It’s not just your imagination - the spring vegetable harvest outshines every other season. As the days continue to get longer and the sun shines brighter, fresh veggies and herbs burst from the earth in jaw-dropping abundance. So what does that mean for you??
Obvious answer: Get cooking! In this post, we’ll highlight the very best spring vegetable recipes and the necessary cookware needed to flawlessly execute these meals so that you can take advantage of the season’s mouth-watering veggie harvest. But first, let’s step back and cover some basics.
What Vegetables are in Season During Spring?
If you swing by your local farmer’s market in the spring, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Here’s a wide list of the in-season spring vegetables to choose from:
- Dandelion greens
- Fiddlehead ferns
- Green beans
- Herbs (basil, cilantro & dill)
- Lettuce (e.g. butter & red leaf)
- Mushrooms (morel, porcini & oyster)
- Spring Peas
- Swiss chard
- Vidalia onions
Again, this is just a starting point. These spring veggies and many more are available every spring, just waiting to be baked, stewed, and fried to perfection in your kitchen.
How to Grocery Shop in Spring
The most important thing to remember about cooking summer vegetables is to make what makes you happy. There’s no right or wrong way to shop, cook, and feed yourself, and no one should tell you otherwise. That said, here are three ideas to maximize the fun (and sheer deliciousness) of your spring veggie shopping experience:
1. Come Prepared but Allow Some Freedom
If you’re like most of us, strolling through the grocery store can be a slightly overwhelming experience. You end up grabbing the same stuff you always buy - which may not be as wholesome or healthy as you hoped.
The solution may seem a little obvious, but it’s time-tested and works like a charm: Bring a shopping list. Before you hit the supermarket or farmers’ market, find at least one new recipe you’re excited about, and make sure all the ingredients are on your list. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself keeping a running list as you spot intriguing new dishes in your day-to-day life.
And if there is a vegetable or item that is intriguing, buy it! Experimenting and trying new foods is a great way to become a better cook and broaden your culinary horizons.
2. Buy local
The best fresh veggies are the ones grown locally and are perfect for trying new potential wok recipes. Locally grown vegetables - like those available at your local farmers’ market - are often fresher and tastier than veggies from a big supermarket. (That’s because they haven’t sat on a refrigerated shelf for weeks or been trucked across the country.) Buying local also gets your money directly to farmers, which is very important.
Of course, not everyone has constant access to a thriving farmers’ market. If a big grocery store is your only option, don’t worry - the vegetables, fruits, and herbs you find there will still make for hearty, delectable meals.
3. Join a CSA group
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is like shopping at a farmers’ market, but even more accessible and more convenient. Typically, you’ll pay a seasonal or annual fee for a “share” of your local farmer’s bounty. Then, once a week, you’ll receive a fresh box of in-season spring produce, direct from the source. The benefits of this setup are:
- CSAs are a simple, “set it and forget it” approach to shopping.
- The prices are even lower than shopping at a farmer’s market.
- You’ll get introduced to all kinds of new produce that you might not choose to buy yourself.
- You directly support the farmers.
These last two points are huge. If you’re an adventurous home chef, You’ll be exposed to unusual new veggies and have to experiment with bold new spring produce recipes and flavors to make use of them. And supporting your local farmers is extremely important. Farms rely on CSAs as part of their revenue, and without could be faced with excess crops.
Best Tools for Vegetables
Each piece of Made In’s cookware serves a purpose, and when it comes to vegetables, each pan will deliver different results. If you’re looking for charred vegetables, carbon steel cookware should be used. For lightly sautéed vegetables that are delicate, non stick cookware’s slick surface and even heating will deliver perfect results. And lastly, stainless clad cookware is perfect for sautéeing vegetables and incorporating them into other dishes. Since our Stainless Clad Cookware can get hot, stay hot, and has a stay-cool handle, it will be at the center of all your spring vegetable meals.
Best Recipes That Highlight Spring Produce
Ready to tear into the best spring vegetable recipes? We’ve got you covered. Here are 4 of our all-time favorites.
Buttery Snap Salad with Candied Pecans
If you find yourself craving a spring vegetable salad, you really can’t miss this simple and delicious recipe. The fresh romaine and butter lettuce are set off by the candied pecans’ sweetness - a longstanding crowd-pleaser. Pro tip: make extra candied pecans to use in other salads or just to snack on.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1.5 cups pecans
- 2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 1 fresh lemon
- Black pepper
- Sea salt
- Melt all the coconut oil in a non stick saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in the brown sugar until it’s mostly dissolved.
- Stir in your pecans until they’re fairly well coated, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir them constantly, so they don’t burn as the sugar caramelizes.
