March Produce Guide
March is all about GREEN, and not just for St. Patrick's Day! Spring is here, or about to be, and with it comes the first of two of my favorite spring vegetables—asparagus and artichokes.
While asparagus in our local markets cost about $4/pound in the off-season, when they are plentiful in the spring, I can find them closer to $1/pound. (That's why my mother advises me, "Always buy your food in season. Saves money, tastes better.")
You'll also find broccoli, fennel, and chard, watercress, arugula, and mustard greens, as well as leeks, spring garlic, and spring onions.
What's in season in March?
Asparagus start showing up at the markets in February, but really come into force in March and April. They can be baked, roasted, steamed, boiled, or grilled. Serve them simply as a side, turn them into a soup, or bake them into a frittata.
Artichokes have two seasons, spring and fall, but their big season is spring. Artichokes are thistles—flowers—and the parts we eat are the petals of the flower (the "leaves") and the heart, underneath the thistle choke. The best way to eat an artichoke is simply steamed, but they are also great grilled, braised, or stuffed.
Broccoli and Broccolini
While you can get broccoli and its tender sister broccolini all year round, they are happiest in the cooler months. Did you know that broccoli is a superfood? It's high in protein, fiber, and vitamins A and C.
Watercress, Arugula, and Mustard Greens
What do these greens have in common? They are all naturally peppery, and can jazz up anything they're served with.
Green Garlic, Spring Onions, and Leeks
What is green garlic? Immature garlic that hasn't yet developed its bulb. Use green garlic in place of regular garlic, leeks, or green onions. What are spring onions? Mature green onions that have started to develop a bulb. Roast them, grill them, use them in place of onions. Both green garlic and spring onions are available in the spring.
Spinach and Chard
Like broccoli, spinach and chard are also cool weather crops. They're the most versatile of greens, tender and mild in flavor.
Delicious raw or cooked, try roasting thickly sliced fennel with olive oil and vinegar.
Scroll down for recipes using these fabulous vegetables!
Asparagus: Roasted Asparagus
Here's a quick and easy way to cook asparagus—roast them! with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a little lemon juice.
Asparagus: Sheet Pan Chicken with Asparagus and Potatoes
Celebrate spring with this sheet pan chicken with asparagus and potatoes. Everything cooks together until tender. Easy and only one pan to clean!
Asparagus: Creamy Asparagus Soup
This simple asparagus soup comes together quickly and is a great way to use fresh seasonal asparagus.
Artichokes: How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke
Artichokes can be intimidating if you've never cooked or eaten them before. Here's our guide to how to prepare and cook artichokes and how to eat them. It's easy! And so worth the effort.Continue to 5 of 17 below.
Artichokes: Braised Marinated Artichokes
Artichokes braised in white wine and olive oil with shallots, garlic, parsley, and mint.
Artichokes: Baked Stuffed Artichokes
Stuffed artichokes are a perfect artichoke appetizer! Globe artichokes are trimmed and stuffed with herbed parmesan breadcrumb stuffing, then baked.
Broccoli: Broccoli Beef Stir Fry
No need for take out, you can easily make Chinese Broccoli Beef stir fry right at home. Only takes 30 minutes!
Broccoli: Potato and Broccoli Curry
Vegan broccoli and potato curry with a dairy-free creamy sauce made with ground almonds. Perfect for a healthy midweek meal!Continue to 9 of 17 below.
Broccolini: Oven Roasted Broccolini
Don't mistake broccolini with its bitter look-alike broccoli rabe. Broccolini is tender and delicious! Here's an easy way to make it, oven roasted with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Watercress: Watercress Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
The season is short for real watercress (not the hydroponic cress), so when you see it in the market, buy it! Great in salads, especially with a warm bacon dressing.
Arugula: Arugula Pesto
No need to wait for summer basil to make pesto, you can make a wonderful nutty pesto with arugula and walnuts. Great on pasta!
Have you ever tasted mustard greens? If you like mustard, you'll love the peppery flavor of these greens. Sauté them in olive oil with onions and garlic, and finish with a dash of sesame oil.Continue to 13 of 17 below.
Green Garlic: Spring Minestrone Soup
Spring vegetables play well together in this springtime version of the classic Italian minestrone, with peas, new potatoes, green garlic, artichoke hearts, asparagus and spring greens.
Artichokes: Artichoke Leek Frittata
Tender frittata with eggs, sautéed leeks, artichoke hearts, Parmesan, tarragon and chives. Perfect for a weekend brunch and reheats well to enjoy leftovers the next day.
Spinach: Creamy Ziti Florentine
Creamy Ziti Florentine is quick and easy, and perfect for a weeknight dinner. Made it with spinach, green onions, lemon, and ricotta cheese.
Spinach: Green Goddess Mac and Cheese
Get your power greens in this macaroni cheese! With loads of baby spinach, parsley, garlic, white sharp cheddar, Parmesan, and macaroni pasta.Continue to 17 of 17 below.
Chard: Mini Muffin Frittatas
These gluten-free mini frittatas are made with eggs, feta, mushrooms, onions and chard. You can make a batch, chill them, and then just reheat in the microwave a few at a time when you want a light breakfast or lunch.