These 10 recipes for fast-growing spring veggies are so rewarding because they taste awesome made from vegetables you can harvest fresh from your garden in less than 70 days (see 10 Vegetables To Grow In 10 Weeks for how to grow them).
Prepared simply with quality ingredients, nothing can compete with their just-picked, home-grown goodness. Use these classic recipes to turn these veggies into the finest comfort food for your table.
The 10 Recipes For Spring Veggies
Veggie #1 Arugula & Arugula Pizza
I tasted my first arugula pizza in Italy and fell in love. The peppery arugula (called rocket there) contrasts beautifully with the crispy crust and soft melting cheese.
To make, roll out your favorite pizza dough, brush with great olive oil, add toppings, and bake (per the dough instructions).
Toppings to consider (besides lots of arugula) include freshly grated mozzarella, parmesan, fontina, or sliced goat cheese; thinly sliced red onion, red or yellow peppers, or plum tomatoes; prosciutto, pork or chicken sausage; and basil leaves, roasted garlic cloves, or crushed red pepper flakes. Mix and match to create your own perfect pizza.
Veggie #2 Beets & Pickled Beets
It may be old-fashioned, but pickled beets (and eggs) sliced over a mixture of fresh, beautiful greens are delicious. Add your favorite dressing (mine is blue cheese), and it’s salad heaven.
To pickle beets, put 6 – 12 hardboiled eggs and about 8 cooked, quartered and peeled beets in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Mix 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar, 1 ½ cups water, 2 tsp. kosher salt, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. mustard seeds, and ½ sliced red onion in a saucepan and boil for 3 minutes. Cool the mixture, pour over the beets, cover, and refrigerate. Marinate for at least one day before using and consume within 2 weeks.
Veggie #3 Kale & Parmesan Kale Chips
Kale chips are nothing more than kale, olive oil, kosher salt, and parmesan; and they’re always a hit.
To make them, cut any tough ribs out of each kale leaf, place on baking sheets, mist with olive oil, and toss to lightly coat. Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake for 10 minutes at 350°F. Remove from the oven, add grated parmesan cheese, and bake 5 minutes more. Cool and serve. You can store them in airtight containers so you can serve them later too!
Veggie #4 Kohlrabi, Sliced
I never manage to plant enough kohlrabi to get past eating it raw (it’s so delicious). Harvest kohlrabi young before the bulbs get woody, and then peel, slice, lightly salt (or not), and eat. If you’re not familiar with kohlrabi, learn more about it here: Kohlrabi
Veggie #5 Leaf Lettuce & Classic Vinaigrette
The beautiful colors and interesting shapes of leaf lettuce are often best when simply dressed with classic vinaigrette because it doesn’t overwhelm the delicate lettuce flavor. Vinaigrette is just oil and vinegar bound with mustard, but using the best quality extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar elevate it to something special. Of course, you can add other tender spring greens too.
Combine 1 Tbsp. balsamic (or red, sherry, or white wine) vinegar, 1 minced garlic clove (or 1 Tbsp. minced fresh shallot or herbs), ½ tsp. Dijon mustard, 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Mix thoroughly and use to dress the greens immediately.
Veggie #6 Sugar Snap Peas & Sesame Sugar Snaps
This is another vegetable that’s hard to beat straight from the garden, but an excellent variation is sesame sugar snaps. Wash, remove the stem end, and “string” the pea pods; then toss them with sesame oil (it doesn’t take much), black sesame seeds, and kosher salt.
Veggie #7 Radishes & Bread
Both the Germans and French serve radishes with bread, and although the results are quite different, both are delicious.
The Germans pair their radishes with pumpernickel spread with cream cheese and chives, while the French serve theirs with a French baguette spread with unsalted butter (then salt as desired). Not surprisingly, the German preparation goes better with beer, while the French method teams well with cocktails or wine.
Veggie #8 Wilted Spinach and Bacon
Wilted spinach salad is another old-fashioned favorite.
Wash, stem, and dry about 3 lbs. of spinach; and place in a serving bowl. Cook 6 slices of bacon in a pan until crisp, remove and crumble. Retain 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan, add chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add 2 tsp. sugar, ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. dry mustard, and ½ cup cider vinegar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved, pour over the spinach, add freshly ground pepper, and garnish with the crumbled bacon.
Veggie #9 Swiss Chard Frittata
Chard was once an underutilized vegetable in our garden – until I cooked it. I’m still not a fan of raw chard, but we do love it cooked and this classic frittata recipe converted us: Swiss Chard Frittata
Veggie # 10 Sautéed Turnips
The turnip varieties we’ve been growing are so sweet they seldom make it to the kitchen, but when they do, they’re great simply sautéed.
Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a pan, add small peeled turnips, sauté’ over medium-high heat, sprinkle on 1 tsp. sugar, and lightly brown. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer until browned and glazed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I hope you get to make these 10 recipes for spring veggies with fast-growing varieties from your own garden! Nothing tastes as great as fresh-picked and homemade.