For us foodies, few things herald the coming of spring like the arrival of the seasonís first vegetables. Asparagus, watercress, garden peas, fresh herbs–they emerge, tentative and wistful, tender and bright as our hopes after winterís long slumber. More refined than squash and heavy root vegetables, with the irresistible blossom of youth, they inspire us toward all manner of flings.
We start the season by moving a table into the back yard, cover it with a colorful cloth and a Mason jar of fresh flowers, put on some lighthearted music and invite a handful of friends over for an impromptu spring feast. Or pack a festive picnic and take it on the road. Start with a roomy wicker basket, and load it up with easy-to-transport foods that celebrate spring: steamed asparagus with basil aioli for dipping, tangy watercress salads, boiled new potatoes tossed with fresh basil and olive oil. Round out your meal with whole-grain breads, organic cheeses, fresh fruit and a selection of festive beverages: sparkling water with pomegranate juice, iced herbal teas, apple cider or champagne are good choices.
Ready for a fling of your own? Celebrate the season with these easy-to-make dishes that highlight springís tender best.
Click on one of the following recipes or go through the slideshow to browse them all.