Pairing Spring’s Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Posted by Olivia on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Pairing Spring’s Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It’s spring! And that means tiny green shoot and colorful things sprouting up left and right … which also means delicious fruits and vegetables flooding the farmers market before too long!

Spring flavors

Springtime brings us foods that are green (like lettuces), grassy (like artichokes and asparagus), gently sweet (like strawberries), and sometimes bitter (like dandelion greens and nettles). It’s a wonderful time to play around with lighter dishes that cleanse our palates and plates after a season of heavy winter dining.

Crunchy slaws, fresh seafood, barely-cooked vegetables, light cream sauces—these are the things we know and love in spring menus. And we typically see a great deal of citrus this time of year, from those late winter citruses that are still with us, and a few new ones for the season.

Spring olive oil selection

Just as we switch from heavier to lighter foods in spring, we also like to swap out our extra virgin olive oils here at The Olive Press! As you know, there are Delicate, Medium, and Robust categories of our Extra Virgin Olive Oils, and though you can use them all interchangeably year-round, we have some preferences for how they complement seasonal foods.

Delicate and Medium Extra Virgin Olive Oils are ideal for springtime cooking because their flavor profiles complement those of spring vegetables: grassy, herby, a bit bitter, and a bit sweet. Ascolano is a nice balance of fruitiness and pepperiness and is ideal for grilled meats, seafood, and fresh salsas. Arbequina is a versatile choice with a nutty, grassy flavor, and it’s marvelous with light recipes like arugula salad or fresh pesto. And Mission is ultra-buttery, and can be used in place of butter for just about anything: on grilled veggies, in sautéed seafood, or in the crust for a spring shepherd’s pie. Of course, any of our Citrus Olive Oils are also excellent choices for spring dishes—the bold citrus makes spring flavors pop!

Seasonal pproduce selection

The magazine Taste of Home lists a number of spring fruits and vegetables to keep a lookout for in California. Here are just a few from their list that we’re especially excited about seeing at markets!

Greens: arugula, Asian greens, bok choy hard, collards, dandelion, kale, watercress, lettuces, spinach

Citruses: grapefruit, guava, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges, tangerines

Fruits: avocado, cherimoya, kiwi, kumquats, strawberries

Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, endive, fennel, leeks, nettles

And to get you started in the kitchen, a few of our very own spring-inspired recipes!

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