With a bounty of veggies and herbs in peak season, spring is a delicious time to incorporate more plants in your diet. Forget predictable salads and boring side dishes, we’ve got original, mouthwatering recipes that showcase all the enticing colors, textures, and flavors of the season.
Asparagus. The hallmark of spring, fresh asparagus is tender with a mild, grassy flavor that becomes more flavorful when cooked. While the green variety is most popular in the U.S., white and purple asparagus (favored in Europe) are also available this time of year. Both can be prepared like green asparagus—delicious roasted, grilled, sautéed, or raw—but be sure to peel the outer layer of stalks, which tend to be tougher and more fibrous. Asparagus and earthy goat cheese are a natural flavor pairing in this springtime salad studded with crunchy pine nuts.
Asparagus and goat cheese salad
Mint. Fragrant and slightly sweet, mint is so much more than garnish! It’s a great addition to salads, sauces, dips, and marinades. Or submerge fresh leaves in boiling water for a soothing cup of mint tea. Though it might seem counterintuitive, mint pairs well with other strongly flavored herbs, like basil, oregano, and dill, as well as tangy citrus and spicy peppers. It adds a deliciously bright, herbal pop to rice, grain, and pasta dishes, like this spring ravioli recipe
Ravioli with peas and mint
Carrots. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, carrots pack a nutritional punch. Available in a rainbow of colors – including purple, white, yellow, and red—fresh carrots are a feast for all the senses. Spring carrots with green tops are especially tender and sweet, great for snacking or serving raw in salads. We also love carrots year-round as the foundation for soups and stews—together with celery and onion in the classic combo known as mirepoix, like in this hearty lentil soup.
Instant Pot lentil soup
Artichokes. Though they require a bit of effort, spring artichokes are a seasonal treat not to be missed! Be sure to pull off the tough outer leaves and remove any pointy tips on the inner leaves with kitchen shears. You’ll also want to remove the fuzzy, inedible center using a spoon or melon baller. Artichokes are delicious roasted, steamed, or stuffed with savory breadcrumbs. We also love to showcase peak season artichokes by simply simmering them in water and serving with dip for an easy, elegant first course.
Artichokes with creamy lemon dipping sauce
Radishes. Peppery and bright with a distinctive crunch, radishes are an eye-catching addition in a wide range of recipes. Prefer your veggies on the sweeter side? Try roasting radishes, which mellows their flavor and coaxes out the natural sugars. When serving radishes raw, like in this spring green salad, we love the look and bite of ultra-thin slices made with a mandolin or vegetable peeler.
Spring green salad with French beans and radishes
Spinach. Popeye was onto something—nutrient-rich spinach is chock full of vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and even protein. Though available year-round, spinach is in peak season during April and May. It’s a versatile veggie we love to incorporate in all kinds of recipes from egg dishes to party apps to pasta and even baked goods. Steakhouse favorite creamed spinach goes from side dish to star in this updated, plant-inspired take on classic meat and potatoes.
Sweet potatoes and creamed spinach with steak