Eating seasonally means buying produce that can be grown locally, in their natural weather and climate conditions. Less energy and less transit time means a cheaper price tag. Eating seasonally also means that every few month or two, we’re trying something new, and that’s a good thing for our taste buds and our health.
Looking for seasonal food ideas or some new spring recipes? Now’s the time for fresh vegetable soups; crunchy green salads using fennel, peas, parsley, asparagus and new potatoes. Rhubarb and berries are in season for some delicious desserts.
Here is a handy interactive chart to see what produce is in season in your area.
Breakfast or Lunch Crostata
This is a great brunch recipe, also.
- 1 (9″) refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
- I tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red onions, diced
- 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
- 5 large eggs
- 1/4 cup half & half
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 2/3 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Roma (plum) tomato, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
Heat the olive oil in 7-8 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers; saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, cream cheese and chives.
Reserve 1 tablespoon of the chopped spinach for the topping and stir the remaining spinach, salt and pepper into the eggs.
Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and allow to cook, over medium heat, just until the eggs are set. Remove the skillet from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes.
Unroll the pie crust and place it in the center of the prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula, slide the omelet onto the center of the crust. Sprinkle the cheeses over the filling.
Fold the edge of the crust over the filling forming pleats as you go around the filling, press down slightly.
Bake about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is light golden brown. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with reserved spinach and the diced tomatoes.
Blueberry Cinnamon Banana Bread
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana, about 2 medium
- 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.
Whisk buttermilk, eggs, mashed bananas, sugar and oil in a large bowl until well blended.
Combine flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl.
Stir flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture, mixing just until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.
Bake about 1 hour, or until browned and crackly on the top and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Braised Spring Vegetables
These vegetables look beautiful served on this Tuscan platter given to me by my friend, Nancy. This is a terrific way to cook vegetables. They taste fantastic after simmering in olive oil.
- 1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound (4-5 oz) carrots, each cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal
- 1/4 pound (4-5 oz) medium potatoes, cut into thick slices
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed & cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 scallions, trimmed, each cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal
- 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and each cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal
- 1 lemon, cut into eight wedges, de-seeded
- 1 large fresh thyme sprig
Pour the olive oil into a large, deep skillet (with a cover) and heat over medium-low heat. Layer the vegetables in the order of how long they cook.
On the bottom place the potatoes in one layer, followed by the fennel and then the carrots.
Add salt to the pan; reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Stir the vegetables after 10 minutes.
Add the asparagus, scallions, black pepper, half of the lemon wedges and the thyme to the pan. Cook just until the vegetables are tender, about 5 – 10 minutes more; avoid overcooking.
Remove the pan from the heat and remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.
Note: save the oil and any leftover vegetables to add to pasta for another meal. See recipe below.
Spring Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is delicious for lunch.
- 12 oz orecchiette or small shell pasta
- Leftover spring braised vegetables, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, sliced thin
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- Leftover olive oil from the spring braised vegetables
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
Whisk together the leftover oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add pasta, leftover vegetables, celery, tomatoes and basil and toss to combine.
Serve at room temperature or chilled; refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Italian Style Asparagus Soup
- 2 ¼ lbs asparagus
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups vegetable stock or low sodium chicken broth
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Truffle oil or olive oil
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Cut the tips off the asparagus spears and set them aside. Cut the stalks into 1/2-inch pieces and add them to the pot, along with the stock, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low.
Simmer for about 45-60 minutes until the vegetables are very tender. Turn off the heat.
Purée the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth and return the soup to a simmer. Add the reserved asparagus tips and cook for a few minutes until tender-crisp.
Stir in the lemon juice, basil and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and drizzle with truffle oil before serving.
May 2, 2016 at 7:47 am
I have really been enjoying combining vegetables for a side dish instead of serving a single vegetable. But I haven’t put them in a pasta salad. Great idea.
Thanks for the link to the seasonal produce guide–I love it! It makes planning my weekly meals easier if I know what might be in the stores. Anne
May 2, 2016 at 9:53 am
Anne, the vegetables cooked this way work really well in a salad because they have absorbed flavor from the olive oil and herbs.
May 2, 2016 at 9:03 am
Great post as usual and a good way to incorporate more vegetables into one’s diet. N.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
May 2, 2016 at 9:28 am
Unfortunately I opened your post when I am soooooo hungry. We ate breakfast super early so hubby could get to his fishing. Lunch seems a long way off. Yes!I am craving vegetables and fruit rather than heavy comfort food. I think that is my body telling me that spring is here and eat light. Your recipes look and sound wonderful. I love the veggie combination including with the pasta. Great information. Have a great day.
May 2, 2016 at 9:55 am
Thanks Marisa. I am like you also. Somethings you just want veggies and fruit. The pasta salad would be great to pack for lunch while you watch hubby fish.
For the Love of Cooking
May 2, 2016 at 9:40 am
Each and every recipe looks tasty to me. Thanks for letting us know what is in season this month!
May 2, 2016 at 10:52 am
Lovely post Jovina! Do you trim or peel your asparagus?
May 2, 2016 at 1:47 pm
Hi Patty – I trim off the woody bottoms if I am serving them as a vegetable. For soup I chop the entire stalk. I don’t peel asparagus.
May 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm
Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine and commented:
It all looks good but the Blueberry Cinnamon Banana Bread my undivided attention. Thanks for some new ideas on making vegetables too.
May 2, 2016 at 1:45 pm
Thank you so much for your gracious comment.
May 2, 2016 at 2:41 pm
Especially loving the crostata and the blueberry cinnamon banana bread! Thanks for sharing the info on what’s most in season!
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May 3, 2016 at 4:14 am
Lovely ideas here! Hungry now 😉
May 4, 2016 at 4:07 pm
These look SO incredible! I think I’ll be making that asparagus soup soon…
May 4, 2016 at 5:11 pm
Thank you so very much for your gracious commewnt. thank you also for following my blog.
May 31, 2016 at 2:23 am
Very nice list!!! I think the Crostata is my favourite 😉 For us – for some reason, different veggies are in season in May and spring, e.g. for example mangold is still in season in May… (e.g. https://leckerbiss.com/2016/04/20/welcome-late-spring-lets-eat-some-mangold/) Best!
May 31, 2016 at 8:20 am
I know in season varies across the world. Readers can save my recipes for when the ingredient is in season in their area. Ingredients vary but can be similar around the world also. For example, if I had not read your post, I would not know what mangolds are, but now that I do, I would substitute beets and their leaves. I have never seen this vegetable for sale in the area of the US where I live. Thank you so much for this information.
May 31, 2016 at 9:04 am
oh wow – they are very, very delicious – in fact one of my favourite recipes. Some varieties are winter specific – others in the spring. I can really recommend them!