Spring fruits and vegetables: Spring recipes

Mar 10, 2009 at 7:33 a.m. ET

Springtime is upon us and that means the birth of baby animals, a renewed energy felt by all, and an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. Healthy eating is easy when there is a rich harvest of fresh produce on hand - now is the time to improve your diet and dig in to these delicious in season fruits and vegetables.

Spring Fruits

In season spring fruit

Stay on the lookout for fresh offerings of these fabulous fruits:
Apricots: May through August
Blueberries: May through June
Nectarines: April through October
Pineapples: April through May
Raspberries: May though November
Rhubarb: April through September
Strawberries: May through June
Cherries: April through August

In season vegetables

These spring vegetables will make it easy to fill your daily veggie quota:
Asparagus: April through June
Carrots: October through April
Fennel: November through May
Garlic: April through July
Vidalia Onions: May through July
English Peas: April through June
Sugar Snap Peas: May through July
Ramps: April through May
Spinach: March through June

Spring recipes with seasonal fruits and vegetables

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Makes 10 to 12 servings

3 cups rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, leaves removed
1 cup strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of grated orange zest
2 frozen pie doughs (for 9-inch pie)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, salt and orange zest. Let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place one pastry dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Spoon rhubarb mixture into pie plate and top with the second piece of dough. Crimp edges together to seal and cut slits on the top of the dough.

3. Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and bake 30 to 40 minutes longer.

4. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Crunchy Asparagus Salad

Makes 4 servings

20 thin asparagus spears, trimmed of tough ends
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted peppers, drained
2/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sherry or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound mixed salad greens

1. Pour 1-inch of water in a deep skillet and heat to boiling. Add asparagus and cook 2 minutes. Remove asparagus with a slotted spoon and dunk into a bowl of ice water. Drain asparagus and reserve.

2. Combine peppers, pecans, and basil. In a separate bowl, whisk lemon juice with vinegar, mustard and salt. Gradually whisk in oil until thickened.

3. Add salad greens to a large serving bowl. Top with asparagus and pepper mixture. Drizzle dressing overtop and gently toss.

Vidalia Onion and Ricotta Stuffed Grilled Chicken

Makes 4 servings

Recipe courtesy of The Vidalia Onion Committee

1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced plus more for garnish
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
1 large egg
Salt and pepper
4 chicken breasts, washed and dried

1. Preheat grill or grill pan to 350 degrees F. (moderate heat). Place onion slices on grill and cook until caramelized, about 2 minutes per side.

2. Combine grilled onions with ricotta and cheddar cheeses, flour, basil, egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

3. Cut a 2-inch slit into the side of each chicken breast. Spoon an equal amount of the cheese mixture into each of the breasts and secure with a toothpick. Season outside of chicken with salt and pepper.

4. Place chicken on a cooking spray coated grill or grill pan and cook about 5 minutes per side or until fully cooked. Remove chicken and top with grilled Vidalia onion to garnish.

More spring recipes

Spring into healthy salads
Recipes with springtime ramps
Asian spring rolls are light and healthy