Healthy Spring Recipes

If you have spring fever, one way to enjoy the season is to add in-season produce to the menu. Here are three recipes for dishes that feature produce that you’ll likely find at your local farmers market now or soon.

These dishes are versatile. They work as appetizers, snacks or side dishes for meals: roasted carrot and garlic hummus, roasted asparagus with lemon and parmesan, and braised beet and orange salad with goat cheese and walnuts.

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Roasted Carrot Hummus

Ingredients

  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
  • 5 small or 3 large carrots, leaves and stem removed
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2.5 Tbsp. olive oil, separated
  • 1 whole lemon
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • Ice-cold water as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika and chopped parsley for garnish

Serves 2

 

Roasted Carrot and Garlic Hummus

Instructions
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut the top off the head of garlic and rub olive oil on the exposed garlic, leaving the peel on. Wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Place carrots on the same baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes or until carrots are soft and easily pierced with a fork.
3. (Optional) While vegetables are roasting, boil chickpeas covered in water for 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then peel chickpeas to achieve a smoother texture.
4. In a blender or food processor, combine lemon juice and tahini and blend until smooth. Add salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of ice-cold water and half of the head of roasted garlic by gently removing the peel.
5. Add carrots and chickpeas and blend until smooth, then slowly drizzle in 1 tablespoon of olive oil to incorporate. Add more ice-cold water to get the desired consistency.
6. Garnish hummus with paprika, chopped parsley and a half-tablespoon of olive oil and serve with cucumbers, peppers, whole-wheat pita or other desired dip vessels.

In-season vegetables: carrots and parsley

Recipe notes: Roasting carrots and garlic brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables. Boiling and peeling canned chickpeas make for smoother hummus.


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Asparagus with citrus and parmesan

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. shaved parmesan
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan

Instructions
1. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
2. Trim the stems off the asparagus and toss the stalks in olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
3. Bake for 7-9 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.
4. Top with lemon zest, juice from ½ lemon and shaved parmesan.

In-season vegetable: asparagus

Recipe notes: Fresh and light side dish is perfect to pair with grilled chicken or fish. Roasting asparagus at a high temperature for a short time allows it to retain its vibrant color and some water for a nice crunch. It also brings out the nutty flavors while avoiding the sulfur-based compounds’ smell to take over. Garlic powder is used rather than fresh garlic as it would burn at 500 degrees.

Serves 2

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Beet salad

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 4 beets
  • 4 navel oranges
  • 2 blood or raspberry oranges
  • 1/8 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • A handful of arugula leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Braised Beet and Orange Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Instructions
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Clean and scrub beets, removing any dirt or debris. Trim leaves off, but leave the root intact.
3. On an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, place beet slices along with the juice and zest of one navel orange, salt and pepper.
4. Cover with aluminum foil and fold the edges tightly with the base foil.
5. Roast beets for 45 minutes or until fork-tender. Let cool, remove top foil and gently remove the skin from beets using your fingers. Slice beet to ¼ inch or desired thickness.
6. While the beets are braising, remove the peel from the orange varieties using a knife. Slice oranges to ¼ inch or desired thickness. Place on a plate, and add beets when prepared.
7. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and drizzle on salad.
8. Garnish with arugula leaves, goat cheese, chopped walnuts, and salt and pepper to taste.

In-season vegetables: beets and arugula

Recipe notes: Refreshing but earthy appetizer or salad. The dressing is heavier in oil than vinegar as the salad is full of citrus, but a store-bought plain vinaigrette would also taste great. Wearing gloves and avoiding white clothing can be helpful when preparing beets as their bright pigment is known to stain skin and clothing.

Serves 2

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