Spring is upon us! As temperatures rise and we see newly harvested produce in the farmers markets, we’re excited to venture away from hearty, heavy, and warm winter dishes toward fresh, light, and veggie-packed ones. To inspire you in the kitchen this season, we’ve rounded up 18 of the most delicious—and gorgeous—spring dishes. Bookmark them now and enjoy them ‘til summer.
Click on each photo below to be directed to the full recipe.
“Stinging nettles,” the same nettles that grow wild on the forest floor and sting when you touch them, also happen to be very nutritious, full of iron and chlorophyll, and make a delicious base for pesto. This fun, sophisticated appetizer is essentially a yam chip, topped with nettle pesto and a cube of feta. It’s totally unique and will certainly cause one of those “What is this yummy thing?!” moments at your next cocktail party.
A classic, delicious combination, fava beans, mint, and parmesan mingle with risoni (or orzo), crispy bacon, and pine nuts in this yummy pasta dish.
One of our favourite spring vegetables are sugar snap peas, and this Thai shrimp salad takes great advantage of them. Made with lots of other delectable ingredients like cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, mint leaves, and crushed peanuts, this dish may just turn you off of delivery Thai food forever.
Has your city gone mad for kimchi like ours has? This traditional fermented Korean side dish is delicious when sprinkled across poached eggs, a bowl of otherwise bland grains, or really anything that could use a hint of sweetness and acidity. You can make a “quick pickle” version of this in under 15 minutes, or if you’d like them to ferment, you can let the scallions sit for 24 hours.
If you’re skilled in the kitchen and want to tackle a more professional dish, this one is such a fun recipe that’s as much about presentation and performance as it is flavour. On a bed of toasted hay at the table, you’ll actually cook a fresh duck egg in hay oil with butter, vegetables, herbs, and ramson (wild garlic) sauce. Totally unforgettable.
This recipe would be a treat on a humid summer afternoon, but we’re beginning to see some bright, ripe citrus in the farmers markets now, so why not? Thanks to four types of citrus (grapefruit, navel orange, mineola orange, and lemon), fresh and roasted fennel, and a handful of fresh mint, this salad has a slightly sweet element, as well as satisfying, licorice-y crunch.
Lettuce cups are awesome because they have such a beautiful, elegant presentation, but they’re so easy to put together—a salad, more or less! Punched up with cider-pickled beets, these radicchio cups are filled with wild rice, sunflower sprouts, hemp seeds, and avocado. Totally healthy but also extremely photogenic!
What’s not to love about a savoury tart that’s just for you? This asparagus lemon tartlette is the perfect way to use those bright spring asparagus spears you’re seeing in the markets. Packed with flavour, it’s makes a yummy lunch or dinner when served with a side salad.
If you’re looking for an asparagus appetizer or even side dish, this asparagus goat cheese tart is just the thing. We’ve been making this for years, and it’s always a hit.
We can’t resist a cheesy crostini, and this one, made with shelled English peas and fresh tarragon (which resembles Instagram cult-favourite avocado toast!), has a delightfully delicate flavour. An out-of-the-ordinary appetizer, it’ll make a welcome addition to your next cocktail party or spring luncheon.
“Spring in a bowl,” this salad is made with a thinly sliced radishes and green onions, salty cheese, toasted almonds, and creamy dressing. A totally satisfying and balanced lunch, it’s a shoo-in for your weekly rotation.
The biggest “looker” of them all, this spring salad is piled high with life-like pea shoots, violet-toned carrots, lilac- and fucshia-hued radishes, tender crisp peas, sour red-wine-pickled onions, alabaster feta, and sweet-tart kumquats. Dressed with a bright green vinaigrette that’s packed with fresh herbs, it’s as delectable as it is gorgeous.
Anytime we see a grainy salad on the menu, we gravitate right toward it; a little more filling, they’re perfect on a weekday you know is going to be long. We were so excited to discover this one, which has a surprisingly awesome combination of grilled asparagus, strawberries, and radishes—all spring favourites—with buckwheat groats. Yum.
An combination of cheese and vegetables would work in this easy spring veggie sandwich, but we particularly like the mix of a fancy sunflower seed bun, cream cheese, mild cheddar, radishes, and coriander. A simple lunch that also feels elegant.
If you’ve never had fiddlehead ferns, you are missing out! Like nettles, these crazy-looking little guys are only foraged, not cultivated, and they’re only edible while in their curled state—in their fully developed state, they can be poisonous! But don’t you worry, if your farmers market is selling them, they’re good to go. Like a cross between asparagus and artichokes, they have a nice, grassy, vegetal flavour. And the looks of them are weirdly impressive. We think this pasta dish of fiddlehead ferns, leeks, goat cheese, and pine nuts sounds utterly delightful.
Are you tired of asparagus yet? Because we’re not. This risotto recipe is an easy go-to for a weeknight dinner when you need to clean out the fridge. Topped with a fried egg, this arborio rice meal of peas, corn, asparagus, and basil is too enticing to look at without salivating.
It’s about time we served dessert, don’t you think? A gorgeous way to use one of spring’s finest vegetables, this pavlova with rhubarb and pistachios is soft, sweet, tart, and crunchy—and made with super basic ingredients (sugar, egg whites, and vanilla). Such a fun finale for a veggie-filled spring dinner.
If you’re intimidated by cocktails, have no fear: This one’s basically just vodka and fruit. But don’t get us wrong, it’s also totally lovely—rhubarb, grapefruit, and thyme are a power trio of vegetal, citrusy, and herbal flavours.
What are your favourite spring recipes? Share with us in the comments below.