Spring Cuisine: Fresh Recipes We Are Cooking Right Now

Spring has officially sprung and farmer’s markets are beginning to reappear. Hooray! There are few things I enjoy more than spending a lazy weekend morning wandering the market with my daughter in tow. Coffee for me, a fruit smoothie for her and a bag full of fresh, seasonal produce. Life is good. Here’s a list of a few things in season now, along with some great spring cuisine recipes to help you take advantage of everything the season has to offer. Happy cooking!

 

Artichokes

Artichoke
Image and recipe via The Kitchn

Grilled Artichokes

Serves 6 to 8

3 whole artichokes

1 lemon

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

4-6 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

If using a grill that needs to be started ahead of time, prepare the fire.

Fill a stockpot with water — deep enough to for the artichokes to fully float — and bring to a boil.

Trim the ends off the artichoke stems and slice the artichokes in half lengthwise. Set them, cut side down, on a platter or cutting board.

Zest the lemon and reserve the zest. Slice the lemon in half. Crush the garlic.

When the water is boiling, squeeze the lemons and drop the rinds into the water. Add the salt, pepper and garlic. Gently lower the artichoke halves into the boiling water and lower the heat to simmer. Cook until the leaves pull away when gently tugged, 15 to 20 minutes, turning the artichokes over halfway through.

Remove the artichokes with tongs and drain on a towel. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the fuzzy choke and brush the cut side with olive oil. Place them cut-side down on the grill and cook about 3 minutes, until grill-marks form.

Serve the artichokes on a platter with melted butter or aioli.

 

 

Asparagus

Asparagus
image and recipe via Williams-Sonoma

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon

Serves 8

2 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed and stems peeled

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 450°F.

Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic and lemon zest. Brush the asparagus evenly with the oil, turning the spears to coat well, and season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the lemon wedges around the asparagus.

Roast until the asparagus is tender and just turning golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a warmed serving platter and drizzle with the pan juices.

Mango

MangoSalsa
image and recipe via Cookie + Kate

Fresh Mango Salsa

Serves 4-6

3 ripe mangos, diced

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup chopped red onion

¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 large lime, juiced (about ¼ cup lime juice)

⅛ to ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste

In a serving bowl, combine the prepared mango, bell pepper, onion, cilantro and jalapeño. Drizzle with the juice of one lime and mix well. Season to taste with salt. For best flavor, let the salsa rest for 10 minutes or longer.

 

 

Morel Mushrooms

poached-wild-salmon-with-peas-and-morels
image and recipe via Bon Appetit

Poached Wild Salmon with Peas and Morels

Serves 2

2 6–8-ounce center-cut wild king salmon fillets (each about 1 1/2-inch thick)

1 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

4 ounces fresh morels; sliced, stemmed shiitake; or other mushrooms

1/2 cup shelled fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas

1/2 cup heavy cream

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or 2 pea tendrils

Place salmon, skin side down, in a large high-sided skillet. Add wine, 2 Tbsp. salt, and cold water to cover salmon by 1/2″. Cover pan and bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, uncover, and gently poach salmon until just cooked through and barely opaque in the center, about 6 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer salmon and 2 Tbsp. poaching liquid to a plate; tent loosely with foil.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup salmon poaching liquid and peas and simmer until peas begin to soften, 2–3 minutes. Add cream and bring sauce to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Using a spatula, transfer salmon, skin side up, to paper towels. Gently peel off and discard skin. Invert salmon onto serving plates and spoon mushroom sauce over. Garnish with chives.

 

 

Peas

puree-sweet-pea_300
image and recipe via Real Simple

Sweet Pea and Ricotta Crostini

Serves 16

16 thin baguette slices
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup ricotta
1 scallion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ounce Parmesan, cut into pieces, plus more, grated, for topping
kosher salt and black pepper
Heat oven to 375° F. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Toast until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, puree the peas, ricotta, scallion, and Parmesan with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the Parmesan is broken down and the mixture is nearly smooth.
Spread the pea mixture on the crostini and top with grated Parmesan, if desired.

 

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