Eating fruits and vegetables in season is the best way to enjoy them at peak freshness and purchase them at the best price. When I think of spring vegetables, I think of red peppers, asparagus, fennel, spring onions, spinach, Arugula, peas, and leeks. Remember this soup? https://laurazervos.com/my-favorite-baked-potato-and-leek-soup/
And for fruits, strawberries top the list. Here are some of my favorite spring recipes.
This recipe uses two spring vegetables, fennel, and spinach, and makes for a quick meatless main or eaten as a side dish. The fennel adds a punch of flavor and changes the texture with a satisfying crunch.
Beans, Greens, and Roast Fennel (Serves 8)
4 cups of sliced fresh fennel bulb
3 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
¼ cup of shredded parmesan cheese
2 cans of Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 pounds of fresh baby spinach
2 T chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Add sliced fennel and garlic to a large bowl and toss with olive oil and ¼ tsp of kosher salt, and ¼ tsp—of crushed black pepper. Put on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and roast for an additional 3 minutes.
- In a large saute pan, add olive oil and saute spinach until wilted, and then add Northern beans.
- Add fennel mixture and chicken broth and heat until cooked through.
Nutrition: 225 Calories; 5g fat; 242mg sodium; 33 g carbohydrate;10g fiber; .5g sugar and 13g sugar.
Red Pepper and Feta Dip
You can use jarred roasted red peppers, but the freshly roasted peppers give a smoky flavor to this dip that is hard to resist. You can also try dipping raw vegetables in place of the pita bread and chips.
8 oz Feta cheese
1 Red Pepper roasted
1 T. fresh lemon juice
¼ c. olive oil
- Roast a red pepper coated in olive oil in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes or until skin is lightly charred. Allow to cool and remove the skin.
- In a food processor, pulse together the feta, red pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice until almost smooth.
- Add salt, pepper, and add crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
- Serve with warmed pita bread or pita chips.
Caramelized onion Tartlets with Asparagus
Adding caramelized onions to any dish takes it to a new level, and this appetizer is no different. Be careful not to “rush” caramelization. It takes time! If you are short on time, you may want to do this step beforehand; there is no need to reheat. They will come to temperature during the baking process.
1 pound of asparagus, washed, trimmed, and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound yellow onion, thinly sliced
⅔ cup gruyere cheese
3 T. parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil (and 1 tsp butter optional), add onions and saute until completely browned; 30 minutes, remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- In the same skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, and then add the asparagus and gently saute until tender; remove from heat.
- Filling the tartlets; layer gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and then asparagus and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
⅔ c.mozzarella cheese
2 ounces balsamic glaze
1 cup of Arugula; washed
- Fill tartlets with 1 T. mozzarella cheese and then caramelized onions.
- Bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan for 10 minutes or until golden brown; top with Arugula, and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Berry and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 pound Arugula washed
1 c. fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
½ c feta cheese, crumbled or diced
3 T. slivered almonds
¼ c. red onion, sliced
- In a large bowl, add Arugula and top with remaining ingredients.
- Dress with balsamic vinaigrette; below.
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. Balsamic vinegar
½ tsp minced garlic
3-4 basil leaves ( cut into ribbons– fold up leaves together and slice)
I use a mason jar or any jar with a lid, shake, and let sit for a few minutes to the garlic and herbs release. Refrigerate any leftovers.