Easy Spring Side Dishes

We’ve rounded up Springtime recipes that emphasize the fresh, light flavors of green peas, tender asparagus, baby carrots, and fresh herbs. Serve these with grilled meat or fish, or serve all three sides together for healthful vegetarian or vegan meal.

Easy Spring Side Dishes

Asparagus with Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette
Serves 6

  • 2 lb asparagus, tough ends removed
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Steam or boil asparagus until just tender, but not soft. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain on kitchen towels.
In a sealable jar, combine shallot, garlic, lemon juice & zest, thyme, mustard, and olive oil, then shake vigorously to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Arrange asparagus on a serving platter and drizzle with vinaigrette: serve at room temperature.

Green Pea and Bean Salad
Serves 4

  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or try using chickpeas)
  • 1 cup peas (thawed, if frozen: cooked, if using fresh)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese (optional)

Combine first 8 ingredients in a mixing bowl, adjusting seasonings to your tastes. Fold in crumbled cheese last. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Variations: Try using fresh basil or dill in place of mint.

Carrot Puree
Serves 6-8

  • 12 large carrots, peeled and cut into evenly sized chunks
  • 3 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • ½ to ¾ cup cream or milk (plant-based milk works, too!)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Steam or boil carrots until tender.
Place drained carrots in a blender with butter or oil. Blend, pouring in cream (or milk) as needed to achieve desired consistency. Season to taste.