spears are laid out side by side in this tart made
with goat cheese.
typical early spring fashion, the weather waffles between
cold and warm; wet and dry; and raw and pleasant, but the
season’s savory flavors don’t.
a time of the year when vegetables awaken from their deep
winter slumber fresh and tender, and burst with flavor and
color. When they are morphed into savory tarts, salads,
dressings and purees, they are simply irresistible.
better or worse, asparagus is available year-round but the
vegetable is at its best now. When buying them, remember
slender spears are not necessarily better; they are only
younger and so more tender. Fatter spears can be more
succulent. Roasting the vegetable brings out its complexity
— the sugar caramelizes and an ever so slight bitterness
emerges. If you want to go the classic French route, poach
asparagus and serve it cold.
provide some of the first color splash of spring. The
early-season ones have a milder peppery flavor than the ones
grown in summer, and are perfect for a raw-vegetable platter
or to top a mixed salad. When preparing them, wash and trim
root ends just before using. For a crisper bite, soak
radishes in ice water for a couple of hours.
potatoes, the freshly dug young tubers with a delicate skin
whose sugars have not yet been converted into starch, are
wondrous when roasted in the oven with a drizzle of olive
oil, a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and fresh herbs
such as dill or thyme. Or simply boil them with a little
salt and slightly smash them for a chickpea, egg and potato
baby spinach not only adds a verdant splash on a rainy day
but also brings deliciousness to the table when sauteed with
sesame oil and crushed garlic. Or combine spinach with
romaine lettuce for a spring salad.
peas are omnipresent year-round but opt for the fresh ones
that are available now as, after all, their season is
fleeting. However, keep in mind that they should be consumed
soon after being picked because the natural sugars in them
turn to starch. In addition to the obvious choice — soup
— peas can be use in purees and served with roast chicken
or pork, or even savory pancakes.
best way to let early spring vegetables shine is to blanch
or steam them, then toss them with a little butter or olive
oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. But it won’t
be against the law to dress them some or even have them take
the runway to earn all the glory.
AND GOAT CHEESE TART
and satisfying, there’s no mistaking that the asparagus
spears, placed closely beside one another, are the stars of
tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
cups all-purpose flour
of sea salt flakes
2 to 3
tablespoons ice-cold water
cup sour cream
and pepper to taste
cups goat cheese
medium white onion, diced
asparagus spears, ends removed
oven to 375 degrees.
butter, flour and salt in a food processor and pulse mixture
for 20-40 seconds, until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
water slowly and mix until dough comes together. Don’t
over mix. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in
refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
dough out as thinly as possible on a lightly floured
surface. Line 9-inch fluted tart pan with the pastry and
prick base all over with a fork.
on baking sheet, line with greased parchment paper slightly
larger than the pan and fill with baking beans.
for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove baking beans and parchment
paper and return pastry to oven for 5 to 10 minutes more, or
until it is pale golden and cooked through.
from oven and set aside to cool.
oven temperature to 325 degrees.
large bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream and sour cream.
Season with salt and pepper, then gently mix in goat cheese
and onion. Pour mixture into tart, distributing it evenly.
asparagus spears in a single layer on top of filling,
alternating heads and tails, and gently push them into the
for about 1 hour, or until golden and just set. Serve hot or
8 to 10.
Adapted from "Cooking With Cheese" by Ryland,
Peters & Small (Ryland, Peters & Small; 2016)
fresh and colorful, this salad screams spring. The creamy
dressing with shallots and mint complements the salad so
well that it will have you craving for more.
(5-ounces) package baby spinach
romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
cucumbers, cut in 1-inch pieces
thinly sliced radishes
tablespoon white wine vinegar
tablespoons fresh lemon juice
cup sour cream
cup fresh mint, chopped, plus leaves for garnish
teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoon black pepper
cup crumbled feta cheese
together spinach, romaine, cucumbers and radishes in large
together shallot, vinegar and lemon juice in a medium bowl;
let stand 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and gradually whisk
in half-and-half. Stir in chopped mint, salt and black
greens mixture with feta cheese; garnish with mint leaves
and serve with dressing.
Southern Living magazine, March 2016 Lemon Chicken With
Fried Capers PG tested
better than chicken topped with caramelized lemon slices and
fried capers, and sitting on a pool of pea puree? Nothing.
pound skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets, thinly
cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, dried
teaspoon chili powder
and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
large lemon, sliced thin crosswise
cups chicken stock
chicken flat, pat dry and cut in pieces in half if they are
large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high
and then add capers. Stir until they are crisp (they do pop
so be careful), about 2 minutes. Transfer capers to a small
flour and chili powder on a plate. Add 2 tablespoons oil to
skillet and heat it over medium-high.
chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and coat pieces
lightly with flour, shaking off the excess.
chicken to oil, and cook until lightly golden, about 3
minutes per side. Transfer to plate.
lemon slices in sugar, coating them on both sides, and add
to skillet. Cook over medium heat until they are lightly
caramelized, about 1 to 2 minutes each side. Transfer to
plate with chicken.
remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and shallots, stirring
for about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil,
scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
chicken and lemon slices to the pan, along with any juices
from the plate. Simmer gently, turning the chicken over
several times until it is heated through.
chicken and lemon to plates and simmer sauce until it has
thickened slightly. Spoon sauce and lemon slices over
chicken and top with fried capers. Serve with pea puree
Adapted from "Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101"
by Sara Moulton (Oxmoor House; March 2016)
sweet and spicy puree with a hint of mint radiates with
spring flavor and color. It complements sauteed chicken,
flaky crab cakes or pan-seared tilapia.
ounces frozen green peas, thawed
cup vegetable stock
tablespoon feta cheese
tablespoon fresh chopped mint
peas, stock, feta, mint, garlic, chili and salt in food
processor; blend until smooth. Serve at room temperature.
EGG AND POTATO SALAD
hearty salad is best served warm, and combines nutty
chickpeas, slightly smashed new potatoes with their skins,
black olives and hard-boiled eggs. For a tangy dressing, I
used lemon juice instead of white wine vinegar, which was in
the original recipe.
tablespoons olive oil
from 1 lemon
tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
garlic clove, crushed
and ground black pepper to taste, divided
pound new potatoes
(14-ounces) can chickpeas
of pitted black olives
of fresh chives, chopped
the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, parsley
and garlic. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain, and
slightly squash with back of a fork in a bowl.
and rinse chickpeas, smash 1/3 of them slightly, then mix
with remaining chickpeas and add to potatoes in bowl. Add
olives and dressing; mix gently.
salad to a serving plate.
and chop the eggs in quarters and place them all over the
salad. Sprinkle chives on top, and serve immediately.
Adapted from "Appetizers" by Ryland, Peters &
Small (Ryland, Peters & Small; 2016)