Some people look for the arrival of poppies, hummingbirds, or baseball to tell them spring is here. I look to the farmers markets. Each week, I excitedly await my market visit to see if my favorite seasonal produce has arrived. Local farmers markets may be at their peak in mid-summer, but spring is my favorite time at the market. Here’s what I filled my market basket with last week:
Inside this spiky vegetable’s intimidating exterior is a sweet, rich delicacy. If you’ve never had a fresh, steamed artichoke, you are in for a treat and a bit of an adventure. There are many ways to prepare artichokes, but the simplest – and best, in my opinion – is steamed and served with melted butter and lemon. Steaming artichokes is not complicated, although it can take a long time (up to an hour). But it is totally worth it, and hands-off. I’ve heard artichokes can also be steamed in a pressure cooker or microwave.
Great tutorial on prepping, cooking, and eating artichokes from Simply Recipes
If you’re up for a little more work, here’s a recipe for Braised Artichokes from With Food + Love
This recipe for stuffed artichokes from Cooking on the Weekends looks delicious
These reddish spring stalks are most well known as strawberry’s partner in the famous pie. I love a good strawberry rhubarb pie as much as the next, but there are so many other ways to enjoy this tart fruit (or is it a vegetable?). My favorite way to prepare rhubarb is to make a simple compote (see link to recipe below) with or without other fruit, to top oatmeal, yogurt, and ice cream, or simply eat it by the spoonful.
Simple Rhubarb Compote recipe from epicurious
This dessert from Saveur would be a lovely ending to any Spring supper
I can’t wait to try this refreshing spring cocktail from Baked Bree
When I first see asparagus at the farmers markets I know spring is really here. Although most of us know the green variety, asparagus also comes in purple and white (Interesting tidbit: white asparagus is from the same plant as green, but has been shaded from light and therefore chlorophyll). My pre-schooler loves to eat asparagus stalks whole “like a dinosaur.”
My favorite simple roasted asparagus recipe from Cookie + Kate
Asparagus goes great with eggs in this frittata from Smitten Kitchen
You can even eat asparagus raw, like this salad from The Washington Post
Of course, every year and every farm is different, so check out the selection yourself at your local farmers markets!