Food

10 Spring Produce Stars

From artichokes to strawberries, here are the top 10 springtime produce winners, plus what’s growing in your region.

While cold snaps and sudden showers are the name of the game during the spring, with them comes a whole host of fresh fruits and vegetables many farmers’ markets haven’t seen in months. Check out 10 pieces of produce ripe for the picking March though May, plus regional guides to what should be showing up at your local farmers’ market.

Artichokes: This Mediterranean veggie is full of fiber and vitamin C while boasting a rich, tangy taste. Whip up some Stuffed Artichoke Hearts or roast a few and eat the leaves.

Asparagus: This green perennial has long been used as a tummy-pleaser and detoxifier. High in folate, potassium, and flavor, asparagus is delicious in Quick Asparagus Pasta and Roasted Asparagus.

Beets: Egyptians might have eaten this vibrantly colored root vegetable more than 4,000 years ago, and today we benefit from its antioxidants, carotenoids, and sweet flavor in the spring. Make some Beet Burgers or simply top your daily salad with shaved beets for a sweet crunch.

Fava Beans: Also known as the broad bean, fava beans are a large, flat bean native to Africa and Asia. They are often eaten while young, so early spring is ideal harvest (and eating) time. Popular in many countries fried up and salted, these beans can also be enjoyed in quesadillas and dips.

Scallions: This mild onion is super versatile and a staple in cuisines from Mexico to Thailand. Enjoy them throughout the spring and summer in light and flavorful dishes such as Indonesian Coconut Rice.

Greens: Spinach, lettuces, and everything in between begin to bloom in the spring, and there is no better time. With temperatures warming, salads replace stews and casseroles at the dinner table. Take advantage of other spring flavors with Simple Spinach Salad, California Chef’s Salad, and Spinach and Arugula Salad.

Peas and Pea Greens: Peas don’t do well in hot summer weather, so springtime is the right time to enjoy their rich, sweet flavor. There are more than 10 varieties of peas, from sugar snap to green: Enjoy them in a bowl of Green Pea Soup or toss them in salads for spring picnics.

Radishes: This quick-growing plant (its name comes from Greek, meaning “quickly appearing”) is often red or pink in hue and imparts an earthy, spicy flavor to dishes. Add raw radish to rice bowls or a Chopped Vegetable Salad for a crisp crunch.

Rhubarb: While rhubarb leaves are toxic, this plant’s red stalks lend a crisp, tart addition to recipes. Bake a classic Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie or try Rhubarb Curry for your next dinner party.

Strawberries: Members of the rose family, strawberries mature during the spring months, and continue to grow throughout the summer. They are also packed with vitamin C, phytonutrients, and fiber, and are a delicious addition to smoothies, shortcake, and salads.

Can you find artichokes in Memphis in March? Below are just a few of the fruits and veggies waiting at your local market:

Northeast: Arugula, asparagus, chard, fava beans, lettuce, new potatoes, parsnips, pea greens, radishes, rhubarb, scallions, and spinach

Midwest: Asparagus, beets, carrots, fava beans, greens, morels, parsnips, radishes, rhubarb, and spinach

Pacific Northwest: Arugula, asparagus, chard, fava beans, fennel, greens, new potatoes, pea greens, radicchio, radishes, rhubarb, scallions, sorrel, spinach, sprouts, and watercress

Southwest: Apricots, asparagus, blackberries, fava beans, nectarines, new potatoes, onions, peaches, pea greens, peas, potatoes, sprouts, summer squash, sweet onion, and zucchini

South: Asparagus, beets, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, grapefruit, mangos, okra, oranges, peanuts, plums, spinach, strawberries, summer squash, and sweet onion

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