- Next, trim the ends from the sugar snap peas and remove any tough strings.
- Boil several cups of water and add the fresh peas. Boil until they’re bright green and tender.
- Drain the peas. Then, place them in a bowl filled with ice water.
- Shred your romaine and butter lettuce, then add your cold, drained sugar snap peas.
- Mix the spring vegetable salad with a simple vinaigrette.
- Spritz with some fresh lemon juice and top with light, crushed sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Finally, top with your candied pecans and enjoy.
Tender Roasted Asparagus and Potatoes
If you’re craving a hearty, filling veggie dish, nothing beats roasted asparagus and potatoes topped with some fresh herbs. And if you’re a mushroom fan, you can include them as well!
- 2 pounds fresh asparagus
- 1 pound new red potatoes
- 1 pound fresh portobello mushrooms
- ⅓ cup chopped green onions
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon crushed sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Trim the asparagus by gently snapping off the woody root ends. You can also rip the bottom of the asparagus, and the woody root ends will naturally come off!
- Chop the new red potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
- Slice the portobello mushrooms.
- Chop the green onion.
- Combine vegetables in a large mixing bowl and olive oil, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Make sure the vegetables are all thoroughly coated.
- Cover with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Spread the veggies across one or more sheet pans. Make sure the vegetables are spread evenly and not piled up.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes and check your progress. A piece of potato should be easy and smooth to cut through. If the veggies aren’t yet cooked through, continue baking and check periodically.
- When all the roasted asparagus and potatoes are tender, cool and serve on a serving platter.
Greek-Style Artichoke Stew
This recipe is based on the classic Anginares a la Polita - a traditional Greek stew that’s savory, hearty, and utterly delicious. It’s a flexible, forgiving dish so don’t be afraid to put your own spin on it.
- 6 fresh artichokes
- 2-4 fresh lemons
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 8-10 pearl onions or shallots
- 4 chopped scallions
- 4 medium-sized carrots, peeled and chunked or quartered
- 1 cups of vegetable broth
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- First, we need to clean the artichokes. Start by peeling off the stiff outer leaves and cut off the tips and stem (leaving about ½ inch). Next, slice in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the spiny chokes with a spoon.
- Now, place the cleaned artichokes in a bowl of water with juice from a fresh lemon. Make sure they’re thoroughly coated with this mixture.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium flame, then add your onions and scallions. Get them brown and tender.
- Add your carrots, artichokes, veggie broth, and as much fresh lemon juice as you like. (Anywhere from 1-3 lemons is good.)
- Add dill, salt, and pepper.
- Now, cover the top, lower the heat, and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Serve hot.
Sizzling Radish & Pine Nut Pasta
When you’re craving something hearty and filling, you truly can’t go wrong with pasta. And though radishes aren’t the most popular or trendy of spring veggies, you’ll be blown away by the peppery yet subtle flavor they bring to this (or any other) pasta dish.
- 12 ounces of dry pasta (we suggest rigatoni or fusilli)
- 1.5 pounds of radishes with tops
- 2 minced cloves of garlic
- ½ cup of pine nuts
- 3 medium shallots
- 1 fresh lemon
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Bring water to a boil in your stockpot. Season generally with salt, then add the pasta. Cook it according to the instructions.
1A (Optional). Place your Made In entrée bowl in the oven at 250F. This will heat the bowl, keeping your pasta at its intended temperature while you eat it!
- Meanwhile, remove the leaves from the radishes. Wash them in cold water, then dry and chop.
- Slice the radishes themselves, almost paper-thin.
- In a large saute pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add the shallots and garlic.
- When the shallots are soft and the garlic is just about to take on color, add your radish slices and cook for several more minutes. They should become lightly translucent in the middle.
- Now add the radish leaves, and cook until they’re tender and wilted.
- Separately, heat a dry frying pan over a medium flame. Add the pine nuts. Shake and stir often, until they’re toasty and lightly browned.
- When the pasta is two minutes shy of being done, add it directly to your saute pan along with a ladle of pasta water to marry the sauce and pasta. Add and stir in another tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add the pine nuts to enhance the flavor and salt and pepper and stir lightly. Serve immediately.
If you’re looking for new and innovative ways to incorporate hunger-satisfying, but essentially healthy dishes into your daily eating routine, Made In has you covered. With all of the spring inspired recipes outlined above, you will be able to take a better step towards that spring veggie-filled lifestyle that you are craving. Here at Made In, we care about you, your kitchen, and your stomach. We design stainless steel cookware that is meant to spark inspiration in home chefs and enable them to make their favorite meals.