Spring is here and we’re celebrating all of the fresh produce that’s arriving in stores now. Four veggies to look for now are asparagus, leeks, endive and spring onions. We’ve added a few cooking and buying tips, too.
Early-season asparagus features bright green stalks with purple-tinted tips. Buy bunches with firm stalks and tightly closed tops. Refrigerate the bunch standing up in a cup of water. Eat up: Drizzle stalks with olive oil, dust with sea salt and black pepper and roast at 400 degrees until tender. Or stir 2-inch pieces of asparagus into risotto in the last five minutes of cooking.
This long, cylindrical cousin to onions features light- to deep-green leaves and a yellow-white interior. Leeks grow half-buried in the ground, so slice off roots, slit the leeks from top to bottom and rinse out dirt layer by layer. Eat up: Thinly slice white and pale green parts only; sauté in butter, and stuff into salmon fillets before roasting.
Gardeners plant this bright, light green leafy vegetable in the cool days of early spring for peak harvest in spring and fall. Eat up: Belgian endive’s spear-shaped, thick leaves hold up well when loaded with dips, tapenades and guacamole. Cut out the core, wash leaves in cold water, pat dry and serve as a low-carb alternative to crackers or bread.
Planted in the fall and harvested in spring, these pale green shoots add delicate oniony flavor to dishes like scrambled eggs, soft cheeses and soups. Use both the white bulb and the green stem. Eat up: For a rustic take, brush spring onions with olive oil and grill until tender and slightly burnt; serve over polenta.