Springtime Farmers' Market

With the arrival of spring, we crave the light, fresh flavors of the new season. Slender spears of asparagus, buttery fava beans, tender young peas and sweet-tart raspberries are a boon for winter-weary cooks. And there's no better source for peak-of-season produce than the farmers’ market. Besides fruits and vegetables, many markets also offer locally produced breads, cheeses, meats, jams and other specialty foods.

When you're cooking from the farmers’ market, keep preparations simple so the garden-fresh flavors can shine. We've taken this approach with our springtime supper featured here. The recipes require minimal cooking to maintain the delicate flavors and textures of the ingredients. You'll enjoy radishes garnished with a dab of chervil butter; a soup brimming with asparagus, peas and fava beans; and a salad of mixed greens and toasted baguette slices topped with warm goat cheese. We also offer a bounty of ideas for creating frittatas using springtime produce.

To help make your farmers’ market shopping more pleasurable, keep these tips in mind: Bring plenty of small bills plus shopping bags or baskets. Arrive early for the best selection—and to avoid the crowds. Before you buy, stroll through the market to see what's available and to compare prices and quality. Many farmers encourage customers to taste before buying. And be sure to talk with the growers. They're happy to introduce you to new and unusual ingredients and to offer cooking suggestions.