As we wave farewell to winter, we say hello to spring. Longer days, blossoming flowers, and warmer weather — all that comes during this time of year is new and fresh. Not exempt from this renewal is what we put on our plate. During spring, we welcome new vegetables to our rotation: asparagus, fennel, radishes, fava beans, and fiddlehead ferns just to name a few. Vegetables, including those we greet in spring, are among the healthiest and most dietetic foods you can add to your meal. Flavorful and energizing, spring vegetables are so tasty that the cooking opportunities are endless. Let us help narrow it down for you!
Fava bean and pecorino crostini is a fan favorite. What’s not to love? The lemony cider bean purée atop a warm toasted baguette and sprinkled with soothing Italian cheese would make anyone swoon. If that’s not enough to clean your plate in just a few bites, consider the health and practical benefits to fava beans. They are rich with vitamins, high in nutritional value, loaded with fiber, a good source of protein, and as an added bonus, they are inexpensive. This recipe evokes the essence of spring, with a few dashes of mint to complete its fresh and cool taste.
On a warm spring day, nothing will match the mood quite like homemade gelato. Rhubarb, often used when making compote or pie, makes the perfect superstar ingredient for everyone’s favorite dessert. This recipe happens to be healthier than most gelato, nixing eggs and excluding cream. Instead, sugar is kept to a minimum and milk, a good source of calcium, keeps it lighter. Also, whether we kid ourselves or not, gelato made with a vegetable just feels healthier. However it is served, rhubarb is just another spring vegetable that sweetens the season.
Not everyone has a farm-to-table garden in their backyard, but all of these vegetables should be available at your local grocer or farmer’s market come springtime. Feel free to mix and match, filling up your basket with a variety of produce. Vegetables are best eaten fresh so what are you waiting for? Whether raw, cooked, juiced, pickled, or grilled, enjoy nature’s spring vegetable while the season is ripe.