Spring has not quite sprung here in New England yet. In fact at this moment, I would be extremely happy if the snow just melted! But with 60 degree days in sight, I'm starting to dream about my spring garden and all of the ways I'll be using cold weather veggies this spring. Some of the first plants to make an appearance in my garden are the bright green pops of radish greens and little sprouts of arugula. I love watching them grow during the weeks when everything around us starts to magically say "spring has sprung." These delicious veggies don't need too much sprucing up to be delicious, but I love using them to add some color to picnic settings, and these veggies aren't just for salad. Here's a few ways I suggest serving them this season.
Make an arugula pesto
In a food processor, combine 2 cups of arugula, 1/4 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add to pastas or use it as a garnish for chicken, hummus or shrimp.
Make an open-faced sandwich
Bread + a cream cheese + sliced radishes + arugula. Need I say more?
Gourmet up your grilled cheese
Try adding arugula to a grilled cheese sandwich. I also love making a last-minute panini for lunch or dinner. You just need bread + prosciutto + arugula + cheese + basil. If you don't have a panini press (I don't) try using a George Foreman or a bacon press on a frying pan.
Don't throw out the radish greens!
Lightly saute them or add them as a garnish to soup.
Add some green to your pizza
I know the pizza salad trend is nothing new, but I love adding arugula to pizza. It's not the healthiest option, but I think it's a delicious way to spruce up frozen cheese pizza.
Create a delicious appetizer
Slice up radishes so that they can be used like a cracker. They pair perfectly with feta cheese dip: whip feta and cream cheese together in a small bowl, drizzle olive oil over the top, and serve with radishes and crackers/other veggies.
Add arugula or radish greens to a grain salad
Try our recipe for Arugula Tomato Pearl Couscous salad. It's on of my favorite picnic salads and is a highlight from last year's blog archives.
Try it in a taco
Adding radishes or arugula as garnishes to your favorite taco (whether fish, pork, chicken or avocado) gives it a nice springtime crunch.
Pickle radishes to use as a garnish
Has anyone done this yet with success? This is something new that I want to try this year, and I'd love to interview you for the blog.
When in doubt, you can always make a salad! What are your favorite ways to enjoy radishes and/or arugula this spring? Share them with us @picnicperfectco.
On April 21, I'll also be sampling several of these recipes at Tower Hill Botanical Garden's Daffodil Day Celebration. Come visit me by the blooms in the daffodil field. I'll be there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fingers crossed that it will be a lovely day for a picnic!