Spring Recipes: Make the Most of Food in Season!

Recipes Using Fresh Spring Produce

February 19, 2020
Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto

AnnaQ/Shutterstock

Celebrate spring! Look for these seasonal ingredients showing up in your local market or garden—asparagus, peas, rhubarb and even fiddleheads and dandelion blossoms. And make these recipes to greet spring in a delightful and delicious way.

The first day of spring arrives on the 19th of March in 2020 with the vernal equinox!

Finally, green things are growing and there is truly fresh produce to enjoy! Below are recipes based on harvest dates of crops across North America.

Why eat fresh? Eating food at its peak means: better flavor, more nutrition, lower costs, safer food, and a better Earth!  Put spring produce on your grocery list!

    Asparagus Recipes

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

    Asparagus Tart

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    Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

    Spring Risotto With Scallops and Asparagus

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    Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Asparagus Soup

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    Asparagus Frittata

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    Credit: zi3000/Shutterstock

    Asparagus Hummus With Pita Chips

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    Credit: Nataliya Arzamasova Shutterstock

    Asparagus Vinaigrette Salad

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    Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    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.

    Dijon Fiddleheads

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    Credit: Elena Elisseeva Shutterstock

    Risotto With Fiddleheads and Morels

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    Credit: Brian Douglas/ChefSteps

    Cream of Fiddleheads Soup

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    Credit: bangordailynews.com

    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. Nature’s candy! See more about growing peas.

    Gingered Beef, Snow Peas, and Carrots

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    Green Pea Walnut Pesto

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    Credit: Lori Pedrick

    Peas and Egg Fried Rice

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    Cream of Green Pea Soup

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    Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Papa’s Sugar Pea and Veggie Medley

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    Credit: Lori Pedrick

    Lemony Asparagus and Spring Pea Salad

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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.

    Creamy Broccoli Carrot Salad

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    Broccoli and Cheddar Strata

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    Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

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    Cream of Broccoli Soup

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    Credit: Sam Jones

    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. Learn more about cooking with dandelions as well as foraging dandelions.

    Fried Dandelion Blossoms

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    Credit: Lyudmila Mikhailovskaya/shutterstock

    Dandelion Pesto

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    Credit: Quanthem Shutterstock

    Dandelion Jelly

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    Credit: minadezhda/shutterstock

    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 Muffins

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    Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

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    Easy Rhubarb Sauce

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    See more Rhubarb Recipes!

    Salad Greens 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

    Kale Salad With Cranberries

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    Pasta With Greens and Feta

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    Confetti Salad

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    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Beet Salad With Beet Greens

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    Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

    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.

    Spinach Pie

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    Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

    Spinach-Stuffed Tomatoes

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    Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

    Chicken Spinach Salad 

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    Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

    Rosemary Chicken With Spinach

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    Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

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

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    Reader Comments

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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.