It’s easy to go overboard with purchases at the farmers market the first couple of weeks of the spring. You come home with a lot of beautiful, fresh, local strawberries, rhubarb, spinach, herbs, and asparagus with every intention of creating culinary masterpieces. We have plenty of recipes in our MNN archives so your good intentions don't go to waste.

  1. Strawberry Rhubarb Bars – These bars are much healthier than a packaged cereal bar, but they're just as kid pleasing as the processed kind.
  2. Cavatelli with Glazed Vegetables – This recipe uses both asparagus and radishes as seasonal additions to a simple pasta dish. Scroll down the page a little. It’s the second recipe on the page.
  3. Strawberry Spinach Salad – A classic combination with a little Feta added to the mix. 
  4. Cream of Dandelion Soup – Yes, you can forage for the dandelion greens in your yard, but many farmers markets also sell them for those who don’t want to forage or those who don’t have a yard.
  5. Whipped Ricotta with Chives and Garlic Toast – Chives are plentiful in the spring and should be easily available at the farmers market. If you have a fresh cheese stand at your market that sells farm-made ricotta, I highly suggest you use it in this appetizer.
  6. Spinach and Smoked Gouda Quiche – Buy the fresh spinach at the Saturday farmers market for this delicious Sunday brunch dish.
  7. Balsamic Strawberries – This easy, versatile recipe can be eaten as-is, used as a salad dressing, or poured over vanilla ice cream.
  8. Grilled Asparagus with Spring Onions – You may know spring onions as scallions. They’re the same thing. Whatever you call them, when grilled with asparagus, you get a winning combination.
  9. Asparagus Guacamole – It doesn’t taste exactly like guacamole, but it’s good and you can use it just like guacamole.
  10. Braised Ramps and Asparagus – Ramps are an “it” vegetable right now so you may have wrestle them out of the hands of someone else at the market, but if you can get them, braise them with some asparagus as a side dish.
  11. Strawberry Basil Sangria – Make this fresh sangria using a crisp Chardonnay.
What creations have you been making with your early season farmers market finds?

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.