Ah! The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining (at least as much as it’s going to in Pittsburgh for now), and new produce is popping up left and right. Move over pumpkin and beets; we’re into all things asparagus right now.
Bright green hues, fresh herbs (go plant some!) and light fare are all the rage. As much as I adore low and slow cooking, warm and hearty stews, and a warming cup of soup when the temperature drops, big ass salads are the name of my game.
Here are a few dishes to get you inspired from brunch party to picnic-packing.
Spring Buckwheat Salad
This beautiful salad packs in nutrient-dense and inherently gluten-free buckwheat for a toasty twist on the heavier pasta dish while incorporating colorful spring veggies like thinly sliced radish and asparagus. Everything tastes better in a bowl. Snag this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories and don’t forget to make leftovers.
Leek & Asparagus Quiche
Quiche goes with every season and every meal for that matter. It’s a quick slice of humble pie perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast or entertaining. This egg dish from So… Let’s Hang Out is gluten and grain free with a hearty almond meal crust. It’s packed with green goodies like leeks and asparagus.
Garlic & Artichoke Hummus
No beans? No problem! While this recipe isn’t so specific to spring as it uses canned artichokes, but it’s all the flavor without the fuss. This hummus dip is the perfect dip for fresh carrots or crackers. Oh, and it’s just four ingredients. Check out this simple recipe from Meatified.
Chicken with Creamy Morel Sauce
Break out the foraging gear and hit the trails. Pennsylvania is perfect for hunting some wild mushrooms, assuming you know what you’re doing out there. Morels are pretty distinguishable, looking almost like something that came from under the sea. They make a lovely cream sauce for this chicken dish from Health Starts in the Kitchen.
Scallops with Morels, Ramps & Saffron
Bright, nutritious, seasonal ingredients pull together a restaurant-worthy meal. Ramps are another easily-foraged good, especially in the woods around Pittsburgh. If you aren’t so adventurous, they’ll be abundant (at a steep price!) in the local food markets. They’re a lovely toss-up of all good things about onion and garlic. Alongside saffron and morels, this coconut milk sauce is the perfect dressing for seared scallops.
Fava Bean Salad
Fava beans, otherwise known as broad beans, are a legume you can buy fresh much like peas and green beans. This simple salad incorporates them into a lovely mixture with seasonal herb darling mint and ricotta cheese. Make this invigorating side salad from The Tart Tart.
Early Spring Salad with Grapefruit & Ginger
Nothing quite pairs with spring veggie fennel like a little citrus. This buzzing salad packs in all of that fresh and vibrant goodness with a zing from the spicy ginger dressing and seasonal green arugula. Catch the full scoop on this light fare from Autoimmune Paleo.
Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
What’s some springtime action without a little rhubarb? It’s not as difficult to use as it’s lead on to be. The easiest pairing? Springy strawberries, of course! This grain-free crisp is the perfect dessert to throw a dollop of ice cream on and call it a day. Get this recipe at Pinch of Yum.
What’s your favorite spring produce?
Alexandra Barone (aka Alex) is a healthy living aficionado residing in the lovely city of Pittsburgh, PA. She writes about all things real food with a focus on the paleo diet. When she’s not throwing it down in the kitchen, you can find her swinging kettlebells at Primal Fitness Pittsburgh, running through Frick Park, or walking dogs around the city. Please feel free to email her with any questions regarding Primal Fitness Pittsburgh at firstname.lastname@example.org