Seasonal Ingredients You Should Be Shopping for This Spring
While there’s really not a time of year that you can’t find certain foods in the grocery store, there are certainly times when you can get fresher ingredients. Spring is one of those times! When you head to the grocery store, be on the lookout for these eight fruits and vegetables. They will make great additions to your meals and bring a bit of spring to your table!
- Artichokes: You’ve probably had spinach artichoke dip, but if you haven’t given fresh artichokes a try – you must! Artichokes are available in the spring and the fall and are rich in folic acid, vitamin C and many minerals. When picking out fresh artichokes look for tightly closed leaves that are not damaged. If you’ve never prepared fresh artichokes at home, start with a simple recipe like roasted whole artichokes.
- Carrots: Carrots are another springtime favorite. Today there are many varieties of carrots, and they’re not just the standard orange color, which makes them beautiful to incorporate in spring dishes. While you can eat carrots raw and they are utterly delicious, try roasting this root vegetable. Ina Garten’s roasted carrots are easy to make and great for weeknight meals.
- Asparagus: Asparagus is one of those quintessential spring vegetables that people search for in the grocery store. Look for asparagus that is bright green or even with a bit of a violet tint. The stems should be firm, and the tips should be tightly closed. With nicer weather, head to the grill to prepare some grilled asparagus to go with your dinner. It is ready quickly and makes a great side dish.
- Strawberries: When it comes to fruit, strawberries are something to look forward to in the spring! This juicy, red fruit is full of antioxidants and makes for a delicious sweet treat. Cutting up fresh strawberries may be the very best way to eat them, but if you are looking for a dessert to use them in try a fresh strawberry cobbler. Cobblers are easy to make even for a novice baker!
- Morel Mushrooms: Every spring you will hear about people heading into the woods to look for wild morel mushrooms. They are one of spring’s treasures! Morels have a meaty texture with a very earthy flavor. You may have to look for morels in farmers markets or even on local buy-sell groups as they are not farm-grown, but something that people will go and forage for in the spring. The best way to enjoy them is sauteed with some shallots and garlic.
- Leafy Lettuces: Spring sees leafy lettuces such as arugula, romaine, and red leaf lettuce come into season. Lettuces are great as you can always throw together a simple salad, but why not leave the store-bought dressing in the refrigerator and dress your salad with a homemade one. Try making a Greek salad dressing to enhance the flavor of your fresh greens.
- Rhubarb: Rhubarb is a hardy perennial that is usually one of the first crops available each spring. And, while it grows with large leaves, it’s actually the stalks that you eat. Rhubarb has a tart and tangy flavor, and while people often add sugar to their rhubarb dishes, you should feel free to adjust the sugar to meet your taste. Strawberry rhubarb pies are popular in the spring, but Aunt Norma’s Rhubarb Muffins are a great treat, too!
- Peas: Fresh peas are available for a very short time each spring so keep your eyes open for them.An excellent way to showcase peas is in a pea and bacon risotto. Risottos require a little work, but they are worth the effort!
Be on the lookout for these spring fruits and vegetables as you head to the farmers market or grocery store over the next few weeks. You’ll love the freshness they bring to your meals.