The Veggie-Packed Recipes I Want to Cook This Month

Aliza Abarbanel
|
June 1, 2021
spring vegetables
Photo Credit: Andrew Purcell / New York Times

What do I want to eat? In June, this question becomes increasingly difficult, because the answer is everything. I walk through the grocery store with daydreams of picnics and barbecues filling my head. My indecision really kicks in once I see the bounty of spring vegetables ripe for the eating, especially because I know it won’t be long until sweet corn and summer squash steal my attention. So this month, I’m focusing on cooking recipes that make the most of asparagus, green beans, and tender lettuce and don’t require a lot of time in the kitchen. These are the veggie-focused recipes at the top of my “to cook” list. 

1. Sweet-and-Spicy Grilled Vegetables with Burrata from The New York Times

Here’s a great warm-weather dinner strategy: Throw everything on the grill. Tender grilled vegetables are a worthy addition to grain bowls, salads, pasta salads, and sandwiches (I could go on). But they also stand alone as a main when rounded out with a bit of soft cheese and crusty bread. Here, Melissa Clark whisks up a goes-with-everything spicy-sweet sauce with chopped raisins, cider vinegar, honey, fish sauce, and red pepper flakes to cover a full market’s array of vegetables. I’ll start with the asparagus, scallions, and romaine currently at the market, then sub in bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant as the weather warms up.  

confit beans

Photo Credit: Isa Zapata / Basically

2. Bean Confit with Lemon, Saffron, and All the Alliums from Basically

Onions may be available at the grocery store year round, but alliums do have a season, and it’s right now. Chubby leeks, curly green garlic stalks, and perky spring onions are at their peak in spring, and Asha Loupy’s bean confit showcases the whole crop (although you could happily sub in everyday garlic as well). She tosses canned white beans and all those alliums in lemony saffron oil before putting the whole skillet into the oven to roast into tender submission. A shower of dill fronds and mint leaves adds much-needed brightness, as would any herb catching your eye or wilting in the crisper.

Loupy suggests serving these beans atop chevre-smeared crusty bread or nestling salmon into the skillet for the final 7–10 minutes in the oven to create a more substantial main. It doesn’t get much simpler or tastier than that. 

okonomiyaki

Photo Credit: Hetty McKinnon

3. Carrot and Cabbage Okonomiyaki from ABC Everyday

Pancakes for dinner! Okonomiyaki are savory pan-fried Japanese pancakes with lacy edges and a custardy, just-set interior. They are inherently adaptable—’okonomi’ means ‘how you want it’ and ‘yaki’ means grill. Hetty McKinnon’s recipe adds grated carrot alongside the classic shredded cabbage for a hint of sweetness. I’m already daydreaming about other combinations as the seasons shift. Make this towards the end of the week when your produce is looking a little worse for wear. The batter forgives a multitude of less-than-ideal textures.

marinated veggies

Photo Credit: Joseph de Leo / Epicurious

4. Citrus-Oil Marinated Spring Vegetables from Epicurious

What could be fresher than a spiced citrus oil marinade bathing fava beans, asparagus, edamame, and green beans? If you find out, let me know. I love Rachel Gujar’s approach towards handling spring produce: blanched until bright green and slightly tender, then plunged into ice cold water to cool. The fully marinated vegetables can hang out in the fridge for about a week, meaning they’ll always be at the ready to tuck into sandwiches, round out charcuterie boards, and serve alongside proteins. I’m already planning on making a double batch.

spring potato salad

Photo Credit: Gentl & Hyers

5. Spring Potato Salad with Green Garlic Dressing from LA Times

Picnic season is here, and that means I’m planning on making lots of potato salad. Susan Spungen’s take on the seasonal classic uses baby potatoes—golfball-sized morsels that often appear at the market this time of year. She tosses them in a green garlic dressing bolstered with lemon juice and lots of fresh parsley blankets, tender baby potatoes, scallions, chives, and a tangle of arugula. The fresh, not-too-heavy results are ideal for potlucks, barbecues, or any June weeknight.

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