With the advent of spring upon is, now is a great time to capitalize on the tasty things earth is beginning to grow. I always get excited for new growing seasons because I can return to recipes I’ve loved and missed since last year. Spring yields some of my very favorite fruits and vegetables: asparagus, mangos, artichokes, potatoes, spinach, and watercress. So just as you would spring clean your house, spring clean your fridge with new produce! Here are some ideas about what to get now and what to do with ‘em once you’ve got ‘em.
Fresh, versatile, and pungent (if you’re one of the ones affected by that kind of thing), asparagus is one of my favorite healthy, easy sides. Asparagus should be bright green with no signs of shriveling or wilting—definitely not mushy. You’ll want to cut the fibrous ends off before cooking (if you just bend a spear, it will break naturally). To store, trim the ends and stand them in a glass of water. Cover them with plastic and refrigerate for up to two days. Frozen asparagus usually works just fine, too. Here are a few great recipes for roasted asparagus and asparagus soup.
One of my favorite snacks, radishes are spicy, crunchy, and refreshing. They also cook up to be really sweet and savory. Look for plump, firm ones at the store, ideally with their leaves still attached. To store, lop off those greens (you can cook these) and store the roots in a crisper drawer for up to a week. Should they become spongy (gasp), Cooking Light recommends setting them in a bowl of ice water for up to an hour. Try these tasty radishes in browned butter or this brown rice and miso bowl with radishes.
Arguably my first (or second, after the mango) fruit, strawberry season is never dull. Spring is their peak season and probably when you’ll find them at their lowest prices. Good ones should be bright red and firm with bushy, not wilty, caps. Always lift up a box of strawberries at the store and look at the bottom for mold—if there’s a little, there will be more, so avoid those! To store, leave caps on until you’re ready to use them. Don’t wash them until you’re ready to use, either, since that can kill them faster. Leave your berry friends in a produce bag in the fridge. Don’t forget to make this wheat berry, spinach, and strawberry salad, or these chicken cutlets with strawberry-avocado salsa.