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Fresh produce and fromage make an excellent pair

Produce is full of nutritious vitamins, like A and C, fibers, folates, potassium, and many minerals - and produce paired with gourmet cheese is not only healthy, but also easy to prepare, and, of course, delicious.

Melted, fresh cut – no matter how you slice it, really – cheese complements all of Mother Nature's sun-kissed crops. And with so many options – including vegetables like artichokes, carrots, okra, spinach, snap peas and new potatoes, and fruits like raspberries, apricot, nectarines and papaya – you really can't go wrong.

We've come up with a few low-maintenance meal ideas to start off your season with a smile. Bon appetit!

Fruited Bleu d'Auvergne Salad:

We chose this featured recipe because of its refreshing textures and flavors. Just toss tender baby spinach, ripe strawberries and toasted pine nuts with chunks of creamy, crumbly Bleu d'Auvergne cheese. The result is a salty-sweet mix that'll leave you wanting more. And that's OK, because this salad is sensible enough for seconds.

Rocket Spring Salad with Ile de France Brie:

Hello, delicious! Brie cheese lends unexpected but refreshing flavor to this salad that uses curly greens lettuce as its base and Ile de France Brie to bring out the best of its supporting players, including soft, creamy avocado and crunchy apples.

Fol Epi and Berry Bowl:

A feast for the eyes as much as the stomach, ripe, succulent berries create an explosion of color, while mild, sweet and slightly nutty Fol Epi cheese complements the berries' natural sweetness. In texture, the cheese brings contrast to the crunchier strawberries but also a counterpart to the supple blue- and raspberries. Add the zing of fresh lime zest and each juicy bite is a spring awakening!

Helpful Hints for Fresh Spring Salads:

Spin greens dry! Dressing won't adhere to wet lettuces.

Vinaigrettes are only as good as their ingredients. For best-tasting results, use quality vinegars, fresh juices and cold-pressed olive oils.

The bottom line is that there's no shortage of delicious, nutritious ideas this spring. So pick up some produce, choose a cheese, and combine. You never know what surprising sensation is in store!

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