Asparagus piles appear overnight, baby artichokes seem to show up as if they are trying to outdo the asparagus, and beautiful bunches of baby radishes are edging into the produce real estate market. Mushrooms are hitting the market in great abundance in more varieties than ever.
I love spring because for me, it is one of the easiest produce seasons to show off the bounty without much effort at all. During the next few months I will be using my grill pan and wok nonstop in between making crisp salads and marinating just about everything I can get my hands on.
A grill pan is a must for now. I simply drizzle asparagus, snap peas and assorted mushrooms with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon, kosher salt and ground pepper before throwing them in a grill pan for 3 to 4 minutes for a truly natural flavor combination.
I also put spring vegetable in a wok with minced ginger, garlic and hot chilies, along with some tamari and rice vinegar, for an Asian dinner. I eat the leftovers chilled the next day. Spring salads include a combination of fresh vegetables with some more unusual cheeses and a simple vinaigrette.
—By Chef Steve Petusevsky