HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What's your latest food quest? Tell us about it

What are your favorite Spring dishes?

harryharry Mar 19, 2007 07:15 AM

Think about morels, ramps, asparagus, peas, etc....

  1. Tom P Mar 23, 2007 07:56 AM

    Here are two of mine. The first involves a good deal of chopping, but it is a beautiful presentation and jjust sings of spring and/or summer.


    4 zucchini / italian squash, diced
    4 yellow squash, diced
    6 tomatoes, seeded, pulp removed, diced
    3 large red peppers, seeded, diced
    2 bunches of green onions, chopped
    4 T chopped / minced garlic
    red pepper flakes
    1 cup dry white wine
    2 T tomato paste
    1 1/3 cups chicken stock
    Penne Pasta
    Parmesan/romano cheese
    fresh basil, chopped
    salt and fresh ground pepper

    Toss together diced vegetables and garlic, red pepper flakes and salt/pepper in non-metallic bowl. (Vegetables can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

    Cut 6 pieces of foil into 1-foot squares and spray each with non-stick spray. Evenly divide vegetable mixture and mound in the center of each square.

    Combine wine, tomato paste and chicken stock in a bowl and whisk well to blend. Pour 1/3 cup of mixture over each mound of vegetables. Pull edges of foil up and twist shut. (Vegetable packages can be prepared 1 to 2 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

    Place vegetables packages on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until vegetables are just tender, 15-20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, boil pasta. Drain well. Toss pasta with a little olive oil or butter and Fresh Parmesan or Pecorino romano cheese.

    To serve, divide pasta among pasta bowls. (Up to six. If serving fewer people, each person can get more vegetables.) Open each foil package and pour vegetables and juices over each pasta serving. Sprinkle each portion with basil, more red pepper flakes and more cheese. Serve immediately.

    (You can use a variety of vegetables if you like.)


    2 onions, peeled
    6 T olive-oil
    3 heads garlic, sliced thin
    2 9 oz pkgs. frozen sliced artichoke hearts, thawed (or fresh hearts)
    3 tomatoes, cored, chopped (you can rinse them a bit to get rid of the seeds if desired)
    2 carrots, sliced, or 10/15 small young carrots
    1 pkg frozen peas, rinsed
    1 bottle white wine
    1 cup chicken broth (optional)
    20 fresh asparagus, sliced into 1 inch pieces
    fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, tarragon, chopped

    - Slice onions in half lengthwise. Place each half down and slice crosswise into very thin slices
    - In large unheated skillet, combine onions, oil, garlic, herbs, and toss to coat with oil. Sweat over low heat, covered, until onions are soft, at least 15 minutes. Add artichoke hearts, tomatoes, carrots, and wine. Simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes to burn off alcohol.
    - Add stock and simmer 10 more minutes.
    - Add peas and asparagus tips. Cook a few minutes more.
    - Serve in wide bowls, with lots of crust bread and dollops of pesto on top.

    1. Sarah P Mar 22, 2007 07:49 AM

      Springtime to me is for lighter types of food. I love this one dish i always make that is grilled salmon marinated wtih lemon juice and old world seasoning. I top it with a mixture of small sliced tomatoes, avocado and scallions that have been sitting and marinated with extra virgin olive oil and balsalmic dressing, It is wonderful. I usually add a side of steamed asparagus.

      1. Carb Lover Mar 22, 2007 12:43 AM

        I went to the farmer's market this past Sat. and made a few early spring dishes.

        Soup of green garlic, leeks, potato and sorrel...all simmered together and then pureed, garnished w/ chives.

        Steamed asparagus w/ dill, dijon mustard and lemon juice.

        Apple-rhubarb crisp.

        I got some baby artichokes that I need to use. Can't wait for fava beans and peas...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Carb Lover
          sheiladeedee Mar 22, 2007 06:25 PM

          Farmer's market time is three months away here, and my garden is in seed trays under lights in my bedroom. But I'll plant seed for microgreens in pots this weekend, and I should be able to snip some for my Easter morning omelet...

