7 Spring Produce Picks You Should Be Cooking with Right Now

By: Emily Lee

Hearty winter produce will always have a place in our kitchens, but the best part of spring’s arrival is the sudden abundance of fresh greens and delicate strawberries — a stark contrast from last season’s heavy tubers and tart citrus.

Sadly, there is one downside: The window for spring fruits and vegetables is fleeting, with many of the season’s popular items peaking now and fading out of the spotlight as early as late April or May. That’s all the more reason to head to the farmers market and get cooking, we think.

Here are seven in-season produce picks you should be taking advantage of right now:

Peas

Food Network Magazine’s Spring Peas with Dates and Walnuts features three varieties of in-season peas: English peas, snow peas and sugar snap peas. For a festive spring side, blanch the peas to bring out their vivid green color, then toss them with walnuts, dates and sauteed shallots.

Asparagus

Cooked to perfection and minimally seasoned, Giada De Laurentiis’ satisfying Roasted Asparagus proves you don’t need bells and whistles to do these delicate stalks justice. The peak season is very short (late March to mid-April), so start taking advantage of asparagus now.

STRAWBERRY REFRIGERATOR JAM Food Network Kitchen Vanilla Bean, Sugar, Orange Juice, Cardamom Pods, Strawberries

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

STRAWBERRY REFRIGERATOR JAM Food Network Kitchen Vanilla Bean, Sugar, Orange Juice, Cardamom Pods, Strawberries

Strawberries

Strawberries are available year-round in most states, but the peak season is April through June. Seize the moment by making strawberry jam from scratch. The chefs in Food Network Kitchen enhance their easy Strawberry Refrigerator Jam with fresh vanilla bean and cardamom.

Fresh Rhubarb Isolated

Fresh Rhubarb Isolated

Photo by: Oliver Hoffmann ©2015 Oliver Hoffmann

Oliver Hoffmann, 2015 Oliver Hoffmann

Rhubarb

You’ll find that rhubarb’s tart, fleshy stalks often play the supporting role in strawberry desserts. But Food Network Magazine's comforting Rhubarb Crumble proves the rose-red produce does just fine on its own. Cover the rhubarb with a crunchy oat-and-hazelnut crumb topping and bake until the top turns golden brown.

MelissadArabian_RoastedRadishesandCarrots_H

MelissadArabian_RoastedRadishesandCarrots_H

Chef Name: Melissa d'Arabian Full Recipe Name: Roasted Radishes and Carrots Talent Recipe: Melissa d'Arabian’s Roasted Radishes and Carrots, as seen on Ten Dollar Dinners FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, Back to School/Sandwich Central/Dinner and a Movie/Sides Show Name: Ten Dollar Dinners Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Chef Name: Melissa d'Arabian Full Recipe Name: Roasted Radishes and Carrots Talent Recipe: Melissa d'Arabian’s Roasted Radishes and Carrots, as seen on Ten Dollar Dinners FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, Back to School/Sandwich Central/Dinner and a Movie/Sides Show Name: Ten Dollar Dinners Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Radishes

Melissa d’Arabian’s Roasted Radishes with Carrots take on a rich, caramel-y flavor after just 20 minutes in the oven. Lemon juice, thyme and olive oil are all you need to season the hearty root vegetables.

TylerFlorence_ArugulaSaladwithOliveOil_H

TylerFlorence_ArugulaSaladwithOliveOil_H

Chef Name: Tyler Florence Full Recipe Name: Arugula Salad with Olive Oil, Lemon, and Parmesan Cheese Talent Recipe: Tyler Florence's Arugula Salad with Olive Oil, Lemon, and Parmesan Cheese as seen on How to Boil Water. FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, Back to School/Sandwich Central/Dinner and a Movie/Sides Show Name: How to Boil Water Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Chef Name: Tyler Florence Full Recipe Name: Arugula Salad with Olive Oil, Lemon, and Parmesan Cheese Talent Recipe: Tyler Florence's Arugula Salad with Olive Oil, Lemon, and Parmesan Cheese as seen on How to Boil Water. FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, Back to School/Sandwich Central/Dinner and a Movie/Sides Show Name: How to Boil Water Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Arugula

This leafy green resembles radish leaves and has a slightly bitter flavor that’s often described as “peppery.” Peak season is early spring (and again in the fall), so take advantage now with Tyler Florence’s simple Arugula Salad with Olive Oil, Lemon and Parmesan Cheese.

Giada De Laurentiis - Artichoke Gratinata

Photo by: Adrian Mueller ©2012, Adrian Mueller / AMueller.com, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Adrian Mueller, 2012, Adrian Mueller / AMueller.com, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Giada De Laurentiis - Artichoke Gratinata

Artichokes

With its buttery breadcrumb topping, this hearty Artichoke Gratinata tastes similar to a stuffed artichoke, except it’s much easier to eat since it includes only the hearts and not the tougher leaves.

Planning a spring garden party? Check out more of our best in-season recipes and desserts.

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