The Recipes You Should Be Cooking This March
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.
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 recipes we’re making on repeat this March.
Featured Recipe: Baked Feta Pasta
You’re not imagining it; everyone’s making this dish right now. Here’s our take.
Recipe: Baked Feta Pasta
And here are a few more recipes that just feel right for moving into spring.
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.
Spinach Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette
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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Easy Fish Recipes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.