We love spring for a million little reasons and one of them is the return of our local farmer’s markets. If you’re like us, then you probably get a little too excited and just start grabbing everything you can then you get home and you have a whole lot of beautiful, homegrown produce that you aren’t really sure how to use, but you sure want to. (Gotta make room for next week’s trip!) We’re happy to report that we’re here to help you make the very most of your April farmer’s market finds,
In April you can expect to see artichokes, mushrooms, asparagus, and peas. So let’s take a look at some simple and delicious ways you can use these goods at home.
Artichokes | Spinach Artichoke Pasta
To use up those artichokes, we have a pasta dish that only requires a few staple items, fresh artichokes, of course, and is a great dish for Meatless Monday (if you’re into that!) Check out this recipe from The Spruce Eats.
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 8 to 10 medium fresh artichoke hearts, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
- Combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, with the onions, garlic, artichoke hearts, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a large straight-sided skillet. Cover and sauté over moderate heat, stirring often, until the artichokes are tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. If the mixture seems dry, add up to 3 more tablespoons olive oil.
- Generously salt the pasta water and drop in the penne. Cook, stirring often until the penne is tender. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water, and transfer the penne to the sauté pan with the vegetables.
- Add the butter and lemon juice, and toss to combine. If the mixture seems dry, add the cooking water, a few tablespoons at a time, until you have a nice, moist consistency. Serve right away sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Mushrooms | Garlic and Swiss Mushroom on Toast
One thing we don’t sleep on? Fancy toast. This version combines, well, garlic, swiss, and mushrooms to create a savory topping on your favoirte toast. (We’re sourdough girlies, ourselves!) Check out this recipe from Rhubarbarians.
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 4 cups sliced baby bella or cremini mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 slices thick rustic french bread
- 2 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
- 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- salt and pepper
- Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and sweat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute, stirring often, about 15 minutes until mushrooms are browned and all liquid has evaporated.
- Preheat the broiler. Spread the mustard evenly on one side of each piece of bread. Top each slice with a sprinkle of cheese. Evenly top with the mushrooms and then top each with another generous sprinkle of cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and starting to brown, about 2 minutes.*
- To serve, sprinkle with fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper.
Asparagus | Lemon Chicken and Asparagus
Juicy pan-fried chicken. Peppery lemon. Fresh asparagus. Honey butter sauce. Just a few simple ingredients and you’ve got a fresh dinner on the table. Check out this recipe from Pinch of Yum.
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 1–2 cups chopped asparagus
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 2 tablespoons honey + 2 tablespoons butter
- parsley for topping (optional)
Chicken: Cover the chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound until each pieces is about a 3/4 of an inch thick. Place the flour and salt and pepper in a shallow dish and gently toss each chicken breast in the dish to coat. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat; add the chicken and sauté for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown, sprinkling each side with the lemon pepper directly in the pan. When the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, transfer to a plate.
Asparagus and Lemons: Add the chopped asparagus to the pan. Sauté for a few minutes until bright green and tender crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lay the lemon slices flat on the bottom of the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side without stirring so that they caramelize and pick up the browned bits left in the pan from the chicken and butter. (NOTE: adding a tiny pat of butter in with the lemons also helps prevent sticking and promotes browning.) Remove the lemons from the pan and set aside.
Assembly: Layer all the ingredients back into the skillet – asparagus, chicken, and lemon slices on top.
Peas | Pea Bruschetta with Lemon and Parmesan
Last but not least, if you find that you’ve got more peas on hand than you know what to do with, whip up this pea bruschetta! Check out this recipe from Sprinkles and Sprouts.
For the pea topping
1 cup frozen peas – see note 1
small handful of pea shoots – optional
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ clove garlic save the other half for the bruschetta
salt and pepper to taste
For the bruschetta
6 slices ciabatta
2 tablespoon olive oil
½ clove garlic
To make the Pea Topping
Place the ingredients in a food processor and use the pulse button to chop and combine them until you have a rough paste. Set aside until the toast is cooked.
To make the Bruschetta
Pre-heat your broiler or grill.
Drizzle the bread slices with the olive oil.
Toast for 2-3 minutes a side until crisp and golden brown.
Whilst the toast is still warm, use the half garlic clove to lightly rub the rough bread.
To assemble your Bruschetta
Spread the pea topping over the 6 slices of toast.
Add extra parmesan and lemon zest to each bruschetta then top with additional pea shoots.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with black pepper.