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 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.
Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein
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.
Credit: Elena Elisseeva Shutterstock
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.
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.
Cooking Greens (chard, kale, mustard, collards, dandelions
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.
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.
See our Best Rhubarb 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.
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
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.
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
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.
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.
More Spring Recipes
- Sugarbush Spring Chicken
- Baked Stuffed Artichokes With Fresh Mint
- Honey-Lavender Syrup
- Spring Lamb Stew
- Artichoke, Leek, and Mushroom Ragout
- Red Potato, Leek, and Sorrel Soup
Browse the Recipe Search on our cooking page for more recipe ingredients!