A is for April: 30 Asparagus, Artichoke, and Arugula Recipes

April, for me, means one thing: the A Team is back in town. No, I don’t mean the 80’s show with Mr. T, the true A Team, the powerhouse, the rockstars of the April kitchen: Asparagus, Artichoke and Arugula.

Asparagus, the obligatory steamed side veggie, can chill out in a salad, brighten up a pasta dish, or even add some green to a pastry.

Artichoke, the flavorful wallflower of any appetizer platter, can be fried, roasted, stuffed, dipped, wrapped, and even grilled.

Arugula, the fave salad green of many a great chef, can top a flatbread or hide in a pesto.

Here are 30 recipes with the A Team hard at work for you to enjoy.

Asparagus

A great way to enjoy the crisp freshness of asparagus is in a simple salad. We loved these three salads from My Darling Lemon Thyme, Foodie Crush and Patty’s Food.

A fun interpretation of classic asparagus spears: Turn your obligatory side into something ravishing with only a potato peeler or mandolin slicer. Shaved asparagus elevates any salad into a show-stopper. Here are two we loved from Miss Foodwise and The First Mess.

Forget the meat – let asparagus star in your meal this evening. We loved these two reimagined asparagus entrees from Family Style Food and Shutterbean.

  • Asparagus Risotto Verde

    Asparagus Risotto Verde: The bright-green color of Karen’s risotto comes from her homemade salsa verde, made with the stalks from her asparagus with some parsley or spinach. This, along with a splash of white wine and a brodo, turns her vegetable sideshow into a main event. (Recipe and photo: Family Style Food)

  • Egg and Asparagus Gratin

    Egg & Asparagus Gratin: Everyone, regardless of age, loves to play with their food. Tracy’s cheesy asparagus gratin, served in individualized souffle cups with toast, is perfect for some dipping action. (Recipe and photo: Shutterbean)

Asparagus pastries? Trust us. The lovely bloggers of Adventures in Cooking, Joy the Baker and Haniela’s know what they’re talking about.

  • Asparagus and Squash Pie

    Asparagus and Squash Pie: Eva’s simple vegetable quiche, with a dash of parmesan and a shake of garlic pepper, is a perfect dish to make on Monday and much on until Friday. (Recipe and photo: Adventures in Cooking)

  • Asparagus and Gruyere Tarts

    Asparagus and Gruyere Tarts: Asparagus and gruyere: an obvious pairing, considering the aged nuttiness of gruyere and the woodiness of asparagus. Joy’s asparagus tart is drizzled in balsamic reduction to add a layer of sweetness to this bite-sized savory treats.(Recipe and photo: Joy the Baker

  • Cauliflower Asparagus Semolina Cakes

    Cauliflower Asparagus Semolina Cakes: Haniela pairs cauliflower with asparagus in her tiny semolina cakes, for a beautiful flavor and textural contrast. Semolina, basically wheat, make these cakes into dense, galicky additions to any spring brunch spread. (Recipe and photo: Haniela’s)

Artichoke

Nothing says “laid back spring party” like artichoke appetizers. Forget packaged artichoke dip – make your own or try something new! We liked the recipes from White on Rice Couple, Manger, The Spinning Plate and Spoon Fork Bacon.

  • Grilled Artichokes Stems with Garlic Tarragon Butter

    Grilled Artichokes Stems with Garlic Tarragon Butter: Todd and Diane’s grilled artichokes with garlic-tarragon butter could spice up any cook-out alone, but the idea to grill the stems as well (“an edible extension of the heart”) make them the life of the party. (Recipe and photo: White on Rice Couple)

  • Jewish Style Artichokes, Carciofi Alla Giudia

    Jewish Style Artichokes (Carciofi Alla Giudia): Mimi’s crispy-outside, tender-inside fried artichokes taste stellar with some lemon and a quick aioli. Fried in oil and pressed into beautiful blooming flowers, these artichokes go even better with warm weather. (Recipe and photo: Manger)

  • Roasted Artichokes

    Roasted Artichokes: Angela goes the roasted route with her artichokes. Letting them shine in some white wine and garlic, a pair we all know and love, her artichokes come out smelling simply divine. (Recipe and photo: The Spinning Plate)

  • Artichoke and Tomato Salad Tarts from Sunshine and Smile

    Artichoke and Tomato Salad Tarts: Dazzle your guests with these beautiful puff pastry pockets with a little artichoke treasure inside! Kankana’s tarts pair artichoke with mint and cheese, an interesting combination for a unique dish. (Recipe and photo: Sunshine and Smile)

  • Kale and Artichoke Dip

    Kale and Artichoke Dip: What’s a party without artichoke dip? But this isn’t your average store-bought tub of schmear – Jenny and Teri’s dip pairs artichoke with kale, an interesting play on the typical spinach-artichoke dip, with a dash of ginger, dry mustard and red chili flakes to add a little excitement. (Recipe and photo: Spoon Fork Bacon)

Forget stuffed mushrooms – stuff an artichoke this month and taste the difference. The result is a chip-and-dip in one, as the leaves of the flower serve as a vehicle for the stuffing with the flavors infused. We liked Spice Roots and Proud Italian Cook’s stuffed artichoke recipes.

