Pictured: Shaved Asparagus Salad recipe from CHOW
Every time March rolls around, I remember what it’s like to eat like a real human being once again. During the colder months, it’s easy to hunker down with heavy stews and bakes and think that hibernation fare is the best thing ever. But then spring rears its head and I am reminded to stop making like a troglodyte burrowed up in a cave. Fresh greens! Sweet legumes! Radishes, ramps, and artichokes! I didn’t even know how much I missed thee. If your local farmers' market is rolling back into gear, there’s no better way to take advantage of its spring bounty than with a crunchy, flavor-forward salad. Here are nine recipes that will have you casting aside your woolly sweaters and mittens to welcome the season with open arms.
1. Asparagus with Sweet Onions, Garbanzo Beans, and Mint
If any ingredients scream spring, it’s snappy asparagus and cool mint. Bring this salad along to your first picnic of the season. Get our Asparagus with Sweet Onions, Garbanzo Beans, and Mint recipe.
2. Shaved Celery, Celery Root, and Radish Salad
It’s crunch time! This one is for the fans of all things snappy and crisp, featuring celery and its root alongside radishes and capers in an anchovy vinaigrette. Get our Shaved Celery, Celery Root, and Radish Salad recipe.
3. Patricia Wells's Crunchy Asparagus and Snow Pea Salad
Snow peas add a hint of sweetness to this salad that’s balanced out with tart lemon, creamy Gouda, and salty flecks of pancetta. Get our Crunchy Asparagus and Snow Pea Salad recipe.
4. Fava Bean Salad With Pickled Ramps and Goat Cheese
The return of warmer weather also means the return of ramp pandemonium. Ride the wave with this mélange of spring favorites tossed with prickly pickled ramps. Get the recipe here.
5. Raw Artichoke, Celery, and Parmesan Salad
Now’s the time to seek out fresh artichokes, which have a delicate and pleasant bitterness to them when enjoyed raw. You’ll never want to go back to the vinegary ones from a can or jar after this. Get the recipe here.
6. Cuban Green Salad with Avocados
Although lettuces and greens of all kinds are available year-round, their leaves are really at their tenderest and sweetest in the spring. This simple salad with tomato and avocado will showcase the best of their vegetal flavors. Get our Cuban Green Salad with Avocados recipe.
7. Blood Orange, Fennel, and Avocado Salad with Lemon Citronette
Blood orange season spans the time between winter’s chills and the earliest sunshine of spring. This is a salad to make right now, while the juices are still at their sweetest. Get the recipe here.
8. Rhubarb Salad with Goat Cheese
Rhubarb is great in pie and preserves and all. But to really get a sense of what the tart stalk is all about, try it without the heaps of sugar. In this salad, it gets just a light glaze of honey, playfully contrasting with the flavors and textures of goat cheese and arugula. Get the recipe here.
9. Morel-and-Asparagus Salad with Frisée and Butter Lettuce
Morels are those spongy, sea-creature-shaped mushrooms that pack a deeply meaty and nutty flavor. Wild ones are foraged in the spring. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some, treat them gently and let their natural charms speak from within. This light salad with asparagus should do the trick. Get the recipe here.
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.