AOC Asp + Pol

Grilled Asparagus with Polenta from A.O.C.

Spring is one of the most exciting times at the farmers market. The first spears of asparagus, the mounds of fresh artichokes, the piles of peas– there are so many great things to take in.

Here are some recipes that feature some spring favorites:

Spring Risotto with Asparagus, Peas, Parsley and Lemon

Simple Spring Salads

Ingredient Focus 

delta asparagus

Asparagus

Asparagus is one of the most highly anticipated spring vegetables. While you can get it year-round at the supermarket, the asparagus at the farmers’ markets in southern California is second to none. Zuckerman Farms‘s asparagus is grown in ideal conditions for asparagus in the San Joaquin Valley, and it is wildly popular.

Roasting asparagus is one of the best ways to highlight its flavor, but it’s also popular as a soup and in a variety of other dishes.

Season: late February to May

Recipes:

Evan Kleiman’s Simple Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus with Eggs and Parmesan

Asparagus Soup

photo

Image by rydka via Instagram

Purple asparagus

Purple asparagus comes a little later than green asparagus. Don’t know what to do with it? Evan Kleiman outlines it here.

There’s also white asparagus that grows in northern Europe and is cause for excitement there each year. It’s even flown in every year to Rockenwagner, a German bakery and cafe in Santa Monica, where they serve a Spargelkarte (asparagus menu).

artichokes farmers' market

Artichokes

Artichokes can be a lot of work, but they are absolutely worth it. The heart is the prized portion of the spring veggie, and it works great on its own, or they work great thrown into pastas, in salads, or as an appetizer.

Last week we spoke with Casey Riche of Life’s a Choke Farm to find out how she likes to prepare her artichokes.

Season: March through May

Recipes:

Small Macaroni with Ricotta and Artichokes

Heart of Gold

Steamed Artichoke with egg aioli and onion-sorrel salad 

If you find artichokes to be intimidating, this video helps to demystify the process of preparing one.

Podded broad beans

Courtesy of Jessica Spengler via Flickr

Fava Beans 

Fava beans are a versatile and delicious spring green. Replace them with garbanzo beans in either hummus or falafel, lightly season them or throw them in pastas or salads.

Season: late March until early May

Recipes: 

Spring Fresh Fava Beans, the Classic Way

Fava Bean Hummus

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Courtesy of Kristen Taylor via Flickr

Ramps

East coasters anticipate ramp season a bit more than we do in southern California, but it doesn’t mean we don’t love them too. Ramps are also referred to as spring onions, wild leeks and wild garlic among a long list of names. They taste a bit like a cross between onion and garlic. Throw them in pasta, combine them with other spring vegetables or scramble them with eggs.

Season: late winter to early spring

Recipes:

Ramps, Asparagus and Ham

Ramp Carbonara

Scrambled Eggs with Ramps, Morels and Aspargus

rhubarb

Rhubarb

We can’t help but associate the spring vegetable with pie. Rhubarb is spectacular in raspberry and strawberry pies.

Season: Spring, but Trevino farms sells it year round at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.

Recipes: 

Rhubarb Meringue Pie 

Rhubarb Raspberry Pie

 

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