Spring Recipes: Make the Most of Food in Season!

Fresh Food Using Seasonal Ingredients

Spring Risotto
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Delight in the taste of spring! Here are seasonal recipes using asparagus, rhubarb, fresh peas, strawberries, scallions, spinach, fiddleheads, and more!

What’s fresh in spring? We’ve looked at harvest dates across North America, and below are the most seasonal ingredients–and matching recipes. Of course, every region has some specialties, too.

Eating food at its peak means: better flavor, more nutrition, lower costs, safer food, and a better Earth!  Put these spring ingredients on your grocery list!

    Asparagus Recipes

    Asparagus IS spring to us. To keep that bright green color, don’t overcook and pull it out of its cooking water straight into an ice bath. See how to grow asparagus.

    Roasted Asparagus With Black Olive Aioli
    Spring Risotto (photographed above)
    Asparagus Frittata
    Asparagus Tart
    Asparagus Hummus With Pita Chips
    Lemony Asparagus and Spring Pea Salad With Roasted Almonds

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    Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

    Fiddlehead Recipes

    Fiddleheads are the first wild edible of spring but only last a few weeks. They are the furled fronds of a young fern, harvested for use as a vegetable. Look for fiddleheads in local markets. If you forage, fiddleheads are the very top of a young ostrick fern and must be picked before unfurling. Otherwise the leaves are poisonous. They make great pickles and a delicious vegetable side dish.

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    Credit: Elena Elisseeva Shutterstock

    Dijon Fiddleheads
    Trout With Spring Vegetable Melange
    Risotto With Fiddleheads and Morels
    Cream of Fiddleheads Soup

    Pea Recipes

    Fresh peas at the market herald spring’s arrival. Peas add a beautuiful green color and delicate taste to any dish, plus they’re packed with nutrients. If you’ve ever had peas raw in the garden, there’s nothing like peas right after they’ve been picked before they turn to starch. See more about growing peas.

    Sorrel Linguine with Spring Peas, Green Garlic, and Fresh Ricotta
    Seared Sea Scallops with Pea-Basil Puree and Peppered Carrot Sauce
    Green Peas and New Potatoes
    Gingered Beef, Snow Peas, and Carrots

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    Broccoli Recipes

    By any conventional standards, broccoli is a nutritional superhero. It’s not just low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. See how healthy broccoli is!  Cook lightly to retain nutrients and maximum flavor. Broccoli is also very easy to grow. See our broccoli growing guide.

    Broccoli Cheddar Quiche
    Vegetable Curry
    Cream of Broccoli Soup

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    Credit: Sam Jones

    Cooking Greens (chard, kale, mustard, collards, dandelions

    Fried Dandelion Blossoms
    Pasta and Greens
    Dandelion Pesto

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    Credit: Quanthem Shutterstock

    Spring Tonic, using the early greens of spring, may be just the thing you need to get through this month! The trick to enjoying dandelion greens? Harvest them young with their underground crowns attached, and clean them well. Use them as you would spinach, in salads or soups. See more about cooking with dandelions as well as foraging dandelions.

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    Rhubarb Recipes

    Ah, rhubarb! Sign of spring. We love thy bright, tart flavor!  Some folks like to sweeten rhubarb with strawberries. Pick rhubarb when the stalks are about 12 to 18 inches long. Don’t eat the leaves which are toxic.  See how to grow rhubarb.

    Rhubarb Pie
    Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup
    Rhubarb Chutney (complements chicken and turkey) 
    Rhubarb Muffins

    See our Best Rhubarb Recipes!

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    Salad Recipes

    After a long winter, don’t we all live for fresh, tender salad greens! Whether you love romaine or arugula, enjoy these cool-season young leaves when they’re at their freshest.  Lettuce is very easy to grow by seed; stagger your seeds every few weeks for a continual harvest. See how to grow lettuce

    Spring Vegetable Salad
    Spring Slaw (cabbage)
    Herbed Vinaigrette Sauce for Salad
    Confetti Salad

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    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Spinach Recipes

    Spinach is an iron-rich superfood that must be part of your repertoire. In the spring, spinach appears brighter and greener, and we think the tender leaves are more tasty in the springtime. Baby spinach, which is harvested before its mature, is especially delicate. See how to grow spinach.

    Spring Soup
    Gnocchi Verde
    Spinach Quiche
    Rosemary Chicken With Spinach

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    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Mint Recipes

    Mint adds a fruity, aromatic taste to many recipes, from lamb to ice tea. You can also use mint like a salad leaf to add herbal freshness. There are many interesting varieties of mint and they are vigorous growers. See how to grow mint.

    Pea Pods With Mint Sauce
    Pan-Roasted Lamb Chops With Couscous and Apple-Mint Salsa
    Fruit Salad With Maple Mint Dressing
    Mint Chiller

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    Scallion Recipes

      Scallions/green onions have less bite than your regular round onions but they add a very pleasant flavor. Whether you eat them raw or cooked, the color should be bright green with firm ends.  The whole scallion can be eaten, though some folks cut off the dark green tops.  When you slice scallions, try to move the knife back and forth, don’t chop.

      Spring Rolls
      Warm Salad of Spring Vegetable Medley, Poached Egg, and Pancetta Vinaigrette
      Soy-Marinated Grilled Chicken and Cilantro and Scallions

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      More Spring Recipes

      Browse the Recipe Search on our cooking page for more recipe ingredients!

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      Another article without the

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      I use my canoe to go to my

      I use my canoe to go to my favorite fiddlehead spot. I hate cleaning the brown covering off the green gems so I made my own cleaning devise. I took a 5 gallon pickle bucket with a lid and drilled as many holes (1/2 inch wood bit) in the top, bottom, and sides as I could. I Attached a short rope to the closed bucket full of fiddleheads and dragged behind the canoe on my way back from my harvest. All cleaned. If you don't have a boat or canoe find a waterfall to clean your fiddleheads. Enjoy!

      My Mom used to love them as a

      My Mom used to love them as a snack, steamed and with butter on them... yummy.

      I tried fiddleheads last

      I tried fiddleheads last year. They take a little work to clean and blanche, but they were an interesting side to a brunch of egg nests and smoked salmon.