Spring is here, and with it comes the promise of delicious, fresh ingredients to brighten up your post-winter menu. Now that farmer’s markets are open, you can indulge your taste buds in the bounty of a new harvest. Don’t know what seasonal fruits and vegetables are available in your area? Check out this nifty guide via the Natural Resources Defense Council to learn more.
To me, spring means light, flavorful and healthy foods. My family looks forward to meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients, and often times, that means foods that are cooked on the grill. One of our favorite spring recipes is a medley of Mediterranean-style grilled vegetables served with tender grilled lamb chops.
Below are two other favorite family recipes that celebrate the axis of the earth tilting towards the sun. They are easy to make, and delicious too.
Grilled Asparagus Salad – serves 4
- 1 bunch of fresh asparagus, rinsed, with woody stems removed
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 cup of grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup of feta cheese
- ¼ cup of toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Toss the rinsed and trimmed asparagus with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Place the asparagus on a hot grill or hot grill pan, and cook for approximately 2 minutes per side, depending on thickness. You want the asparagus to be just-tender, and still firm.
- Remove the cooked asparagus from the grill and let cool.
- Make the salad dressing by combining the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey in a small bowl.
- Whisk together until smooth. Season the dressing with a little salt and pepper to your taste.
- Place the asparagus on a serving plate.
- Distribute the halved tomatoes over the asparagus.
- Drizzle the dressing over the asparagus and tomatoes.
- Top the salad with crumbled feta cheese and toasted pine nuts.
- Chill for at least thirty minutes before serving.
Smashed Baby Potato Hash – serves 4
- 1 lb of baby potatoes, rinsed and diced into 1 inch cubes
- ½ lb of prosciutto, finely sliced into thin strips
- 1 cup of baby peas
- ½ cup of finely minced green onion
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400F.
- Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot with enough cold water to cover them by one inch.
- Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat. As soon as a rolling boil is achieved, turn off the heat and drain the potatoes.
- In a large oven-safe skillet, add the extra virgin olive oil and heat the stove to medium high heat.
- Once the skillet is hot, add in the strips of prosciutto. Lightly sauté until the prosciutto is crisp – about 3 minutes.
- Remove the prosciutto from the pan. Leave the oil.
- Add the drained potatoes to the pan. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper (I recommend at least ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper to start).
- Don’t stir too often. Allow the potatoes to brown for about 4-5 minutes before flipping.
- Once you’ve flipped the browned potatoes, add the peas, half of the green onions and prosciutto to the skillet.
- Stir gently to combine, and then use the back of your spatula to smash the mixture down into the pan.
- Make four round indentations on the surface of the potato mixture. Crack each of the eggs into those indentations.
- Sprinkle the eggs lightly with salt and pepper.
- Place the skillet in the oven and allow it to cook until the eggs have set – approximately 10-12 minutes.
- Serve by cutting into wedges with one egg per slice. Sprinkle with the remaining green onions. I like to also add grated Parmesan to the top, but that’s optional.
Spring is the season to lighten your menu, incorporate more fruits and vegetables, and renew yourself to healthy, delicious eating. Take advantage of the warmer weather and bountiful harvest while you can – because before you know it, autumn will be here once more.