6 Spring Vegetable Recipes

Treat your body to a diet rich in vegetables, and you reap more than vibrant, beautiful food and delicious flavor. God's garden is the source for nutrition-packed veggies that are a key ingredient to good health. Beneficial plant nutrients from vegetables help fight or lower the risk of disease, including high blood pressure, eye and digestive problems, cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Zucchini and Asparagus Tart

Serve this savory tart covered with al dente veggies as an appetizer or side dish paired with grilled foods for a warm-weather gathering. Ready-made phyllo dough reduces prep time and bakes separately while veggies roast on another sheet pan initially, keeping the crust crisp.

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  • 6 tbsp olive oil, plus additional for brushing phyllo dough; divided
  • 8 sheets thawed frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • ¼ cup dry plain bread crumbs
  • 15 asparagus, trimmed and bias-sliced
  • 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 6 large eggs, divided
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh basil, parsley and/or mint, roughly chopped; plus additional herbs for garnish
  • 7 oz container crème fraîche
  • 5 oz container crumbled feta, divided
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil; line with parchment paper.
  • Carefully unroll phyllo dough. Layer sheets of phyllo on prepared baking sheet, lightly brushing each sheet with a small amount of additional oil and sprinkling with a thin layer of bread crumbs before placing another sheet on top. Lightly brush final layer with oil; do not sprinkle with bread crumbs. Pinch together outer edges of phyllo sheets; set baking sheet with phyllo aside.
  • In a large bowl combine asparagus and zucchini. Drizzle with remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with ½ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Toss until evenly coated. Arrange vegetables, in a single layer, on another baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet with phyllo on the top oven rack and vegetables on bottom oven rack. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the baking sheets from oven. Lightly beat 1 egg; brush on phyllo and bake for 5 minutes more until pastry is golden and crisp. Remove from oven.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining 5 eggs, lemon zest, ¼ cup herbs, crème fraîche and remaining ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  • Arrange half of the vegetables on the phyllo; spinkle with half the feta cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and feta; sprinkle with remaining feta. Bake for 30 minutes or until the egg mixture is set. Remove from oven. Garnish with additional fresh herbs, if desired. Serve immediately.
Zucchini, Leek & Green Onion Fritters

Mild-flavor zucchini—the secret to the moist and creamy insides of these savory fritters—gets a boost from Parmesan cheese, sweet leeks and slightly pungent and peppery green onions. Spoon a little lemon and garlic crema on the hot, crisp fritters for cool contrast.

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  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • Zest and juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 small zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 1 tsp salt, plus additional to taste
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 small leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp canola oil, plus additional if needed
  • Microgreens, for garnish
  • Radishes, for garnish
  • For crema, in a small bowl stir together sour cream, lemon zest and juice and garlic. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
  • For fritters, place zucchini in a colander. Place colander on a plate to catch juices. Sprinkle zucchini with 1 teaspoon salt and gently toss to combine; let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer zucchini to a clean dish towel; use towel to squeeze zucchini dry.
  • In a large bowl combine beaten egg, green onions, leek and drained zucchini. In small bowl whisk together flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder and black pepper. Add flour mixture to zucchini mixture; stir until combined.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter into hot oil. Spread mixture, if necessary. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden, turning halfway through. Drain fritters on paper towels. Season fritters to taste with additional salt.
  • Garnish fritters with microgreens and radishes, if desired. Serve with crema.
Beets and Sweet Agrodolce

In Italian cuisine, agrodolce sauce combines sweet and sour ingredients, gets reduced and then is served over pasta, meat or, in this case, beautiful spiraled slices of beets, potatoes, turnips, apples and onion.

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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 3 red beets, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 yellow beets, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • For the vegetables, brush a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with the olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped rosemary. Alternately arrange the beet, potato, sweet potato, turnip, apple and onion slices in a spiral pattern in the skillet, starting at the outer edge and working toward the center. Season with salt and black pepper.
  • Roast for 30 minutes or until fork-tender and edges are golden and crisp.
  • For the agrodolce, in a medium bowl whisk together vinegar, olive oil, honey and lemon zest. Stir in the parsley and shallot. Pour mixture over the roasted vegetables. Serve immediately.
Spring Peas, Asparagus and Prosciutto Salad

This salad features three forms of peas—English peas, pea shoots and sugar snap pea pods—and asparagus for a symphony of greens and textures. Prosciutto crisped in the oven and toasted almond slivers add crunch and flavor.

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  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 1 lb asparagus spears trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cups shelled English peas
  • 1 cup pea shoots
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • Salt and coarse-ground black pepper, to taste
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place prosciutto in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges start to curl and crisp.
  • In a large bowl combine asparagus, English peas, pea shoots, sugar snap peas, mint, almonds and baked prosciutto. Whisk together oil and vinegar; drizzle over vegetables and toss to coat.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spring Potato Salad

Summer comes to the table when this deconstructed and reinterpreted potato salad is served. By compartmentalizing large cuts of ingredients and plating them on top the dressing with pickled shallots and cucumbers, the salad goes from ordinary to extraordinary.

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  • 1 cup water
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • -
  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly coarse-ground pepper
  • 2 lb red and/or yellow baby potatoes
  • 6 large eggs
  • -
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup tightly packed fresh tarragon leaves
  • ½ cup tightly packed fresh dill
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp bottled capers, drained
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • For pickled cucumbers and shallot, in a small bowl combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt; stir until sugar is dissolved. Add cucumbers, shallot and dill; set aside.
  • For potato salad, trim fronds from fennel and reserve for garnish. Thinly slice fennel bulb lengthwise; place in a rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil; lightly sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from oven; set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, cook potatoes in lightly salted boiling water for 12 to 14 minutes or until fork-tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove potatoes from the water; reserve cooking water. Cut potatoes in half or quarters; set aside to cool.
  • Return cooking water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 1 minute. Drain green beans in a colander; rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Set beans aside to cool.
  • Place the eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 6 minutes. Drain eggs and cover with cold water to stop the cooking. Let stand for 10 minutes; drain. Peel shells from eggs; rinse eggs and cut each in half.
  • For fresh herb dressing, in a blender combine mayonnaise, basil, tarragon, dill, garlic, lemon juice, capers and salt. Cover and blend until smooth.
  • To serve, spoon dressing onto one half of each of 6 serving plates. Arrange cooled potatoes and pickled cucumbers and shallot on dressing. Arrange green beans, roasted fennel and eggs next to potatoes. Season to taste with kosher salt and coarse-ground black pepper. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds, if desired.
Maple-Bourbon Carrots

Sheet-pan carrots provide an easy side for any meal. The maple-bourbon sauce cooks on the stove top for about 10 minutes then gets poured over the carrots just before serving. If desired, instead of bourbon, opt for the same quantity of fruit juice or cider.

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  • 8 unpeeled heirloom carrots, tops trimmed and carrots halved lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Chopped fresh dill, for garnish
  • Microgreens, for garnish
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large rimmed baking pan toss carrots with olive oil, smoked paprika and generous sprinkles of salt and black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until fork-tender.
  • Meanwhile, for glaze, in a small saucepan bring bourbon to a simmer over medium heat; simmer for 4 minutes or until bourbon is reduced by half. Add brown sugar, stirring until dissolved. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes more or until mixture thickens. Reduce heat to low; stir in butter, orange juice and cayenne pepper. Season to taste with salt. If necessary, keep glaze warm.
  • To serve, toss carrots with warm glaze. Garnish with fresh dill and microgreens, if desired. Serve immediately.
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