Spring’s showers have given way to flowers and we couldn’t be happier to welcome warm(er) temperatures, sunny skies and fresh spring produce. Even better, neighborhood Farmer’s Markets are now open for business and stocked to the brim with seasonal fruits and vegetables. From tender spring peas to juicy strawberries, our chefs are offering dishes using the best of spring’s bounty. Here’s a look at some of the highlights, along with tips on how to use (and eat!) them.
This prickly spring vegetable is perfect steamed and Mon Ami Gabi has a gorgeous version with shaved vegetables and lemon-dijon vinaigrette for dipping. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty with this one; just dive in, pull a leaf, dip, and enjoy. However, with a dish this beautiful, don’t forget to snap a pic first!
Want to make artichokes at home? Click here for the full recipe for Mon Ami Gabi’s steamed artichoke.
The season may be short, but ramps certainly are long on flavor. At RPM Italian in Chicago, Chef/Partner Doug Psaltis “ramps” up Housemade Potato Gnocchi with aged goat cheese and ramp pesto.
Spring peas are versatile, but we love them most when presented simply so their fresh flavors can shine. At Aba, Chef/Partner CJ Jacobson debuted a new vegan spread just in time to give spring peas center stage. Try the new Green Bean and Sugar Snap Pea dip with sorrel green curry and roasted cashews.
Strawberries and rhubarb go together like, well, pie and ice cream. You can have it all in one dish at Wildfire with the restaurant’s signature homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie served with a hearty scoop of Homer’s vanilla ice cream.
Prefer to drink your seasonal strawberries? Click here for the Stella Rosa cocktail recipe from Osteria Via Stato.
Asparagus, whether green, white, or purple, is some of the most prized spring produce. At Summer House Santa Monica, Chef Ben Goodnick is rolling out a series of dishes this spring through summer featuring local Klug Farm asparagus paired with another seasonal standout: sustainable Alaskan Halibut. Hitting the menu on May 23 is the Wood Grilled Alaskan Halibut with local asparagus and tarragon-caper vinaigrette.
Want to know the best way to cook asparagus? Chef Ben recommends instead of boiling or steaming it, to sauté or grill it from its raw state. This helps preserves the quality and keeps the flavors (and green color) vivid.