down to 160C/140C fan/gas 2. Spread the base of the tart with the potatoes, onions and cheddar. Whisk together the eggs, milk and cream, then season. Pour into the tart case and cook for 40-45 minutes or until just set. Remove, cool on a wire rack then serve.
4. Spring Fish Pie
- 250g bag washed leaf spinach
- 450g small new potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 300g skinless, boneless white fish fillet, cut into large chunks
- 100g half-fat crème fraîche
- juice ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C /gas 7. Tip the spinach into a colander sitting in the sink and tip the potatoes into a saucepan. Bring a kettle full of water to the boil and pour enough over the potatoes to cover and slowly pour the rest over the spinach to wilt it. Bring the potatoes to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes until tender, then drain and roughly mash.
- Leave the spinach to cool, then squeeze out excess water with your hands. Scatter the spinach over the bottom of 2 individual or 1 small ovenproof dish leaving two gaps for the eggs. Crack the eggs into the gaps, then season with salt and pepper.
- Distribute the fish over the spinach and eggs. Spread over the crème fraîche and drizzle with the lemon juice. Loosely spoon over the potatoes, drizzle over the olive oil, then bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is crispy and golden and the sauce is bubbling at the sides. Leave to stand for a few minutes, then serve straight from the dish.
5. Spring Veggie Casserole with Little Herb Dumplings
For the dumplings:
- 100g self-raising flour
- 50g butter at room temperature, cut in pieces
- 50g mature cheddar, finely grated
- 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
For the casserole:
- 3 tbsp light olive oil
- 8 shallots, peeled and cut in half lengthways
- 250g small new potatoes, cut int half
- 3 peeled garlic cloves, cut in half lengthways
- 200g baby carrots, scraped but left whole
- 2-3 fennel bulbs (about 500g total weight), each cut into 8 wedges
- 600ml boiling vegetable stock (Marigold Swiss bouillion is good)
- 300g fruity white wine, such as sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio
- pinch of muscovado sugar, light or dark
- ½ tsp. light soy sauce
- 200g green beans, trimmed and cut in half
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, halved if large
- 200g baby courgettes, each cut into 4 chunks, or 2 courgettes cut in sticks
- 2 tsp. cornflour
- ½ fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. each snipped chives and chopped parsley
- To make the dumplings, rub the flour and butter together so it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese, parsley and salt and pepper to season and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or flameproof casserole (about 3.5 litres) over a high-ish heat, then throw in the halved shallots. Fry for 2-3 minutes till beginning to soften and turn brown and gold in places.
- Now still working on quite a high heat, add the potatoes and watch for the same effect, about 5-7 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon and generally moving the pan about a bit. Add the garlic, carrots and fennel, allowing a couple of minutes between each so they get a chance to release their flavours. Pour in the stock along with most of the wine, then stir in the sugar and soy sauce and return to the boil. Simmer covered for 10 minutes. If preparing ahead make up to the end of step 2, cool and chill for up to five hours. About 20 minutes before you are ready to serve, bring back to the boil, and continue with the next step.
- Stir about 2 tablespoons of water into the dumpling mixture to form a soft dough. Break off small pieces to make 20-25 dumplings, then shape into rounds about the size of a cherry tomato. Add the green beans and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and courgettes.
- Stir the cornflour into the remaining wine until it has dissolved, then stir into the casserole until it thickens. Bring to the boil, stir well then gently place the dumplings on top. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently for about 15 minutes till the dumplings have risen, and the stew is rich and thick and the vegetables deliciously tender.
- Check the seasoning. Mix the chilli and herbs together in a small bowl and scatter on top of the casserole.
6. Rhubarb Spice Cake
- 5oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 300g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp. mixed spice
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 250g golden syrup
- 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 300g rhubarb, cut into short lengths
- icing sugar, for dusting
- Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and put the kettle on. Butter and line a deep 20cm. square cake tin. Sift the flour and spices into a bowl. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in the food processor, then beat in the golden syrup.
- Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in 200ml boiling water, then gradually pour through the spout of the processor. Pulse in the flour, then add the eggs, mixing briefly. Remove the bowl from the processor, then gently stir in the rhubarb.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the cake feels firm to the touch and springs back when pressed. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.
7. Pea, Mint and Spring Onion Soup with Parmesan Biscuits
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- knob of butter
- ½ bunch spring onion, sliced, plus a few extra to serve
- 1 potato, cut into small dice
- 1l hot vegetable stock
- 900g frozen petits pois
- ½ small bunch mint, leaves picked, plus a few extra to serve
- 85g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), very finely grated
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy based pan. When foaming, add the spring onions and potato. Gently fry without colouring for about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potato is tender.
- Stir in the peas, bring to the boil again, then cook for about 3 minutes until they are just done. Remove the pan from the heat, add the mint leaves and whizz in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- To make the Parmesan biscuits, heat the grill to high. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and divide the grated Parmesan into 6 long strips. Grill for 1 min or until the cheese has melted and is lightly golden. While still warm and a bit flexible, release the biscuits from the baking parchment with a palette or cutlery knife, then cool until firm.
- To serve, heat the soup and divide between 6 bowls. Scatter with mint and sliced spring onions, if you like, and serve with the Parmesan biscuits on the side.
8. One-Pan Salmon with Roast Asparagus
- 400g new potatoes, halved if large
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 8 asparagus spears, trimmed and halved
- 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 salmon fillets, about 140g/5oz each
- handful basil leaves
- Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Tip the potatoes and 1 tbsp. of olive oil into an ovenproof dish, then roast the potatoes for 20 minutes until starting to brown. Toss the asparagus in with the potatoes, then return to the oven for 15 minutes.
- Throw in the cherry tomatoes and vinegar and nestle the salmon amongst the vegetables.
- Drizzle with the remaining oil and return to the oven for a final 10-15 minutes until the salmon is cooked. Scatter over the basil leaves and serve everything scooped straight from the dish.
9: Pineapple Lamb Chops
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper
- 8-12 lamb chops, trimmed
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. water
- 8 oz. can pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple, drained
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
- Mix orange juice, honey, salt and pepper in small bowl. Place lamb chops on broiler pan.
- Brush with about a quarter of the orange juice mixture. Broil about 5″ from heat about 5- 6 minutes or until brown. Turn, brush with more of the orange juice mixture and broil 6-9 minutes or until brown and desired doneness.
- Meanwhile, in small saucepan, stir together cornstarch and water. Add remaining orange juice mixture and pineapple.
- Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Boil for 2 minutes, then stir in mint and serve with the lamb chops. Each person gets 2-3 lamb chops, depending on size.
10: Cabbage Tortellini Salad
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. dill weed
- 18 oz. pkg. frozen cheese tortellini
- 3 cups chopped red cabbage
- 1 cup Havarti cheese cubes
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Combine yogurt, buttermilk, and mayonnaise. Beat well. Stir in feta cheese, sugar, and dill weed and refrigerate. Cook tortellini as directed on package (you’re really just thawing it). Drain tortellini and stir into dressing.
- Add remaining ingredients, mix well, cover, and chill 2-3 hours before serving. You can also serve the salad immediately. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Which among these recipes are you itching to try out in your kitchen? Get started now!