Spring Appetizer Recipes

After a long winter, we can't help but get excited about spring produce

After a long winter, we can’t help but get excited about the arrival of spring produce. Artichokes, scallions, ramps, and more—as the weather warms up, we are gifted with an array of delicious produce. Start your meals right with these spring appetizer recipes.

With their earthy flavor and meaty texture, artichokes are one of our favorite hearty spring vegetables. They don’t need to be fussed with—simply roasting them with white wine and olive oil until tender yields a rich Roman classic. Artichoke hearts take well to frying, especially when paired with an intense Levantine tahini sauce called taratur. Baby artichokes are tender enough to eat raw. We like to slice them thin and make them into a salad with arugula, mint, and parmesan.

Few vegetables elicit quite as much devotion as ramps. These alliums have a short growing season, but fortunately it’s possible to preserve them. Charred and mixed with rice vinegar, honey, and olive oil, our ramp escabeche from chef Jose Enrique will last a couple of months in the refrigerator. Ramp jam can be canned and will last even longer. Both recipes are so good that you’ll be tempted to eat them up before spring ends.

Even rarer than ramps are green almonds. If you are lucky enough to find them, be sure to grab them up. Simmering them in olive oil, orange juice, and aromatics mitigates their slightly bitter exterior, making them an irresistible cocktail party snack.

For even more appetizer recipes taking advantage of spring produce, check out our full gallery.

Olive-Oil Poached Green Almonds with Dill

Olive Oil-Poached Green Almonds with Dill

Fried Artichoke Hearts with Taratur Sauce

We found this recipe—a flavorful local favorite, in which tender artichoke bottoms are fried and served with an intense, tahini-based sauce—at al-Az, a casual but well-known restaurant in Damascus. Get the recipe for Fried Artichoke Hearts with Taratur Sauce »

Hugh Acheson’s Ramp Jam

Chef Hugh Acheson gave us the recipe for this simple, savory jam, featured in his cookbook The Broad Fork. It’s perfect for serving with shaved pork loin or steak and eggs, or simply spooned on toast. Get the recipe for Hugh Acheson’s Ramp Jam »

Jose Enrique’s Ramp Escabeche

Jose Enrique’s Ramp Escabeche

Parsley and Onion Salad

Fresh red onions add cool spice to this simple parsley salad from Jeremiah Cooks (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2002), by Jeremiah Tower. Served on grilled bread with a touch of mint and a sprinkle of capers, the salad looks as appealing as it tastes. Get the recipe for Parsley and Onion Salad »

Sea Bass Crudo

Lime juice adds zing to this simple crudo. Assemble it right before serving so the juice doesn’t cook the fish. Get the recipe for Sea Bass Crudo »

Crab-Filled Crispy Wrappers

Crab Spring Rolls

Leafy-Green Shrimp Rolls

Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps

Pickled Radishes and Green Onion

Crisp, spicy radishes get a dose of toasty warmth from sesame oil in this quick pickle, brightened with scallions and sesame seeds.

Roasted Artichokes (Carciofi Arrostiti)

Though traditionally cooked in embers, these artichokes are equally as succulent when oven-roasted.

Crab and Asparagus Terrine (Charlotte d’Asperges au Crabe)

Cooked, chopped shrimp or scallops can be substituted for crab in this asparagus-adorned terrine.

Catalan Asparagus Vinaigrette (Espàrrecs amb Vinagreta)

When poured over steamed asparagus, this dressing of olive oil, white wine vinegar, chopped parsley, and crushed tomato transforms a simple vegetable into a sumptuous dish of pure Catalan flavor.

Leek Terrine with Goat Cheese

The striking geometry of this terrine—an elegantly simple pairing of leeks and goat cheese—makes for a visually arresting presentation. We like it served with dark pumpernickel bread and some briny cured salmon at brunch, or as part of a cheese plate with a casual dinner.

Miso Roasted Scallions

Roasting scallions brings out their sweetness—finished with a tangy miso dressing, this surprising, simple dish makes a great appetizer or side.

Raw Artichoke Salad with Parmesan and Mint

Pleasantly bitter baby artichoke hearts, thinly sliced with a mandolin, are wonderful paired with fresh mint and Parmesan cheese.