Erin Kunkel

Make the most of springtime produce like radishes and snow peas with these simple vegetarian, fish, and salad recipes you’ll want to cook all month long

Maya Wong  – February 26, 2020 | Updated March 11, 2020

This month is when it starts to actually—finally!—feel like spring. Magnolias and cherry blossoms are now in full force, the sun sets later in the night, and it just feels right to eat something refreshingly crunchy, green, and full of spring produce for dinner. Radishes, cabbage, asparagus, and snow peas make up the bulk of your farmers’ market hauls now, and citrus is still holding on for one last month of grapefruit, Meyer lemon, and orange recipes. From fresh salads and peak-season produce to easy fish recipes and vegetarian dinners, these are the 21 recipes we’re making on repeat this March.

Spring Salads

Photo: Aubrie Pick; Styling: Fanny Pan; Props: Kelly All

Italian Carrot Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette and Homemade Croutons

Deli antipasto meets healthy vegetables in this colorful creation by Michael Fiorelli, executive chef and partner of Love & Salt in Manhattan Beach, California. It tastes even better made a day ahead and is ideal for any al fresco occasion.

Recipe: Italian Carrot Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette and Homemade Croutons

Spinach Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette

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Everyone should know how to make a basic tahini vinaigrette. The salad’s flavors tilt toward the Middle East, with a nutty, slightly spicy dressing and pita chips instead of croutons. Prep the components in advance so the salad can be thrown together at the last minute, as it wilts quickly.

Recipe: Spinach Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette

Tomato Salad with Chile and Lime

This salad reminds us of fresh salsa, but with much bigger tomato chunks and a super simple sauce made from olive oil, lime juice, dry mustard, and salt. Serve with slow-cooker carnitas or scrambled eggs—this is quite the versatile salad.

Recipe: Tomato Salad with Chile and Lime

Tomato and Avocado Salad with Soy Vinaigrette

Adding soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds to salad dressing gives an umami depth to simple vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes. This recipe is from Isabel Cruz, chef and owner of Isabel Pearl, in Portland, and Coffee Cup Café and Isabel’s Cantina, both in the San Diego area.

Recipe: Tomato and Avocado Salad with Soy Vinaigrette

Pear and Asian Greens Salad

Contrast the feathery textures of baby Asian greens with the crunch of quick-pickled onion, Asian pear, and sesame seeds. This salad is especially good made with tender greens like baby red or green mustard, radish leaves, red or green mizuna, and/or tops of edible chrysanthemum, but feel free to experiment.

Recipe: Pear and Asian Greens Salad

Seasonal Produce

Annabelle Breakey

Prosciutto and Asparagus Pasta

This indulgent and delicious pasta recipe uses the best of spring asparagus. If you’d prefer a lighter version, you could use milk thickened with a little flour in place of the cream. Just don’t skip out on the prosciutto.

Recipe: Prosciutto and Asparagus Pasta

Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Chile, and Honey

“Raw radishes and fresh butter are a classic pairing, but here we cook the two together until toasty and nutty,” says chef Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene’s in Portland. “A splash of vinegar, a pinch of chile, and a drizzle of honey create a delicious tension that makes this dish unexpectedly satisfying.”

Recipe: Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Chile, and Honey

Whole Orange Cake

Whole Orange Cake is one of our all-time favorite Sunset baking recipes. Supremely moist, bright, and dense at the same time, this not-too-sweet cake is loaded with orange flavor thanks to orange peel, pith, pulp, and juice.

Recipe: Whole Orange Cake

Cabbage, Cashew, and Fennel Salad

This riff on a Vietnamese cabbage salad comes from cookbook author and cooking teacher Andrea Nguyen of Santa Cruz, who makes this salad with her siblings whenever they have a Vietnamese feast at her parents’ house.

Recipe: Cabbage, Cashew, and Fennel Salad

Chicken with Preserved Meyer Lemons and Olives

Savor the last of citrus season with this Meyer lemon-focused chicken dish. It’s worth it to make your own preserved lemons, but if you don’t have the time, we love these INNA salt-preserved Meyer lemons, which add a salty-tangy complexity to this Moroccan braised dish.

Recipe: Chicken with Preserved Meyer Lemons and Olives

Fava Green, Grapefruit, and Flower Salad

Since the fava greens in this tasty salad are eaten raw, be sure they’re very tender. As a tip, serve the greens raw if you want a grassier flavor, or saute them to bring out their nuttiness. It’s delicious either way.

Recipe: Fava Green, Grapefruit, and Flower Salad

Snow Pea Salad with Sesame Dressing

March is snow pea season, which only gives us another excuse to make this universally pleasing salad with sesame dressing and eat it as a side dish to rice bowls, salmon, or roast chicken. 

Recipe: Snow Pea Salad with Sesame Dressing

Easy Fish Recipes

Erin Kunkel

Salmon and Grains Salad with Pistachio Salsa Verde

This recipe hails from Kris Tominaga of Manuela in Los Angeles. Wild rice and fried, crunchy black quinoa form a backdrop for colorful greens and salmon. We’re calling it now—this is your new favorite spring dinner.

Recipe: Salmon and Grains Salad with Pistachio Salsa Verde

Greek-Style Halibut

All the flavors of the Greek Isles (fennel, tomatoes, garlic, chickpeas) are a great complement to the subtle flavor of halibut. Serve with a nice red wine and activate peak relaxation mode.

Recipe: Greek-Style Halibut

Coconut Ginger Curry with Vegetables and Halibut

A creamy base of coconut milk combined with a hearty mix of potatoes, carrots, peas, spinach, and halibut make this curry something to make, heat, and serve on repeat this month.

Recipe: Coconut Ginger Curry with Vegetables and Halibut

Salmon with Roasted Grapes and Arugula Salad

Another greens plus protein combination, this salmon salad gets its flavor from thyme and arugula and its sweetness from grapes. Nearly all the cooking is done on a single baking sheet.

Recipe: Salmon with Roasted Grapes and Arugula Salad

Vegetarian Dinners

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Karen Shinto

Bok Choy and Mushroom Stir Fry

Mild-flavored, juicy bok choy gets mixed with earthy mushrooms for an easy stir-fry to make throughout the week. Thoroughly drying the bok choy before cooking ensures that you don’t end up with a watery sauce.

Recipe: Bok Choy and Mushroom Stir Fry

Japanese-Style One-Pot Supper

Swap out meat-based broth for vegetable broth and chicken for mushrooms and tofu, and this soothing Japanese soup is completely vegetarian. Ginger and green onions make this dish wildly aromatic, and dried bean-thread noodles keep you full.

Recipe: Japanese-Style One-Pot Supper

Parsley Mint Pistachio Pesto

Loads of bright, robust herbs make this version of pesto a standout. It will be hard to imagine how you went without mint in your pesto for so long.

Recipe: Parsley Mint Pistachio Pesto

Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Fried Capers

Add Mediterranean flair to Brussels sprouts with capers, garlic, anchovy, and red chile flakes. If you’re not an anchovy fan, just leave them out. The dish will still have plenty of flavor.

Recipe: Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Fried Capers

Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

We don’t know which part we like the most, the alternatingly crusty and custardy bread, the tender chunks of roasted vegetables, or the melted, tangy cheese.

Recipe: Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

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