Arts & CultureFood

5 recipes to try with spring fruits and veggies that are back in season



As we push away winter blues, we welcome spring and summer greens — and every other vibrant color for that matter.

In the food world, many of our favorites are finally making their encore appearance back into our local markets, but how can we keep track of what’s actually about to be at the height of its prime, for taste’s sake? Use this guide and even a few recipes to step up your game in the kitchen this spring.

According to the website Fruits & Veggies More Matters, spring is stocked with delicious fruits and vegetables. Here are a few you can look out for next time you’re picking up produce at your local market: Strawberries, apricots, cherries, fennel, honeydew melon, lychee, mango, oranges, purple or white asparagus, pineapple, rhubarb, Swiss chard, Vidalia onions and various types of greens as opposed to the usual kale.

You may be familiar with Eugene’s famous Saturday Market, but did you know Lane County holds a Farmers Market every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables? It’s versatile website is full of recipes and a few favorites to try this spring which include:

1. Grilled Halibut with Peach and Pepper Salsa

Salsa:

  • 1, 1/3 cups coarsely chopped peeled yellow peaches (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh arugula
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 4 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Fish:

  • 4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 (6 oz.) skinless halibut fillets
  • 3/8 tsp salt
  • 3/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

To prepare salsa, combine first nine ingredients; toss gently. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.  Prepare grill to medium-high heat. To prepare fish, combine lemon juice, oil, paprika and garlic in a large, shallow glass baking dish, stirring with a whisk. Add fish to juice mixture; turn to coat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and black pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill three minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve fish with salsa.

2. Beef and Vegetable Kebabs

  • 1 lb beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • Either 3 large mushrooms cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 3/4-inch rounds
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • vegetable oil, for grill
  • coarse salt and ground pepper

In a medium bowl, combine beef, 1/4 cup olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and rosemary; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for four hours (or up to overnight). Let beef sit at room temperature, 30 minutes. Heat a grill or grill pan over high. In a medium bowl, combine mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomatoes and 2 tbsp olive oil; toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Season beef with salt and pepper. Alternately thread beef, mushrooms, onions, zucchini and tomatoes onto eight 8-inch skewers. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. Grill kebabs, turning occasionally, until beef is medium-rare and vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes.

3. Caprese Salad Bites

  • 60 red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb fresh feta or chevre cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh chopped basil

With a serrated knife, cut off the top of each tomato. Remove seeds with a melon baller and cut a thin slice off the bottom of each. Place upside down on paper towels to drain. Stand upright. Place a small cube of cheese in each tomato. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Garnish with basil.

4. Grilled Peaches over Arugula with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3 peaches, pitted and each cut into 6 wedges
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 10 cups trimmed arugula (about 10 ounces)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese

Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer until vinegar is reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in honey. Cool to room temperature. Prepare grill to high heat. Place peach wedges on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 30 seconds on each side or until grill marks appear but peaches are still firm. Remove from grill; set aside. Combine oil, pepper and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add arugula, tossing gently to coat. Arrange arugula mixture on a platter. Top with peach wedges and prosciutto. Drizzle with balsamic syrup; sprinkle with cheese.

And for dessert:

5. Blueberry Peach Cobbler

  • 5 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 3/8 tsp salt, divided
  • 75 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tsp turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 375°. Place peaches in a large bowl. Drizzle with juice; toss. Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 tbsp flour to peach mixture; toss to combine. Arrange peach mixture evenly in a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Weigh or lightly spoon 6.75 ounces flour (about 1 1/2 cups) into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 6.75 ounces flour, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, and baking powder in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and butter in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in blueberries. Spread batter evenly over peach mixture; sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until topping is golden and filling is bubbly.


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Audrey Bittner

Audrey Bittner

Audrey writes for the Film/TV section of the Arts + Culture desk. You may have seen her writing previously published on Quack'd. On the side, she is the current editor in chief for The Odyssey- University of Oregon. She also thinks that there is no wrong time for breakfast burritos.