A light spring entree celebrating artichokes? Who could ask for more? We especially liked the pasta recipes from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice, Ahn’s Food Blog, and Tartelette.

Arugula

Let’s face it: Everyone likes finger food. Arugula is a visually and flavorfully beautiful addition to any crostini or flatbread, which makes it the perfect way to dress up an appetizer all of us love. We loved the arugula appetizers from Gourmande in the Kitchen and Gimme Some Oven.

What kind of arugula recipe roundup doesn’t have some salads on the list? A classic lettuce green, arugula plays the role of delicate garnish, tangled weed and piquant salad superstar. Happy Yolks, Love and Lemons, Running with Tweezers and I Am A Food Blog all give arugula their own roles in completely different, unique ways.

  • Spring Panzanella

    Spring Panzanella: A panzanella, or a salad where bread is a major component, is a great way to use up a stale loaf of bread in a new and exciting way. Kelsey and Shaun’s panzanella celebrates the new bounty of spring by adding tomatoes, leeks, fennel, basil, spring peas, onion, asparagus, mint and of course, arugula, all tossed in bright white wine vinegar and olive oil. It’s fresh and bright, even with the addition of bread. (Recipe and photo: Happy Yolks)

  • Fig and Arugula Wheat Berry Salad

    Fig and Arugula Wheat Berry Salad: For the healthy eater looking for a superfood salad, Jeanine’s fig and arugula salad uses wheat berries, the only grain that could be described as “bright,” along with mint, basil and feta crumbles. Fig and feta are a match made in heaven, with arugula holding everyone together. (Recipe and photo: Love and Lemons)

  • Arugula Salad with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Grilled Peaches

    Arugula Salad with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Grilled Peaches: Tami’s salad with arugula, grilled peaches, parmesan and pine nuts is not only tasty and healthy, it’s sensuous. The caramelization and silkiness of the grilled peaches and the crunch of the pine nuts is sure to get any food lover going. (Recipe and photo: Running with Tweezers)

  • Papaya Pear Arugula Salad

    Papaya Pear Arugula Salad: Take your own personal spring break with Stephanie’s tropical arugula salad. The vinaigrette, with whole grain mustard and lime juice, is the perfect tangy twist for the papaya and pear. (Recipe and photo: i am a food blog)

Although arugula makes a great dressed green or finger food component, thinking outside the salad mix can be worth your while. Honest Fare, Naturally Ella, Baking with Blondie and Lemon Fire Brigade made main entrees with arugula we think you’ll love.

  • Seared Scallops over White Bean and Arugula Salad

    Seared Scallops over White Bean and Arugula Salad: Gabi’s scallop dish, served over a bed of arugula, white beans and red peppers, looks like a dish straight out of nature, and it tastes like a celebration of the natural world. Her accessible lesson on searing scallops will be helpful in the fall, as well. (Recipe and photo: Honest Fare)

  • Arugula Almond Pesto from Naturally Ella

    Arugula Almond Pesto: Erin’s arugula-almond pesto inventively twists the typical basil-pine nut pesto into something fun and new. Spread it on sandwiches, toss it in pasta and even spread some on a quick flatbread for guests. (Recipe and photo: Naturally Ella)

  • Gnocchi, Sweet Corn and Arugula in a Cream Sauce

    Gnocchi, Sweet Corn and Arugula in a Cream Sauce: Gnocchi, small potato dumplings you boil like pasta, taste absolutely stellar tossed in Mandy’s simple cream sauce, sweet corn and – of course – arugula. It’s a bright and hearty way to celebrate the coming of spring. (Recipe and photo: Baking with Blondie)

  • Garlic Fried Tomato Orecchiette with Arugula

    Garlic Fried Tomato Orecchiette with Arugula: Sarah’s orecchiette, a classic Italian pasta, is simple and lovely, celebrating the flavor of fresh tomatoes and arugula. With lots of garlic and grated parmesan, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone to turn away this pasta dish. (Recipe and photo: Lemon Fire Brigade)