If you are like me, you are busy planting seeds while the actual harvest of spring produce is a way off. But whether you can head to your farmers market now or in a month, it feels good to finally start thinking about spring food, in all its shades of green!
With that in mind, here’s a fun guide on what to be looking for in the coming months and how to use it:
Asparagus. This is actually a perennial so it may be one of the first green shoots to come from the ground. My favorite way to use it as a side dish is plainly roasted or grilled with sea salt or wrapped in bacon and then roasted.
Radishes. These guys pop up quick in my garden and are usually destined to become a salad mix-in. They are also delicious raw with a dab of good butter and sea salt or as part of a crudite. The leaves are also edible and make a great saute with onions and bacon.
Spinach. A cold-weather lover, spinach is great in fall and spring. You can use the baby thinnings in salads and the larger bunches for sauteing or adding to soups.
Eggs & Milk. A lot of people don’t know that animal products also have a season where they are either more nutrient-dense or more available. Once the longer days of spring roll around hens start producing more eggs. Spring is also a great time to get your hands on some local dairy as the rapidly-growing spring grass makes for fresh milk with a very high vitamin content.
Green Onions. Also known as scallions or green onions, these are the onion of choice when my bulb storage onions have run out. They are milder than the bulb onion and so are also delicious raw in salads.
Beets. The early wonder variety is a great way to grow fresh beets in a month or two. These are, quite possibly, my favorite vegetable with their earthy sweetness. Most cookbooks tell you to peel them and wear gloves while doing so, but I find it unnecessary and prefer to simply peel off any rough edges or roots, cut them in quarters, and toss them in coconut oil or lard and roast them in the oven.
Hardy Greens. If you or your farmer have overwintered things like kale or collards, which are tolerant to cold, then you might be able to get your hands on some early greens. These take a longer cooking than say spinach but make a delicious southern style braised greens.
Peas. We are lucky if any of these even make it from the garden as the little ones LOVE them as a snack in their various forms. Shelling peas, sugar snap peas, and snow peas are all fond of the cool early spring weather and can be a quick steamed and buttered side dish or sauteed into a stir-fry. They are best eaten as soon after picking as possible as their sweetness tends to turn starchy after a few days.
And of course, the cold-loving lettuce is a mainstay in spring, making lots of fresh salads not only available, but incredibly enjoyable after those long, dark months of winter.
The newness of spring is upon us, so plant some seeds, buy some greens, and enjoy all that this season has to offer!
What seasonal produce are you most looking forward to or enjoying this spring?