12 Spring Fruits and Veggies to Eat This Season, from Asparagus to Strawberries
If you’re anything like us, you spend the winter wandering around the farmers market in your hat and scarf, picking through dry rutabagas and wilted beet greens and dreaming of spring. Well, friends, spring has sprung. But don’t miss the approximately 30 seconds ramps are in season. Below, a handy guide to all the tasty spring fruits and veggies to look out for from March through May.
You’ll see artichokes start popping up at the grocery store and farmers market around March, and they’ll stay in season through May. We love tossing them into a salad or pasta dish, but you can also eat them alone—just steam or bake them, then dip the leaves in butter or aioli sauce. No matter how you decide to eat them, artichokes are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and magnesium.
What to Make: Goat cheese pasta with spinach and artichokes
Step away from the plastic clamshell. You’ll find abundant bunches of this gorgeous leafy green from May all the way through September, so you might want to take a break from romaine and spinach and have a fling. Arugula adds a peppery kick to any dish you use it in (in fact, it’s typically called “rocket” in Europe), it wilts beautifully and it’s packed with vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium.
What to Make: Shrimp with cauliflower “grits” and arugula
We know what you’re thinking: “But I can buy asparagus year-round at the grocery store.” Sure you can, but its high season is in April, and you’ll find gorgeous, abundant asparagus in all varieties (purple! white!) all over the place through May. It’s a great source of fiber and folate, plus vitamins A, C, E and K, so stock up.
What to Make: Joanna Gaines’s asparagus and fontina quiche
4. Fava Beans
If you look carefully, you may be able to spot these big, bright green pods at the farmers market or grocery store from late March through early May. Peel away the pods, sauté them and use them in everything from soups to salads to pasta (or dust them with flaky sea salt and eat ’em as a snack). Even better, they’re a good source of vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, protein and fiber.
What to Make: Fava asparagus pea spring panzanella salad
Leeks have been in season all winter, but they’re still kicking through early May. This long, green member of the onion family is prepared a little differently than its cousins: Cut away the bulb and the dark green portion, and use only the light green and white parts at the bottom. It tastes sort of like a very mild, delicious scallion, and will add vitamins A, C, K and B6 to your diet.
What to Make: Yotam Ottolenghi’s braised eggs with leek and za’atar
These wild mushrooms are a bit tricky to find, so if you spot them at the farmers market, snatch them up. They’re in season from March through May, and you’ll want to make sure they’re firm (not gooey or mushy) before you take them home. Fry them in some butter and enjoy them whole, or stir them into a pasta and prepare to crave them every night.
What to Make: Wild mushroom risotto
If you’ve only ever had frozen or canned peas, you’re in for a delicious surprise. Fresh peas are bright green and can be found in abundance in the spring and summer. Eat them raw right out of the pod, toss them into a salad or blend them into soup (more about that below) to take full advantage of them. And did you know they’re packed with vitamin K, vitamin C, folate and manganese? Win-win.
What to Make: Spring pea soup with mint
You probably see pineapple at the grocery store all year, but it will be tastiest and ripest from March through July, depending on where the fruit is grown. Using pineapples for fruit salad and upside-down cake is a no-brainer, but we’re fans of adding it to savory dishes (like tarts, meat marinades and, yes, pizza). Eat a few slices and you’ll add some thiamin, riboflavin, folate and vitamin B6 to your diet too.
What to Make: Spicy pineapple prosciutto tarts
Red radishes are always available at the grocery store. Yawn. This spring, mix it up by trying more fleeting types like the watermelon radish (with a beautiful starburst of color inside), the French breakfast radish (oblong-shaped), the pink radish (self-explanatory) and the daikon white radish (which looks sort of like a thick white carrot). In a word, yum.
What to Make: Whole roasted radishes
If you’re like us, you’ve already asked at the farmers market when these babies will be available. Their season is only three weeks long, and it’s anyone’s guess exactly when they’ll be ready. What are they and why are people so crazy about them? Well, they’re sort of like a cross between a scallion and a leek, with some garlicky flavor thrown in for good measure. You can use them in place of onions in any dish you can think of, but it’s best to use minimal ingredients to let their flavor shine. (You’ll get a boost of vitamin A, selenium and chromium too.)
What to Make: Simple ramp pasta
If you look carefully, you might spot rhubarb in March, but it will really take center stage at the farmers market from April through May. These red, celery-like stalks are usually chopped up and put in pies and desserts (to counteract their natural tart flavor), but they’re also fabulous when added to a sauce or marinade for meat. No matter how you use it, rhubarb is a fabulous source of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and manganese, so eat up.
What to Make: Cheater’s mini rhubarb galettes
You may think of strawberries as a summertime fruit or as one you can buy year-round at the grocery store, but to really enjoy them at their peak, pick some up starting in April (or mid-March, if you live in Florida or California, where the majority are grown). It’s just the excuse you need to whip up some chocolate-strawberry overnight oats, strawberry ice-cream pies or, for your keto friends, strawberry fat bombs. Go all out.
What to Make: Strawberry shortcake cupcakes