How to Prep Spring Vegetables

May 29, 2014

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Do your spring vegetables justice -- here's how to prep, cook, and eat them like a champ.

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Spring vegetables are a lot like the cooks who love them. Some are bold and brash -- the first ones snapped up at the farmers market and the last ones to leave us in the fall. Others, however, need a little coaxing. They might be timid, fussy, or downright prickly -- but if you get to know them, they’ll reward you all season long. So this week, because no two vegetables are alike, we rounded up the essential techniques for giving each one its due. Here’s how to prep, cook, and savor your entire spring harvest -- including the vegetables closest to your heart. 

• First things first: de-grit those leggy asparagus stalks -- and then slice, chop, or shave them

• After binging on asparagus, sharpen your knife skills and ready your radishes.

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Get handsy with your corn, pop some kernels in the oven, and snack as you go.

• While you’re at it, throw those beets in the oven, too. 

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Slice up your spring onions -- and as you weep…

• ....take out your artichokes. Trim them, soak them, and get to the heart of the matter.

• Spend some time with the seasonal underdogs -- like nettles, cardoons, and fiddlehead ferns

• Once your vegetables are ready for the eating, give them a quick blanch


• …or toss them in a perfectly emulsified dressing

• Juice your vegetables -- no juicer needed -- and discover their sweeter side. 


• Don't throw out the leftovers! Instead, give your stalks and trimmings new life.  

• When all’s said and done, turn your scraps into Parmesan broth and stock up until next spring. 

What's in your farmers market haul? Let us know in the comments!

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