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April’s Finest: Five Peak Produce You Should Indulge In NOW!


April’s Finest: Five Peak Produce You Should Indulge In NOW!

Cristina Soriano

Here are five in-season produce that you should be serving until you start to resemble them! No, they are not all from your local farmer’s market, but I acknowledge that we live in a global marketplace (how do you think I satiate my mango cravings?!) So, here are the very best of this season –that you can find in the aisles at your local grocer!

Rejoice! It’s peak mango season so stock your fridge with these babies! The yellow mangos, rather than the green and red ones, are at their peak, so if you see them at your store, gran and go! Warning: they may say “Manila Mangos” because yes, my archipelago produces the very best in the world, but they are (sadly) most likely from either Mexico or Peru. BUT they are delicious nonetheless.

Springtime is peak asparagus season and in April, they are especially flavorful and tender. Because they have not been expose to too much heart, the spears are much more delicate, which means you don’t need to snip off too much of the fibrous ends. Get ready to whip up lots of asparagus treats; think: cold asparagus soup drizzled with truffle oil, asparagus tar made with butter puff pastry or prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Can you hear my tummy rumbling?

Although summer is technically peak season for berries (when you’re talking about locally grown fruit), April is the height of the Mexican imported variety. Let’s be honest: we all buy imported produce, so here’s a little note to tell you to pick up those blackberries. The Mexican berries that are prolific in April are especially sweet and juicy, so make a cheesecake and top with lots of berries - the blackberries will be a real hit! 

Just walk through the Union Square greenmarket and you’ll notice that artichokes are everything. Don’t be intimidated by the thorny leaves and variety of color; the purple artichokes are even more delicious than the green! Simply steam and serve with a vinaigrette or homemade hollandaise, or slice them in half, drizzle with lots of lemon, oil and garlic and pop on the grill. Promise you’ll never be intimidated again!

Delicate and oh so delicious, pea shoots are in season and they are entirely worth visit the farmer’s market for. Potent in pea-flavor, these shoots are delicious additions to salads or as a garnish on spring meals. I make a shitake mushroom and sesame marinated salmon en papillotte, topped with fresh spring pea shoots – YUM!

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