Spring at the Market has a certain reborn feel to it that only happens once a year for a short time. Capture its essence while you can!

Grab asparagus in season along with mushrooms, delicate spring greens, and farm fresh eggs when they are at their spring peak. Then make these two delicious recipes and celebrate the season.

Pasta with Asparagus and Mushrooms

adapted from a recipe by Justin Chapple for Food & Wine

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. pasta of your choice
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. mixed mushrooms, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Black pepper
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Shaved parmesan, for serving OR
  • Fresh mozzarella torn by hand

Directions:

  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Toss pasta with 1 teaspoon oil in a bowl to prevent sticking. Wipe out saucepan with paper towels.
  2. Add 1/4 cup oil to saucepan, and heat over medium-high. Add mushrooms to pan, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add asparagus and crushed red pepper, and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine, and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the pan, until liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add pasta, heavy cream, lemon juice, and reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid to pan. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, tossing, until pasta is lightly coated, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and top with cheese. Transfer to 6 shallow bowls, and serve immediately.

Spring Lettuce Salad with Roasted Asparagus

adapted from a recipe by Amber Huffman for Food & Wine

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. medium asparagus
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 12 oz. mixed spring lettuces
  • ¼ lb. sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 farm fresh eggs hard cooked & diced (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese for shaving on top OR
  • Fresh mozzarella torn on top

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for about 8 minutes, until just tender and the tips begin to turn brown.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the mustard and the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, toss the lettuces with all but 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Arrange the salad on plates and top with the roasted asparagus and cheese and/or egg. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the asparagus and serve. Makes 6 servings.