The first day of spring arrives on Monday, March 20! Celebrate with seasonal ingredients, showing up in your local market or garden. Make these recipes to welcome spring in a delightful and delicious way.
We selected edibles based on what’s most common across North America but we know that every region is different.
Fiddleheads are the first wild edible of spring but only last a few weeks. They are the furled fronds of a young fern, harvested for use as a vegetable. Look for fiddleheads in local markets. If you forage, fiddleheads are the very top of a young ostrick fern and must be picked before unfurling. Otherwise the leaves are poisonous. They make great pickles and a delicious vegetable side dish.
Credit: Elena Elisseeva Shutterstock
- Dijon Fiddleheads
- Trout With Spring Vegetable Melange
- Risotto With Fiddleheads and Morels
- Cream of Fiddleheads Soup
Asparagus IS spring to us. To keep that bright green color, don’t overcook and pull it out of its cooking water straight into an ice bath.
Fresh peas at the market herald spring’s arrival. Peas add a beautuiful green color and delicate taste to any dish, plus they’re packed with nutrients. If you’ve ever had peas raw in the garden, there’s nothing like peas right after they’ve been picked before they turn to starch.
- Sorrel Linguine with Spring Peas, Green Garlic, and Fresh Ricotta
- Seared Sea Scallops with Pea-Basil Puree and Peppered Carrot Sauce
- Lemony Asparagus and Spring Pea Salad With Roasted Almonds
- Green Peas and New Potatoes
By any conventional standards, broccoli is a nutritional superhero. It’s not just low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. See how healthy broccoli is! Cook lightly to retain nutrients and maximum flavor. Broccoli is also very easy to grow.
COOKING GREENS (CHARD, KALE, MUSTARD, COLLARDS, DANDELIONS
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Roast Shad Roe with Braised Spring Greens
- Fried Dandelion Blossoms
- Pasta and Greens
- Dandelion Pesto
Spring Tonic, using the early greens of spring, may be just the thing you need to get through this month! The trick to enjoying dandelion greens? Harvest them young with their underground crowns attached, and clean them well. Use them as you would spinach, in salads or soups. See more about cooking with dandelions as well as foraging dandelions.
Ah, rhubarb! Sign of spring. We love thy bright, tart flavor! Some folks like to sweeten rhubarb with strawberries. Pick rhubarb when the stalks are about 12 to 18 inches long. Don’t eat the leaves which are toxic.
After a long winter, don’t we all live for fresh, tender salad greens! Whether you love romaine or arugula, enjoy these cool-season young leaves when they’re at their freshest. Lettuce is very easy to grow by seed; stagger your seeds every few weeks for a continual harvest.
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Spinach is an iron-rich superfood that must be part of your repertoire. In the spring, spinach appears brighter and greener, and we think the tender leaves are more tasty in the springtime. Baby spinach, which is harvested before its mature, is especially delicate.
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Mint adds a fruity, aromatic taste to many recipes, from lamb to ice tea. You can also use mint like a salad leaf to add herbal freshness. There are many interesting varieties of mint and they are vigorous growers.
- Pea Pods With Mint Sauce
- Pan-Roasted Lamb Chops With Couscous and Apple-Mint Salsa
- Fruit Salad With Maple Mint Dressing
- Mint Chiller
Scallions/green onions have less bite than your regular round onions but they add a very pleasant flavor. Whether you eat them raw or cooked, the color should be bright green with firm ends. The whole scallion can be eaten, though some folks cut off the dark green tops. When you slice scallions, try to move the knife back and forth, don’t chop.
- Spring Rolls
- Warm Salad of Spring Vegetable Medley, Poached Egg, and Pancetta Vinaigrette
- Soy-Marinated Grilled Chicken and Cilantro and Scallions