Springtime Produce

by in In Season, Recipes, March 23rd, 2012


Spring is officially here, which means that it’s time to embrace the light, colorful, fragrant bounty this season has to offer. Whether you’re growing your own fruits and vegetables or simply prefer to peruse the produce aisle, the next few months are some of the freshest all year, promising bushels of ripe, sweet goods, such as vibrant asparagus, radishes, ramps and more. Below is Food Network’s list of spring-inspired recipes, each rich with in-season produce that will transform any basic dish into an inspired one.

Food Network Magazine’s Roasted Asparagus (pictured above) side dish is a no-fail recipe that delivers simple, satisfying results every time. Crunchy pine nuts, fragrant parsley and refreshing lemon zest are sprinkled atop slender spears before baking the asparagus until it’s warm and tender.

Alex Guarnaschelli takes advantage of in-season radishes by preparing her Bibb and Radish Salad With Bacon Dressing from Cooking Channel. Thinly sliced crisp radishes are tossed with tangy Dijon mustard, then mixed with buttery Bibb lettuce before being dressed with an indulgent bacon-shallot vinaigrette. Alex recommends chilling the lettuce and radishes before serving, so as to ensure that the salad is eaten as cold as possible.

An earthy vegetable with a slight onion taste, ramps boast bulb-end stalks and long, peppery greens. Food.com incorporates both parts of the ramp in its Ramp Risotto, first sautéing the stalk with shallots and white wine then mixing in the greens before adding nutty, buttery Parmesan cheese.

Michael’s Chiarello’s cool and creamy Spring Pea Soup from Cooking Channel features English peas, which are picked out of their thin shells and pureed with fresh herbs and vegetables to create a thick, smooth soup. Before serving, garnish each bowl with salty prosciutto bits, a dollop of creme fraiche or a drizzle of basil oil for added texture and taste.

A tried-and-true combination, strawberry and rhubarb shine in Emeril’s crowd-pleasing Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie With Almond Crumb Topping. Here, sweet strawberries balance naturally bitter rhubarb, creating a deliciously decadent pie that is almost too pretty to eat. If you’ve never before worked with rhubarb, first remove the toxic leaves, then cut off the tough root ends of the plant and peel off its outermost stringy layer, exposing the magenta-colored flesh.

Visit Food Network’s Spring Produce Guide for more in-season eats.

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