Top 10 Spring Produce to Add to Your Menu
After an extremely harsh winter (Polar Vortex anyone?) people are eager to get outside and enjoy the first hints of spring. Spring is one of the best times of the year for fresh produce that can play up new menu options and more. Add spring foods and flavor into your dishes to draw customers in!
Top 10 In-Season Produce
Asparagus is a popular spring vegetable, and is harvested from March to June depending on your region. This vegetable is less expensive than it ever used to be, so it’s a great option to add as a side to entrees or as it’s own course.
Artichokes are harvested in the fall, but the main harvest takes place in the spring when the largest thistles are available. When you’re shopping for artichokes, look for ones with tight, compact leaves and fresh-cut stem ends.
Beets are quickly becoming a popular healthy vegetable choice, and spring is the best time to incorporate them into your menu. Look for beets with their greens still attached to ensure a fresh crop.
While carrots are harvested year round, the immature carrots also known as “baby carrots” are pulled from the fields to thin the crop rows are available in spring and early summer. Carrots can be incorporated into entrees, salads and more.
When fresh cherries become available, you know it’s a sign of spring. Cherries are harvest at the end of spring and are available from May to August. Cherries can be added into any dish, whether they’re in an appetizer, thrown in a cocktail or incorporated into a dessert.
6. Green Garlic and Garlic Scapes
Green garlic and garlic scapes are flavor boosting ingredients that can be added into salads or used as garnishes. What’s the difference between these two spring vegetables? “Green garlic is immature garlic pulled to thin the field, whereas garlic scrapes are the flowering stalks farmers cull form hardnecked garlic to promote bulb growth. Both have a mild, garlic flavor,” explains this About.com article.
Say goodbye to boring iceberg lettuce and welcome spring varieties! From Butter to Lambs’ lettuce, there are many types to be used in your salads. Spring lettuces shouldn’t be doused in heavy dressing either, they’ve got enough flavor to where they don’t need much.
8. New Potatoes
New potatoes are small with paper-thin skins. This vegetable can be enjoyed boiled and buttered or used in a potato salad.
Fresh peas are an iconic spring ingredient, whether they’re a sweet, garden or in a pod variety. Peas can be eaten raw, barely steamed or cooked thoroughly in dishes. Be sure to add this spring favorite into your menu!
A classic, Americana fruit, strawberries are in their peak season from April to June. Strawberries can be used in virtually anything, and are enjoyed by customers at any age!
Looking for new recipes for a revamp of your spring menu? We’ve picked out ones that can please any palate!