Winter, spring, summer and fall each offer their own unique fruits and vegetables for distinct seasonal flavor. The recipes below can be adapted by whatever ingredients are in season without changing the recipe. In the summer you can make the quiche and fish packets with summer squash, corn and/or peppers. In the fall, use kale, butternut squash and/or Brussels sprouts. In the winter, use broccoli, cauliflower and/or celery.
1 (9″) refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature or make this easy, healthy 9″ no-roll pie crust.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 7 tablespoons oil: (canola, vegetable, olive, peanut, your choice)
- 1/4 cup cold water
Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.
Whisk together the oil and water in a measuring cup and then pour over the dry ingredients.
Stir with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened.
Pat the dough across the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan and up the sides. A flat-bottomed measuring cup or glass helps smooth the bottom.
Crimp the edge or flatten with the tines of a fork.
Follow directions below for completing the quiche.
- 2 1/2 cups of sliced seasonal vegetables, such as asparagus or spinach for spring, zucchini and corn for summer, etc.
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated cheese (Swiss, Parmesan, Asiago, Cheddar or a combination)
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or half & half
For the crust:
After shaping the pie crust in the pan, prebake the crust for 10 minutes at 425°F.
When you take the pie shell out of the oven, turn the heat down to 375°F.
For an asparagus filling:
While the pie crust bakes, cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal.
Set aside 12 asparagus tips.
Beat together the eggs, salt, flour and buttermilk or half & half.
Pour ¼ cup of the egg mixture onto the bottom of the prebaked crust to seal it.
Over that, arrange the asparagus pieces and chives.
Sprinkle the cheese over the asparagus. Pour the remainder of the egg mixture over the vegetables.
Arrange the asparagus tips, in spoke fashion, around the outside edge of the quiche.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the custard is firm and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool about 10 minutes before cutting.
Fish Fillets Baked with Spring Vegetables
Use any vegetables and herbs that are in season with the fish.
- 1/4 of a fennel bulb, cut into matchstick-size strips
- 1 large carrot, cut into matchstick-size strips
- 1 medium leek (white and light green parts only), halved lengthwise, each half cut lengthwise into matchstick-size strips
- 4 fish fillets, 4 ounces each and 1 inch thick, patted dry
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 4 thin slices of lemon
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Cut eight 15-inch-long sheets of cooking parchment or aluminum foil.
Divide the fennel, carrot and leek equally on each of four of the parchment sheets. Place the fish on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper.
Top each fish fillet with 1 tablespoon of chives and a slice of lemon. Top with 1 teaspoon of olive oil on each piece of fish.
Fold all the edges toward the center and fold several times to seal securely. Transfer the packets to a large rimmed baking sheet.
(The packets can be made up to 6 hours in advance. Refrigerate until baking time.)
Bake for 12-15 minutes. Using the tines of a fork, carefully open a packet away from you (to prevent steam burns). If the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, carefully open the remaining packets and serve.
If the fish isn’t cooked enough, reclose the open packet and bake for 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve the fish and vegetables in the packets.
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.