Spring is finally here, but in the Northeast that doesn’t guarantee warm days and sunshine. So, to get you through those cold rainy days that are sure to come before we finally get to trade winter coats for spring jackets, I’m starting off with two tasty spring soups. This Leek and Fish Stew with Herb Salad is full of silky-soft leeks and bright with lots of lemony fresh herbs, perfect for a light supper or a warming lunch. Add a crusty loaf of bread to mop up the tasty broth.
The recipe for Spring Vegetable Pasta e Fagioli with Fresh Peas, Artichokes and Cannellini Beans makes for a hearty soup filled with flavor to be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. If you don’t plan to serve the whole dish at once, keep the precooked pasta in the fridge in an airtight container and portion it out for each serving rather than adding it all to the soup pot when the soup is done. Otherwise, the pasta will soak up the broth overnight and lose its nice “al dente” texture at the same time.
This vegetarian Carrot Tartare makes an elegant starter (think Easter!) or could be enjoyed as a main course—be sure to serve with toasted bread rounds made from a sliced baguette. It also makes a terrific quick and healthy lunch if made ahead.
Vegans and omnivores alike will enjoy this Bulgur Salad with Roasted Grapes. It’s served with a flavorful curry dressing sweetened with maple syrup that you’ll undoubtably find ways to enjoy atop other salads, oven-roasted veggies and more.
Add a little spice to your spring with colorful Chopped Thai Chicken Salad that’s filled with purple cabbage, red pepper, orange carrots and fresh green cilantro. The kick comes from the sriracha added to a creamy almond butter dressing. (And note: The recipe calls for coconut aminos, which is a common substitute for soy sauce if you want to avoid soy products.)
Mint is one of the first herbs to pop up in the garden come spring so when the green leaves appear, add them to Spring Pea Pasta with Truffle Oil Lemon and Mint. Fresh English peas are a long way off in early spring so using frozen peas here is just fine. (The same goes for the Pasta e Fagioli above.)
When it’s warm enough for hanging out by the grill, it’s time for Grilled Salmon in Cajun Cream Sauce. Less rich than it sounds, this recipe is dairy free with the use of coconut “cream” from canned coconut milk. Dial back on the teaspoon of cayenne pepper if you’re not as keen on having a spicy dinner.
Golden brown chicken with crispy skin is hard to resist and so it is with The Crispiest Spring Chicken. This recipe comes with a garlicy green sauce to dribble over the top. Serve Meyer Lemon Rice with Candied Garlic on the side—it’s a recipe that would make a delicious side dish not only for the chicken, but just about any grilled fish, chicken or other favorite protein.
Dessert is always at hand when you can make a four-ingredient sweet treat like these Chewy Amaretti Cookies. You might want to turn them into cookie sandwiches with a spread of easy chocolate ganache as the recipe suggests. And finally, when you’re ready to celebrate spring’s arrival, try this recipe for Individual Spring Strawberry Trifles with their festive layers of limoncello cake, homemade vanilla pudding and ripe red strawberries. All the elements can be made in advance and the trifles assembled before your fête, so you can better spend your time catching up with friends and family after what felt like an extra-long winter. Enjoy spring in the kitchen!
Genie McPherson Trevor is the founding editor of Edible Rhody magazine, a quarterly food journal that celebrates the local, seasonal bounty of Rhode Island. Edible Rhody is a member of Edible Communities, the James Beard award-winning publishing group with over 80 local Edible magazines in print across the United States and Canada.
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