When shopping at supermarkets, you can pretty much find every ingredient you want any time of the year. However, produce that's out of season is typically sourced from far away places with warmer weather. While that's not inherently a bad thing, there's a case to be made for in-season, locally sourced produce.
Local, seasonal produce is usually cheaper since it's more abundant and didn't have to travel far. It's also more flavorful, because food transported from other countries is often picked before it's ripe to avoid spoilage in transit.
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Here are the vegetables that'll be in season this spring, from old favorites to under-the-radar picks:
Asparagus is available year round at most supermarkets, but your best bet for finding fresh, local bunches is in the spring. They grow directly out of the ground and are ready for harvest as early as February.
Classic green asparagus is the most common variety. But if you're lucky, you may stumble across white asparagus at the store. They both come from the same exact plant, only white asparagus is grown without exposure to the sun.
Want asparagus recipe inspo? Check out our favorite dishes below:
One of the most quintessential spring vegetables is the humble pea. Whether you're in the mood for snow, sugar snap, or the convenient frozen bag, peas add a delicate sweetness and pop of green to almost any dish.
Marinated and canned artichokes are staples in the Delish kitchen (have you tried our buffalo artichoke hearts yet?). They're easy and convenient to use all year, but spring is the prime time to get your hands on fresh artichokes.
The plant, which is technically a type of thistle, consists of the tender heart protected by thick, sturdy leaves and lots of prickly, fuzzy hairs that can scratch and tickle your throat (it's called the choke, naturally).
It takes time and some finesse to remove the exterior until you're left with the heart, but it's well worth the effort. Artichoke hearts are delicious grilled, fried, roasted, you name it! Check out some of our favorite recipes here:
Arugula is the all-star of salad greens. It's bright, peppery, and has the ideal balance of tenderness and crunch. It's pretty easy to find the green year round, but spring is the best season if you want to maximize its flavor and shop locally.
We like keeping it simple and eating arugula with just olive oil and lemon, but it's also delicious mixed in to any salad that needs an extra punch of green. Here are some of our favorite arugula recipes:
Carrots are nearly always associated with spring—and not just because the Easter bunny likes to eat them. These crisp, sweet root vegetables come in multiple gorgeous hues , like white, yellow, orange, and even purple. They grow best in cool weather, which means these veggies are in season in both the spring and the fall.
Try enjoying carrots raw in a salad or as a vehicle for ranch (just don't use baby carrots, please). They're also part of the foundation for any hearty soup or sauce. And whatever you do, don't throw the tops away: they can be used as the base for a zero-waste pesto.
Fava beans are beloved by chefs who wait for them to come in season every spring. It's one of the oldest cultivated plants on Earth, with ancient Mediterranean civilizations eating them as early as 6000 BCE!
Also known as broad beans, these legumes come in a thick green pod. To properly prepare fava beans, you need to remove them from the pod then peel the thick husk off of each individual bean. It's a painstaking process—especially if you're working with a large quantity—but well worth the effort.
You can use them just like you would peas for an extra source of protein and heft.
The most anticipated vegetable of the season is only available for a short time, and onion enthusiasts on the East Coast swarm their local farmers market to get their hands on them. A wild onion, ramps are foraged for only a few weeks between April and June.
They look just like a green onion, but these fragrant veggies taste like a cross between onion and garlic. If you can get your hands on a bunch, try grilling them, grinding them up into a pesto, or simply slice them and use them raw as you would with regular green onions.
Spring is the best time to enjoy almost any vegetable in the onion family, and leeks are no exception. These hardy vegetables are tender and white at the bottom and transition into the thick, green leaves at the top. They have a mild flavor that's more delicate than a standard onion.
You can swap out onions for leeks in almost any recipe. They're delicious as the base for a potato leek soup, roasted or grilled, or even fried to make a crispy, onion-y topping! But whatever you do, make sure you thoroughly wash your leeks. There's typically sand and sediment between each layer, so they require more scrubbing than your average vegetable.
Whether you use them as a topping for street tacos or simply enjoy them with butter and salt, radishes are a staple spring vegetable. These crisp, peppery root vegetables are great additions to any salad when you want to add variety in texture and color.
There are the standard red radishes you can find at the supermarket, but many other varieties deserve your attention. Daikon radishes make for a delicious pickle or base for kimchi, French breakfast radishes have an adorable oval shape that's perfect for snacking, and have you seen the inside of a watermelon radish?! Check out our favorite radish recipes below:
You may associate rhubarb with strawberries (and desserts), but these long, pink stalks are actually considered a vegetable. Raw rhubarb has a distinct, almost overwhelming tartness, but when cooked, usually with plenty of sugar, its sourness mellows out.
Cooked rhubarb tastes almost like a cross between a green apple and celery—which sounds weird, but hear us out. It tastes delicious as the base for cakes, tarts, pies, and preserves. Still don't believe us? Give the recipes below a spin and see for yourself.
What are your favorite ways to use spring vegetables? Let us know in the comments.
Gabby Romero is Delish’s editorial assistant, where she writes stories about the latest TikTok trends, develops recipes, and answers any and all of your cooking-related questions. She loves eating spicy food, collecting cookbooks, and adding a mountain of Parmesan to any dish she can.