Light, Healthy Ideas for Enjoying Your Spring Produce
Season-over-season, spring is when some of the best produce of the year is at its peak. From carrots to onions to lettuce, spring’s harvest is as light and delicate as it is delicious.
How can you make the most of your spring produce? Whether you’ve signed up for your first-ever Community Supported Agriculture or you’re simply making too many trips to the farmer’s market, here are some foolproof ideas for jazzing up spring’s delights.
Roasting vegetables actually concentrates the sugars in produce making the end-product sweeter and richer Everyone knows the virtue of a deliciously-roasted potato, but some of the most delicious vegetables to roast in spring aren’t what you’d expect. Some aren’t vegetables at all!
Try coating your carrots in a drizzle of honey during the last 10 minutes of roasting time, or roasting up artichoke halves sprinkled with parmesan. Better yet, try roasted ramps – onion’s more nuanced cousin – tossed with a dash of balsamic vinegar before serving. For dessert, spring berries like strawberries and blueberries roast down to a syrupy sauce that’s ideal over ice cream or pound cake.
Since much of spring’s produce is delicate in flavor, it’s important not to add too many competing notes. Spring produce such as arugula, zucchini, and peas all balance out nicely with a bright, citrusy accent to boost their essence.
For salads, vinaigrette dressings made with light vinegars such as rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or champagne vinegar perk up a bowl of greens. Lemon is always a welcome accent, particularly for root vegetables like radishes, onions.
The best thing about spring? All the fresh herbs! Herbs are produce too, and spring is when some of the easiest-to-use kitchen herbs are in full bloom. Not coincidentally, many of spring’s most common herbs pair well with the season’s best fruits and vegetables.
Sprinkle some fresh mint over a bowl of spring berries, or even into a salad of peas and asparagus. Chives offer a delicate oniony flavor to spring dishes without overpowering the palette, and herbs like cilantro, parsley, and dill can be added to everything from meat to soup.
Spring is a great time of year to lighten up and get back to basics. When you start with great ingredients you don’t need to add much else to your food! Spring veggies and fruits go wonderfully with lean meats like white fish, chicken, and pork loin, too; a satisfying meal is never far away.