3 Recipes From the Spring Farmer's Market (2024)

3 Recipes From the Spring Farmer's Market (1)

From fiddlehead ferns to meyer lemons, Erin O'Leary Stewart of Define Foods has created three mouth-wateringly delicious, and healthy, recipes in honor of spring's official arrival.

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3 Recipes From the Spring Farmer's Market

3 Recipes From the Spring Farmer's Market (2)

How does springtime at the farmer's market inspire you in the kitchen?

This is my favorite time of the year! Walking the market with its first-of-the-season herbs, tender greens and wild flowers is the ultimate mood lifter to break away from your winter blues. It's these ingredients that make bringing food and friends together effortless. The season's produce is so fresh that only simple and elegant preparations are needed.

Do you approach your diet/health differently season to season?

Absolutely. Each season you need to nourish your body differently. Our bodies crave different foods from one season to the other. For instance, in the summer it's best to focus on cooling foods to manage heat and aggressive temperatures. Fall and winter calls for warming, grounding foods, which is why root vegetables are plentiful, like squashes and sweet potatoes. In the spring, it's time to eat lighter. Foods that are bitter, astringent and dry reduce inflammation, depression and fatigue that you may be feeling from the previous winter months. Think hydrating and purifying. Perfect examples are asparagus, artichokes, sprouts, lettuces, radishes, leafy greens, parsley and watercress, among so many others. These are abundantly growing at this time of year. If you truly think about it, eating with the season actually makes a whole lot of sense!

Why are these these three ingredients so special right now?

Asparagus, peas and radishes are among "hot" ingredients right now. It takes simple preparation to make these ingredients sing at this time of year. Simply marinating them or a quick stir-fry is one step away from transforming your typical lunch or dinner. There is a reason why vegetable-heavy dishes are trending across restaurant menus and are a playing more integral role in tasting menus. And I'm not just talking side dishes here. There are so many more options to get creative and make vegetables center stage, so branch out! The fiddleheads in my soba noodle dish add whimsy to your plate. They're gorgeous, taste very similar to asparagus and they also offer many of the same health benefits.

Any insider tips on shedding your winter skin?

It may seem overwhelming transitioning from the comforting, dark and cold winter to the bright and airy spring. My best tip: It's the easiest time of year for a cleanse. But be patient and ease into it. It does not have to mean going on a three-day fast. It's about eating lighter and green, and yes, your foods can actually be cooked! Set yourself up for success by taking the trip to the farmers market and stocking your refrigerator with all of your seasonal favorites. A green juice a day full of alkalining greens or a simple salad of lettuces, radishes and sugar snap peas rids the acidity and inflammation in your body and gives you the energy you need to take on the new season.

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Smashed Pea Butter

3 Recipes From the Spring Farmer's Market (3)

{Yield: 4}


1 cup shelled peas

2-3 Tbsp. olive oil

pinch red pepper flakes

¼ cup chopped spring onions

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

sea salt

1 Tbsp. sweet miso

juice from ½ lemon

½ tsp. lemon zest

¼ cup packed fresh mint, roughly chopped


Blanch the shelled peas in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Cool in ice water.

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil with the red pepper flakes in a medium skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté a few minutes. Next, add ¾ of the blanched peas with a pinch of sea salt. Take off the heat and stir in the miso.

Once cooled, transfer mixture to a small food processor or bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, and mint and process (or smash with a potato smasher), adding olive oil a little at a time, until smooth but keeping a bit of texture. Fold in the remaining blanched peas and sprinkle with more sea salt, to taste. Garnish with fresh mint and lemon zest. Serve with homemade or store bought pita chips.

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Spring Greens Salad

{Yield: 4}


½ bunch asparagus, chopped into bite-sized pieces

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. olive oil

sea salt

¼ tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. coriander

small pinch cayenne pepper

1 tsp. turbinado sugar

¼ cup chopped chives

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

½ tsp. champagne vinegar

1 Meyer lemon, juice and zest

1 Tbsp. agave

1 bunch of spring mixed greens, torn into bite-sized pieces

½ cup thinly sliced sugar snap peas

3-4 fresh radishes, thinly sliced

1 small handful snow pea shoots

1-2 Tbsp. currants

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil, or mint


Preheat oven to 400° F.

Toss the asparagus and the sunflower seeds with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, ¼ tsp. sea salt, the cumin, coriander, cayenne, and sugar. Spread evenly onto a half sheet pan and roast, stirring halfway through, until asparagus is cooked through and sunflower seeds start to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To make the dressing, place the chives, mustard, vinegar, juice from lemon, agave and pinch of sea salt in a personal blender. Blend, slowly adding in ¼ cup olive oil, until smooth. Set aside.

To assemble, combine the greens, sugar snap peas, radishes, pea shoots and asparagus/sunflower mixture with the dressing. Divide onto plates, piling high. Garnish with lemon zest, currants, and fresh herbs.

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Spring Soba Noodles

3 Recipes From the Spring Farmer's Market (5)

{Yield: 4}


4 ounces soba noodles

1-cup fiddlehead ferns

½ cup shelled peas

½ cup sea beans

1 Tbsp. olive oil

pinch crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup thinly sliced spring onions

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

sea salt

1 tsp. Meyer lemon zest

1 tsp. chopped fresh mint

freshly ground black pepper


Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and cool.

Blanch the fiddleheads, sea beans and peas in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Cool in ice water.

Heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a medium skillet on medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté a few minutes. Next, add the blanched fiddleheads, sea beans, peas, noodles and a pinch of sea salt. Stir-fry, flipping ingredients in pan, a few minutes longer until heated through and the veggies are just starting to crisp. Transfer to a bowl and toss with lemon zest and mint. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

via Harpersbazaar.com

3 Recipes From the Spring Farmer's Market (2024)
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