Great Performances

11 Ways to Make the Most of Spring Vegetables!

 

At Great Performances, we embrace creativity and continue to look outside our walls to find inspiration from our friends and partners. We regularly invite innovators, creatives, business leaders, chefs and others to contribute their expertise to us and to our blog.

We’ve invited Katie Workman, cook, writer, mom of two and food activist to contribute some of her favorite spring recipes to our blog. Ms. Workman has written two cookbooks, The Mom 100 Cookbook (2012) and Dinner Solved! (2015), recognized in notable publications, and also writes a blog, The Mom 100. We’re delighted to feature some of her favorite spring recipes below.

 

11 Ways to Make the Most of Spring Vegetables!

 

Image credit Katie Workman

by Katie Workman

Spring is the beginning of the best produce months of the year.  Even with the world feeling so precarious, hopefully we can take some time to support the farmers’ markets in our areas.  Of course maintain social distancing — the markets, where open, will look different than they have in the past, perhaps with advance orders being taken, perhaps with some grab and go options of produce already bagged.  But if there is a market safely open in your neighborhood and you can safely get there, we should all try and get some business to the farmers who work all year long for the warm weather crops.

So once you find yourself back home with bunches of radishes, bundles of asparagus, piles of lettuces, baskets of sugar snap peas, you may well need some recipe inspiration.  Here are 11 ways to put that spring produce to work.

  1. Simple Sauteed Spring Greens:  This is stupidly easy, but really one of the nicest ways to enjoy a selection of green vegetables.   Sugar snap peas, arugula, spinach and peas….you can use any combo you like, but it’s nice to have an assortment of types and textures.

  2. Ramp and Pea Risotto: The perfect risotto to celebrate the arrival of spring.  These wild scallions, which grow in some parts of the country for a short period in the early spring, are always a hot commodity.  Grab them while you can.

  3. Farro and Vegetable Salad : I love the way the additional of a couple of handfuls of cooked whole grains adds so much heft and interest to a salad.  If you can find watermelon radishes, then you will have even more color and excitement in this bowl.

  4. Spinach and Radish Salad with Feta: What’s green and white and red all over? This perfect little side salad.

  5. French Potato Salad: This mayo-free potato salad is very clean tasting, with fresh herbs and a touch of mustard and a lovely vinaigrette dressing.

  6. Stir Fried Chicken with Pea Shoots: Pea shoots are in season in the spring, as they are the first part of the pea plant to sprout. The tendril-ey leaves are beautiful and delicious, tasting much like, you know, peas, but milder.  This stir fry takes less than 30 minutes.

  7. Simple Roasted Asparagus with Shallots and Parmesan: Roasting asparagus deepens it flavor and it couldn’t be easier. Some melted Parm and crispy shallots make this dish perfect for entertaining.

  8. Sesame Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms: Crisp tender asparagus and savory and chewy mushrooms come together in this super quick Asian stir fry.

  9. Grilled Lemony Chicken and Baby Artichokes: A reason to uncover that grill early.  This grilled chicken shares a super simple citrusy, tangy marinade with tender baby artichokes. 10 minutes on the grill!.

  10. Simple Vegetarian Spring Pasta Salad: Sometimes people have an impression of pasta salad as a bit boring or dowdy or dated.  Nope.  This pasta salad is portable and flexible and fresh, and it’s also a nice way to play around with the vegetables of the season.  Have at it.

  11. Mosaic Crudite Confetti: It looks fancy, but it is in fact a little salad of thinly sliced vegetables.  Spring onions, baby leeks, radishes, and whatever looks fresh and sliceable at the market is fair game for this pretty little salad presentation.


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