Five dishes that embody the spirit of spring and sunshine.
Credit: Photo: Jamie Vespa

April, that month where the sun finally comes out and spring produce begins popping up, is perfect for branching out with recipes. Highlighting seasonal fruits and veggies, holiday favorites, and simple dinners, this round-up is what you should be eating this month.

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Chicken-and-Vegetable Hand Pies

We’ve taken everything there is to love about chicken potpies and made them into portable hand pies. Our version hits all the flaky, creamy notes of the classic but with an extra dose of veggies and hearty addition of whole grains. Seasonal favorites like haricot verts, carrots, and parsley all shine in this family-friendly dish.

Credit: Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

Honey-Baked Pork Roast

Instead of the traditional cured ham that’s full of sodium and nitrates, this Easter bake the flavors of honey-baked ham into a pork picnic roast. The meat slowly roasts so that the sugar-honey spice rub bakes into a shellac-like crust. And the roast slices like ham, with firm but juicy slices that go perfectly with a simple honey-mustard sauce.

Credit: Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

Spinach Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

Quickly blanch spinach and basil to preserve the pesto's color without diluting flavor, then bump up the green with fresh parsley. A little chopped tomato adds moisture and mild acidity while the simple shrimp and asparagus pasta toss lets the pesto shine. Mix and matching is easy here, and you could also use chicken breast, broccoli florets, or haricots verts.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani

Strawberry Tart with Quinoa-Almond Crust

This gluten-free crust was originally used for a savory dish, but here we go a sweet route. The creamy almond base is perfect for highlighting the in-season strawberry topping. This tart holds well overnight, so make it the day before, and serve chilled right from the refrigerator.

Credit: Photo: Jamie Vespa

Spring Soba Salad

The beauty of seasonal produce comes to life in this bright spring salad. A simple trip to your farmers market should cover all the basics, but feel free to add or remove any ingredients you prefer. Radishes are a great use-it-all veggie, making them a highly economical buy. Instead of chopping off the greens and trashing them, rinse them clean and toss them in salads and stir-fries. They lend a peppery taste that adds savory depth to an array of spring dishes