This article originally appeared at The Daily Meal
By Yasmin Fahr, Editor at The Daily Meal
Whether you live in a city with seasons or a sunny place year round, nothing quite marks the coming of spring like the bountiful produce at the farmers market. Especially for those on the East Coast, the bright green spears of asparagus, stalks of rhubarb, and curled fiddleheads are much welcomed after months of root vegetables.
Plus, if you're looking to eat better and make more creative salads, then this is definitely the time to do it. With so many options to choose from, you can easily pull together tasty and filling salads with just a few fresh ingredients. If you're looking to keep the salads vegetarian, adding ingredients like pine nuts or beans is an easy way to bulk up on protein. But these dishes also work well alongside grilled meats or fish for your next barbecue.
Check out some of our ideas below, and please let us know if you have any go-to spring favorites of your own!
Photo credit: Arthur Bovino
Pea Shoots, Radish and Kumquat Salad
Finally, something to do with those kumquats I bought... Though citrus season has officially passed, pea shoots and radishes are found in plethora in the spring. Raw radishes are crispy and peppery, but if you sauté them lightly, their sweetness comes out, making a nice counterpoint to the earthy pea shoots and tart kumquat slices. If you don't have kumquats on hand, use thin slices of orange and lemon zest instead. - Valaer Murray
Shaved Asparagus Arugula, and Parmesan
I can't deny it, my mandolin still scares me a little. But, I swallow my fear and use it for this delicious spring salad. Thinly shaved raw asparagus adds crunch to this lemony and nutty salad. It's great alongside grilled meats or fish, but also works as a meal on its own. - Yasmin Fahr
Pesto, Peas and Pine Nuts Pasta Salad
I can't remember when I first discovered the combination of fresh peas, lots of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and toasted pine nuts. But I definitely have to credit my youngest sister with my obsession. She would mix the three ingredients together, often when leftover from dinner preparations, and eating them out of a big bowl with a spoon. The sweet peas with the creamy pine nuts, paired with the salty feathers of grated cheese? Heavenly. - Allison Beck
Spring Pea Salad with Mint and Lemon
This recipe is everything a spring salad should be: easy, fresh, and light. The raw peas are naturally sweet and have a little bite, which gives the salad a nice texture. It's a great side dish to pair with grilled pork tenderloin or hamsteak. - Maryse Chevriere
Israeli Couscous Salad with Olives and Ricotta Salata
This refreshing salad pairs beautifully alongside grilled meats, fish, and vegetables. Make sure to sauté the couscous for a few minutes before boiling to bring out its rich, toasted flavor. This salad can be served warm, chilled, or at room temperature, which makes it a great option when entertaining. - Molly Aronica
Spring Sprout Slaw
The only drawback to this salad is that you can't make it year-round. Granted, some markets carry a variety of sprouts through the winter months, but there's something about fresh, grassy-tasting spring shoots that perfectly complement light, warm weather dishes. Even the humblest burgers and dogs can be dressed up with this slaw, plus it adds color and crunch that... well, you just can't get from sauerkraut. - Jess Kapadia
Grilled Shrimp and Fiddlehead Spring Salad
You want spring? You want hope? You want optimism? You want a salad? I do. Ramps, fiddleheads, asparagus — gimme spring. Gimme warm weather. Gimme grilling. Gimme spring now and give it to me all at once. No? Too bad, I'm taking it. That's what this salad does, wrenches spring and warm-weather cooking from winter's cold, dead hands. - Arthur Bovino
Tell us, what are your some of your favorite go-to springtime salads? Share them with us below!