Farm to Table: Fresh Food Ideas this Spring

Toast Ingredients

Springtime is near with the weather getting warmer and crops beginning to grow. What produce comes to mind during this season? Rhubarb, spinach, asparagus, garlic, and leeks are a few to name. Bountiful produce in Spring is often referenced with the phrase “farm-to-table”; a lifestyle consisting of producing and eating food from local and seasonal sources. While accessible to some, this lifestyle isn’t accessible to everybody due to income, education, and food deserts across various communities. If certain produce isn’t available to you locally, I encourage taking adventure to different neighborhoods. This article will give suggestions on how you can make the most of this season’s produce no matter where you live. I’ve outlined a day of farm-to-table recipes that are filling, cost-effective, and seasonal for you and your loved ones. 

Garden toast

Who says you can’t have vegetables for breakfast? Start your day off right with a Spring spinach breakfast scramble done two ways on toast. For this recipe, you’ll need a mound of spinach, one tomato, a white onion, cucumber, avocado, two eggs, spreadable cheese, and bread of your choice. For the toast, lightly oil a pan and place the bread on low heat until toasted how you like. In the meantime, wash your spinach and let it rest. For the Garden toast, thinly cut a few slices of cucumber and dice your onion and tomato. Place your finished toast on a plate, add more oil to the pan, a teaspoon of garlic, and a handful of spinach, then lightly sauté for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted. Add two spreadable cheeses into a bowl and season with onion powder, pepper, and your garlic-spinach mixture and mix. Spread the cheese mixture on sourdough bread followed by a thin layer of cucumber. Next, add your onion-tomato mixture and garnish as you’d like. 

Toast meal prep

For the Avocado Spinach Scramble, put butter over low heat, cut open your avocado, score one half, and scoop into a bowl. Season the avocado with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste, mash thoroughly then set aside. In a separate bowl, beat two eggs with salt, pepper, the same onion-tomato mixture used on the last toast, and another handful of spinach. Once the pan is hot, add your egg mixture and scramble until fluffy. Assemble by adding the mashed avocado first, followed by the scrambled eggs on top. As swift as this breakfast is to make, it will just as surely have you hitting the ground running for the morning! Which one would you select? 

Avocado Spinach Scramble

For lunch, this chicken strawberry salad is a bite that’s savory and refreshing. This is an easy salad to make with minimal prep work and can be customized to your liking depending on what’s growing and on sale near you. You’ll need chicken patties, a box of strawberries, a mound of romaine lettuce, and lastly a dressing and topping of your choice. First, place your chicken patties on a baking dish and put them in the oven at the temperature of the brand you’re using. As the chicken warms, wash all your produce to prepare it for chopping. Transfer your lettuce to a cutting board, roughly chop it, then transfer to a salad bowl. Do the same with the strawberries, cutting them into quarter inch thick slices. Take the chicken out of the oven when crispy and repeat. Drizzle with dressing and extra toppings as you’d like. Enjoy! 

This Mediterranean chicken dinner is a simple dish filled with spring staples packed with flavor, giving you all the more reason to celebrate the seasonal turnaround! You’ll need a mound of asparagus, a pack of chicken breast, and a few cups of brown rice. For the rice, start by boiling a pot of water or chicken stock on low heat according to the directions on your rice package. Once boiling, add butter, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, and salt to taste followed by the rice. Cover the pot, lower the flame to a simmer, and let cook until done according to directions. While the rice is cooking, clean your asparagus and boil a pot of water on low heat. Once the water boils, add asparagus, boil for three minutes, then blanch. Drain the asparagus and in the same pot season it with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic. Sauté onions and garlic in a separate oven-proof pan with butter and add asparagus aligned side by side. For the breaded topping, in a separate bowl mix 6 tablespoons of melted butter, 2 cups of breadcrumbs, and more Italian seasoning to taste and sprinkle evenly on top of the asparagus. In another pan, on low heat, season the chicken breast with paprika, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper, and sauté in garlic, onions, and olive oil to taste. Once brown on each side, simmer for ten minutes. Once the chicken and the asparagus are browned and the rice is tender, plate up and enjoy! 

Dinner: Breaded Asparagus with Brown Rice and Mediterranean Chicken

These mini pineapple upside-down cakes from BBC’s Good Food are heaven on earth if you want to have your fruit and eat it too. Enjoy the decadent blend of tropical pineapple and sweet brown sugar that not only takes advantage of pineapple season but leaves it all up to you for an unforgettable dessert experience for one. 

Cake Ingredients

You’ll need 50g butter and soft brown sugar, 6 pineapple rings, and cherries for the cake topping. For the sponge cake, you’ll need 140g of softened butter, caster sugar, self-rising flour, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 6 tablespoons of milk and pineapple flavoring (optional). First, preheat your oven to 350F and lightly butter six ramekins. Heat 50g butter and brown sugar in a pan over low heat until slightly thickened. Divide the mixture evenly between ramekins and place a pineapple and cherry in the middle of each. Next, add 140g of butter and caster sugar into a bowl and mix with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Slowly mix the eggs in and after, fold in the dry ingredients. Lastly, incorporate milk and any last-minute additions you’d like. I added pineapple juice and a dash of pineapple extract until the mixture was smooth and slightly runny. The cakes came out very tender, moist, and were light and springy to the touch – a perfect addition to the spring season! 

When mixture lightly bubbles, transfer to assemble

The day outlined above is just the start of the variety of produce you have at your disposal. Produce is not only on sale at supermarkets but can also be bought at farmer’s markets. Meal prep services are also available to give everyone access to fresh local food. Founder Andrew O’Rourke and Chef Fox Schanzer are partners in Rooted Enterprises, an emerging venture of market-to-meal kits that launched in November 2023. Based in the Down to Earth Farmers market in Park Slope, Andrew and Fox’s mission is to use their kits to improve access to local and organic food throughout New York City. You can find Rooted Enterprises at and on Instagram @rootedenterprises. 

These cakes are so flavorful and small enough, you’ll want to share (or not)

When farmers have an excess yield, Rooted Enterprises takes it off of their hands to support farmers and feed people. Fox and Andrew always try to pick ingredients that are “interesting, people [can learn] what to do with and lend to a nutritionally balanced meal”. Most importantly, the kits are designed so that you’re easily able to use all parts of the produce given for a specific dish including this Potato Leek Soup, shown below. Look out for weekly additions and more crowd favorites on their social media page!

Potato Leek Soup

With all these options, it’s no wonder farm-to-table is making its way across the food world, becoming recognized as a lifestyle that’s not only better for your health but also for farmers, fellow locals, and the environment.

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