Hello March and welcome to month 3 of our Monthly Seasonal Produce Guides.
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: 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: 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.
- Fennel: Delicious raw or cooked, try roasting thickly sliced fennel with olive oil and vinegar.
Scroll down for recipes using these fabulous vegetables!