Spring has sprung! Today marks the first day of the new season, and we’re celebrating by giving our slow cookers a rest and looking to the farmers’ market bounty for inspiration.
Vibrant, fresh and extremely versatile, salads are the ultimate expression of the changing seasons. Make good use of spring ingredients with the salads below, featuring our favorite fruits and vegetables — and even some new ones! — in a delicious, colorful light.
|Wheat Berry Salad with Snow Peas and Carrots
The addition of hearty, slightly nutty wheat berries makes this salad satisfying enough for a light meal. Look for interesting varieties of carrots in different colors, and use a mandoline to slice them paper-thin.
|Pea and Asparagus Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing
This unique salad uses rice paper sheets to create easy-to-serve asparagus bundles. Using a mix of asparagus—in this case green, white and purple—makes for a very pretty bundle.
|Baby Spinach Salad with Roasted Strawberries
This salad strikes a sweet-tart balance of flavor, thanks to tangy red wine vinegar and fresh orange juice. Roasting strawberries with a bit of sugar intensifies their fruitiness and softens their texture, creating a nice counterpoint to the salty cheese and crunchy toasted almonds.
|Pan-Seared Salmon with Pea Shoots and Watercress
In this perfect spring salad, salmon and its pan juices become a topping for a tangle of sprightly greens dressed with a tangy lemon vinaigrette. Look for pea shoots at well-stocked grocery stores, farmers’ markets or Asian markets—or substitute additional watercress.
|Snow Pea and Radish Salad
The sweet-tart honey-vinegar dressing provides a contrast to the spicy radishes and plays along with the sweetness of the snow peas in this springtime salad. Cutting the radishes into thin slivers tempers their peppery bite and spreads it evenly throughout the dish.
|Fava Greens with Chicken, Pecans and Kumquats
Fava greens are the leaves of the fava bean plant, and their mild taste is delicious in salads, contributing a touch of sweetness and acidity. Try this salad in early spring, when kumquats are ripe and sweet.
|Shaved Rhubarb Salad with Almonds and Cheese
Tangy raw rhubarb is a bright, refreshing match to the creamy cheese and earthy nuts in this salad. Use a mandoline to slice the rhubarb thin, and you’ll reduce tedious prep time.
|Beet Salad with Chèvre and Walnuts
Bright, light spring greens make a perfect base for rich roasted beets in this salad. Use a semisoft goat cheese, which crumbles easily and has a mild, slightly tart flavor.
|Farro and Spring Vegetable Salad with Feta
This dish truly showcases springtime vegetables at their freshest. Get a head start by prepping the vegetables and making the dressing the day before.
|Salmon, Red Potato and Asparagus Salad
This is one of the most heart-healthy salads you will ever eat. Perfect for a light supper or a special luncheon, the salad can be prepared quickly just before serving or made a day ahead.
Find more innovative salad recipes in our new cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Salad of the Day.