        2. s
          sheiladeedee Mar 21, 2007 05:15 PM

          Early spring:.

          The very first chives from the garden snipped over buttered potatoes, with a little cracked pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

          The very first mint, in tea or snipped into peas.

          Mid to late spring:

          Rhubarb - made into a sauce for roast pork, or in a cobbler or crisp

          Early strawberries

          baby bok choy steamed and drizzled with sesame oil

          2 Replies
          1. re: sheiladeedee
            prunefeet Mar 22, 2007 07:51 AM

            I miss my garden!!!!!!

            1. re: prunefeet
              sheiladeedee Mar 22, 2007 06:23 PM

              oh, I feel your pain... the years I don't plant something are dreary indeed.

          2. chloe103 Mar 21, 2007 03:41 PM

            On a slightly different note - though I love all the suggestions so far - I also find myself switching from mostly meat to mostly seafood/fish at this time of year. Winter is all about roasts and braises and warming stick-to-your-rib-edness. Right about now I start to crave things that are lighter and fresher: shrimp dressed with chipotle and lime, a big bowl of mussels in white wine, roasted fish over wilted greens.

            1. oakjoan Mar 21, 2007 02:00 PM

              I love the fresh pea soup in one of Deborah Madison's Green's cookbooks. It's simple and delicious and topped with creme fraiche. Can be made with fresh or frozen peas.

              1. Will Owen Mar 21, 2007 01:48 PM

                That creamed potatoes and peas thing, yeah, me too, with either salmon or my mom's molded tuna salad - it's the traditional New England 4th of July supper, but back in Illinois the peas and potatoes came in a good bit earlier. Odd this should come up, but that's what I'm making tonight, though with cut-up White Rose potatoes, and frozen baby peas and salmon from Trader Joe's. It's still gonna taste like spring.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Will Owen
                  thegolferbitch Mar 21, 2007 02:00 PM

                  Will Owen, can you please post a recipe for either the molded tuna salad or the salmon one you're making? Thank you.

                2. ChefJune Mar 21, 2007 01:12 PM

                  I love Ragout of Artichokes with Peas.
                  Creamed spring onions with baby new potatoes and peas...
                  Ramps and scallops over linguine
                  Shad roe!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ChefJune
                    alex8alot Mar 21, 2007 01:22 PM

                    creamed spring onions with baby new potatoes and peas... do you follow a recipe or just make a basic bechamel? sounds delicious

                    1. re: alex8alot
                      ChefJune Mar 21, 2007 01:25 PM

                      just a basic bechamel..... don't forget a little grate of nutmeg.

                  2. p
                    piccola Mar 19, 2007 05:34 PM

                    Too many to choose, but this is a start.

                    Fresh peas salad with lemon juice dressing and shaved parmesan
                    Grilled asparagus with a poached egg on top
                    Braised or sautéed radishes
                    Fiddleheads salad with a fruity vinaigrette or sesame-ginger dressing
                    Raw artichoke salad (shaved baby artichokes with vinaigrette)

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: piccola
                      Mawrter Mar 20, 2007 07:41 PM

                      Will someone please talk more about ramps? My one-and-only time eating them was the time I tripped into them at the farmer's market. I can't recall what I actually *did* with them, but be assured it wasn't inspired. What the heck do you do with ramps?

                      1. re: Mawrter
                        coastie Mar 20, 2007 07:44 PM

                        Fresh caught salmon stuffed with spring foragings. Ideally morels, nettles and devils club tip, fresh spring spruce tip. A once a year delight.....

                        1. re: Mawrter
                          TNExplorer Mar 21, 2007 01:04 PM

                          Ramps are a wild onion rather like leeks but stronger found in the Blue Ridge/Applachian/Smoky mountains. You might honor this seasonal wild food by simply grilling or braising them. They can be substituted for leeks in other recipes. There are some great leek suggestions on the Home Cooking board.

