Fresh fruits and vegetables in the basket

Spring gardens with plants blooming and growing, and the early harvests of bright green peas, young potatoes, always remind me of my Grandpa May’s amazing garden.

He had an amazing green thumb and we loved going with him to the garden to pick those beautiful fresh peas from the vines. He’d gently scold us whenever we would shuck and gobble up all the pickings before they could be made into our favorite dinner side dish. Creamed Peas and New Potatoes is a perfect, simple and delicious way to enjoy spring’s first garden harvest.

While my garden is filled with later summer veggies, I think it’s time to hit the farmers market and stock up on spring’s harvest bounty. Veggies and fruit like asparagus, strawberries, carrots, greens, rhubarb, blueberries, artichokes, radishes and more are coming into season.

Time to find some new recipes. Here are some recipes I’m excited to try featuring greens, root veggies and berries, too. For more ideas, visit our Money-Saving Recipes board on Pinterest.

Garden greens

Thin green asparagus, plump artichokes and leafy greens like chard, kale, arugula and more are in prime season right now. Coupled with some beautiful herbs like basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme and rosemary, these healthy green veggies can be quickly and easily transformed into delicious entrees or side dishes. Pasta Primavera with asparagus, spinach and fresh basil, with some added cherry tomatoes and sautéed squash would be a perfect dinner for Meatless Monday.

I’m eager to try this Creamy Pesto Pasta Primavera. While cooking a pot of pasta, chop 1/2 pound of asparagus into 1-inch pieces. In a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the asparagus, 1 cup fresh peas, 1 chopped shallot and 2 cloves minced garlic. Cook until veggies are tender. Add 1/2 cup store-bought pesto sauce and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup Greek yogurt. Toss in drained pasta and top with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Root veggies

Other than all varieties of potatoes and yams and carrots, when it comes to my list of favorite vegetables, those of the root family have never been high on my list. Because I am always looking to expand my culinary palate, I thought it was time to look into some recipes ideas using root veggies like radishes, turnips, parsnips and beets. Roasting these vitamin-rich veggies is a great way to enjoy their delicious flavor, especially when enhanced with garden-fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and dill.

Try these Marmalade Glazed Carrots with Candied Pecans. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons orange marmalade. Add in 2 pounds of trimmed, rainbow baby carrots, 3/4 cup orange juice and 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 13-15 minutes. Add in 2 tablespoons butter, increase heat and reduce liquid for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to platter and top with 1/3 cup chopped candied pecans.

Berry goodness

Fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are even more delicious when picked off your backyard vines and bushes. And while you could simply dust those berries in some sugar and top with whipped cream for a simple, delicious dessert, there are some amazing ways you can add fresh berries to your savory entrees for an extra spring burst of flavor. For instance, you can dress up a beautiful salmon with a mixed berry salsa, not to mention the punch of flavor berries add to a spinach salad.

This Pork Loin with Blueberry Sauce sounds divine. Season a 1 pound pork tenderloin with thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, Remove from oven and tent, letting it rest for 10 minutes. For the sauce, combine 6 ounces of fresh blueberries, 2 cloves of minced garlic and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Mash blueberries to release the juices and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve sauce over sliced pork medallions.

— Jennifer Durrant

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