Eating seasonally is a great way to get the freshest, most flavorful produce around, and as local markets start filling up with early-spring vegetables, it’s finally time for the asparagus-fest to commence! Here’s a guide to 10 springtime vegetables that you just have to try while they’re in season.
Sure, you can technically get “asparagus” year-round, but the kind of “asparagus” you get in a grocery store in November really ought to come with a warning label reminding you that it only passingly resembles the real thing. Truly fresh asparagus picked at the height of its season has a delicate flavor and a light crunch that works perfectly with eggs, steak, or just about anything else.
2 . Radishes
Raw radishes add a sharp crunch to salads, relishes, and burgers. Cooked, they have a more savory flavor with just a hint of bite remaining – choose your favorite method or just buy a couple bunches and make several.
Rhubarb has a bit of a pucker to it, to put it mildly. It’s not the kind of vegetable you just grab and chow down on. But you also don’t need to drown it in sugar, and in fact, it doesn’t even have to be dessert at all!
4. Spring onions (scallions)
Onions are a year-round crop, but spring onions are best in the earlier months – these are the ones with the long green stems and white bulbs that are just barely thicker than the ends of the stems. They’re pretty mild, and they’re particularly great for people with a FODMAPs sensitivity, because most people can still eat the green stems, even if they can’t eat the white bulbs.
5. Mustard greens
Mustard greens have a slightly peppery flavor, a little bit like arugula, but not quite so intense. Most people like them better cooked than raw; they make a nice change from spinach and kale. You can use mustard greens in almost any recipe that calls for collards or other cooking greens.
6. Fresh apricots
You can get dried apricots at any time of year. But for the best fresh ones, you’ll want to stick with their actual growing season; otherwise, you’re liable to get ones that were plucked before they’re ripe and don’t have much flavor. In the late spring and early summer, apricots are at their most flavorful, so take advantage them as a nice preview of the summertime fruit season to come.
7. New potatoes
Yes, white potatoes are fine to eat. New potatoes are in season in the late spring to early summer – they’re small and tender, and perfect for salads or roasting. They’re slightly sweeter than regular potatoes, and have a firmer texture.
Arugula, or rocket, is a green with a serious attitude. You can get it spring through fall, but it’s a little bit milder in the spring, so if you’re not totally sold on the full-on bite of summertime arugula, the springtime version is much milder.
Strawberries are the early birds of berries, showing up at the start of the season to whet your appetite for the summertime bounty to come. (Unless, of course, you live in Florida, in which case strawberry season is in the late fall!). Strawberries are tasty in desserts.
10. Foraged Wild Plants
From tender young dandelion greens (get ‘em before they bloom!) to the famous morel mushrooms to regional favorites like fiddle heads, what you forage will depend on where you are. A good place to start for recipes is to search for foraging guides for your area. Source.