                          1. re: TNExplorer
                            ChefJune Mar 21, 2007 01:13 PM

                            <found in the Blue Ridge/Applachian/Smoky mountains> and a lot of other places! Farmers in the quad-state area around here find them all over the place, but especially in the Adirondacks, Catskills, Poconos...

                            1. re: ChefJune
                              piccola Mar 21, 2007 07:15 PM

                              And in Ontario.

                          2. re: Mawrter
                            oakjoan Mar 21, 2007 01:58 PM

                            Ramps are onion/leek-type deals that grow in the South East. I remembered that Saveur had a piece on them some time ago, went to their website, searched for "ramps" and found it. They had a recipe for ramp bulbs and leaves sauteed in bacon fat and then topped with crumbled bacon. Sounded great.

                        2. Mawrter Mar 19, 2007 03:24 PM

                          anything fava beany

                          asparagus risotto

                          asparagus steamed 2/3 way, then removed to cool. take 2 c of the cooking water, reduce slightly. add salt/pepper, mustard powder, lemon juice, butter. add asparagus back in & cook in liquid the rest of the way. if a more saucy sauce is desired, use a smidge of cornstarch slurry.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Mawrter
                            Snackish Mar 22, 2007 12:51 PM

                            Yes. Favas with slivers of spring onions or green garlic and pecorino romano. Mmmmm

                          2. d
                            Diane in Bexley Mar 19, 2007 02:48 PM

                            Anything with aspargus, artichokes, lamb, strawberries, fresh peas sounds like spring to me. Pasta primavera, grilled asparagus with grilled lamb, lemon curd over strawberries. Very simple, very fresh, very succulent.

                            1. Junie D Mar 19, 2007 02:01 PM

                              The ultimate spring salad, which contains:

                              asparagus tips
                              baby artichokes (raw, sliced paper thin)
                              fennel (also sliced paper thin)
                              fava beans

                              Blanch then refresh the asparagus, peas, and favas (peel favas).

                              Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

                              Top each plate with shaved Parmesan and chives.

                              1. MMRuth Mar 19, 2007 12:49 PM

                                "Think Like a Chef" has wonderful recipes that incorporate a lot of spring ingredients.


                                1. farmersdaughter Mar 19, 2007 12:46 PM

                                  Grilled asparagus with citrus vinaigrette
                                  Sauteed pea shoots in butter with shallots
                                  English peas
                                  Morels with cream on toasted brioche points
                                  Spring onions
                                  Green garlic risotto

                                  1. w
                                    weezycom Mar 19, 2007 12:40 PM

                                    asparagus, spaghetti carbonara made with yolks only and fresh peas thrown in, and then an angel food cake made with the whites.

                                    1. sivyaleah Mar 19, 2007 12:31 PM

                                      Last year I made a great pasta dish with fava beans, asparagus and pecorino romano. It was the first time I'd cooked with fava beans and I really enjoyed them. I really need to find that recipe!

                                      1. s
                                        swsidejim Mar 19, 2007 11:34 AM

                                        Anything on the grill/smoker now that it isnt below freezing, and the equiptment isnt covered with snow.

                                        Last weekend, I smoked some of the best baby back ribs I have ever made, or eaten.

                                        Spring grilling for me is the tune up for a long summer of grilling/smoking alot of meat on the grill/smoker

                                        1. pescatarian Mar 19, 2007 11:26 AM

                                          pasta with peas and mint

                                          1. r
                                            random amblings Mar 19, 2007 11:24 AM

                                            Lamb Navarin, with tiny vegetables. Yum.

                                            1. ccbweb Mar 19, 2007 08:54 AM

                                              Asparagus, sauteed with some chorizo, croutons and almonds (its a Jaques Pepin recipe from Fast Food My Way).

                                              1. jinet12 Mar 19, 2007 07:26 AM

                                                Cold asparagus in a really good vinigrette sauce..simple but delicious

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: jinet12
                                                  bryan Mar 19, 2007 10:05 PM

                                                  Love it. I add a little fresh grated orange peel to bring it right over the top.

                                                Show Hidden Posts