Spring Produce Guide
Not only does spring bring the sunshine and warmer weather, but it is the start of a new season of fresh and local produce. Eating seasonally is not only a great way to discover what your area has to offer, but a great way to help save your wallet as well! So here is a helpful roundup of some of the most delicious produce the season has to offer with my Spring Produce Guide.
Spring Produce Guide
A member of the lily family, asparagus is the star of the spring harvest season popping up at markets and grocery stores alike. When buying asparagus, look for bright green stalks with firm tips. I prefer the thinner stems as I find they have more flavour however any size can be delicious. Asparagus makes a great side dish roasted, steamed or grilled, or it can be added right into dishes like my Asparagus, Leek & Mushroom Frittata.
Exciting news – arugala is more than just a green topping on your slice of gourmet pizza! Also known as rocket, arugula has a pungent and peppery taste. Although techinically an herb, arugula is often treated as a salad green and added to bowls of pasta, made into pestos and featured on its own like in this Salmon Nicoise Salad.
Most Asian greens are available year round, but baby bok choy is in full swing during the spring months. With its tender leaves and crunchy stem bok choy give you the best of both worlds. When shopping for Asian greens look for bright green leaves and a white stalk, and store it in a plastic bag to keep it crisp before adding it to a stir-fry with my Asian Salmon.
Simple lettuce leaves are often overshadowed by green powerhouses like spinach and kale, but these little gems are not to be forgotten. Baby lettuce leaves are succulent and tasty, with good texture, and they come in a variety of shapes, making them an ideal choice for salad mixes or a refreshing lunch like my Chopped Chicken Salad.
Chives are one of those little ingredients that you don’t notice until they are missing, and can be used as more than just a garnish. This onion-like herb can be used in salads, soups, omelettes, sauces and just about any type of potato dish, so why not try my Crispy Smashed Potatoes and snip some simple right onto them before serving.
Best known for its role in making some of the most delicious pickles, dill is a sweet and sour spring herb. Fresh dill makes a light seasoning for fish, a great addition to marinades, or can be used in tangy sauces and dressings. However you chose to use it, try and add it at the end of the cooking time for maximum flavour, or keep it raw like in my Yogourt Dressing.
Similar to dill, green onions are an easily forgotten ingredient but can add an additional element of flavour. I love to use green onions in Asian-inspired dishes like stir-fries or my Sticky Korean Chicken.
With their spicy and peppery bite, radishes make a crunchy addition to any salad, like my Asparagus & Radish Spring Salad, or a simple snack on their own dunked into a bowl of hummus. If you don’t love raw radishes, try roasting them with a little butter, salt and pepper; they soften into a deliciously sweet bite and make a wonderful side dish.
You’re probably familiar with the addition of rhubard to pies and crisps, but believe it or not this seasonal produce is actually a vegetables not a fruit. In addition to desserts, rhubarb can be eaten raw, blended into smoothies, or roasted and added to savoury dishes like salads and meats, but if you prefer it’s classic use, try my Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp for a healthy and seasonal treat.
Spinach is a versatile vegetable that can be added to everything from soups to salads and smoothies. It can be eaten raw or cooked, but because it wilts down when cooked it a is a great way to add a lot of greens to a dish. An entire bag of spinach can be cooked into any stews or casserole to help increase the nutrition content without overpowering it with flavour like my Spinach Breakfast Casserole.