As spring turns into early summer in the great Northwest, the produce selection starts to get interesting again.
You might wander through your backyard garden or local farmer’s market. Maybe you pick up a CSA farm share each week or just run into the grocery store on the way home from work. Growing or buying produce in season is one thing. Knowing what in the world to do with it once you get it home can be another.
Those beautiful bunches of beets and strange stalks of chard. That impulse buy of radishes or delivery of kale. Without a plan, a frugal decision in the produce department can turn into a waste of money (and a soggy mess) in your refrigerator.
I’m hoping to take some of the mystery out of the fruits and vegetables you will currently find in farmers markets, farm shares, or grocery stores by compiling a list of some favorite seasonal dishes from my kitchen and those of my friends and family. All of these recipes have been tested and approved, meaning they got the thumbs up from our families and will be hitting our dinner tables again.
Late Spring/Early Summer Produce and Recipe Ideas
- Broiled Asparagus with Balsamic-Butter Sauce
- Pan Seared Shrimp with Soba – I double the sauce and use whole grain spaghetti noodles. This is delicious with any vegetable and/or meat.
Beets & Carrots
- Roasted Carrots
- Roasted Beets- Peel & quarter beets. Toss with olive oil & salt. Roast for 20+ min. at 425. The beets are done when they can be easily pierced with a fork. Toss with feta or goat cheese for a simple, beautiful side dish.
- Spring Stew
- Beet & Carrot Pancakes – My friend’s kiddo loves these. It’s a tasty, unique way to sneak in some vegetables.
- Roasted Sausage, Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard
- Leek and Swiss Chard Tart – Quiche using frozen puff pastry dough.
- Rhubarb Almond Cake | Frugal Living NW
- Rhubarb Cobbler | Frugal Living NW
- Rhubarb Cobbler – The biscuit topping is delicious. I double the fruit and sugar in the filling.
- Simple Rhubarb Compote – 3 ingredients, 10 uses
- Rhubarb Crumble – This recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s Feast. It’s good with any summer fruit.
- Spinach Lasagna – I doubled all of the vegetables: spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and onions. My family of four gobbled up a huge pan of this lasagna for dinner and leftovers. I actually preferred it to the meat variety I normally make.
- Green Smoothies – Toss a handful of fresh spinach into your favorite fruit smoothies.
- Creamed Spinach – I hate cooked spinach, but I adore creamed spinach. It’s amazing what heavy cream and Parmesan cheese can do for a dish. This is also a great way to use up a large amount of spinach because it cooks down so much.
- Walnut & Spinach Crusted Chicken – I actually haven’t tried this one, but it looks good & uses basic ingredients.
- Basic Fruit Muffins with Streusel
- Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble – This easy dessert is bright & gorgeous. Tastes good, too.
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble – Using spelt flour & oats
- Strawberry Shortcake Cake
- Ambrosia Salad
I hope this inspires you to try new things in your local produce market and your own kitchen. If you have a favorite, let us know in the comments!
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