Spring Cooking

It’s finally spring! And you know what that means…no more root vegetables! Hooray! I’ve been getting so antsy for the farmer’s market to open so I can get my hands on some fresh produce, and in the meantime daydreaming about everything I’m going to make with it once I do. For starters, this Roasted Chicken Garden Salad. There’s something about coming out of the dregs of winter that just makes me thirsty for a heap of lettuce. Top it with chive blossoms, radishes from my garden, and a slow roasted chicken with plenty of fresh-squeezed lemon juice; yes, that’ll do quite nicely.

Another favorite spring salad of mine is a fresh take on the classic 80’s green goddess. I call it The Environmentalist Salad, and it’s chock full of delicious fresh veggies, sweet herbs and crisp lettuces. The dressing is dairy-free and gets it’s trademark creaminess from the avocado blended in, rather than cream or mayo.

And yet another salad, because vegetables really are the stars of spring cooking in my opinion, the gorgeous, golden Honey Beet Salad. I’m not a huge fan of beets in general, but toss them in some honey, lemon and mint, and you can’t keep me away. I planted Chiogga beets in my garden this year and as soon as they’re ready, I’ll be whipping up this tasty dish. Roasted pistachios add the perfect bit of crunch and I often find myself licking the bottom of my bowl once this salad is gone.

If you’re in the mood to bake, which I almost always am, you can use those first berries of the season in this delicious Strawberry Cake or some homemade ice cream. I always feel like a really legit farmer’s wife when I spend the afternoon in the kitchen whipping up a beautiful layer cake from scratch. And this one does not disappoint. I remember sitting in the backyard on one of the first warm spring evenings, eating a slice of this and nearly dying of happiness. We have a very large u-pick strawberry patch within walking distance of our house, so I’ll be darned if I don’t get my hands on the first red fruit I see.

Fresh baked scones for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do! These Chamomile Lavender Scones are a very spring-y take on the classic pastry and paired with a nice cup of hot tea, truly soul-warming. I have lavender and chamomile growing in my herb bed this year, so these scones should be a staple on our weekend breakfast table this spring.

If you’re looking for more of a hearty meal, this Spring Lasagna does not disappoint. I’m no lasagna enthusiast, but the combination of lemon, sausage and fresh asparagus in this lighter version, is so very tasty. All the soul-warming comfort of mom’s lasagna, without the heaviness. Pair it with one of the salads and dinner is done.

And finally, the crown jewel of any meal, these Carrot Cakes with Carrot Hummus. These babies are kind of a showstopper. I made them for my very first catering event ever, and they were a hit. And every time I’ve made them since, there’s not a speck left on anyone’s plate. Fresh and light with warming spices, sharp cheese and zesty vinaigrette. Plus, they look really fancy on the plate, even though they’re fairly simple. Give ’em a shot!

What foods are you craving this spring? Favorite recipes? Anything I can’t miss? Do tell!

You can find a few more of my favorite recipes for spring, here in the Recipes section.

2 Comments

  1. I love all of these springy recipes! I’m particularly enchanted and inspired by the scones. I have two questions regarding the recipe that I’m hoping you can answer: (1) for the chamomile, is it acceptable to use chamomile tea leaves? and (2) what type of cream are you referring to (i.e. half-and-half? heavy cream?) and is there an alternative to be used, such as whole milk or even, possibly, something like almond milk or coconut milk?

    • Hi Kristina,

      Thanks for reading! I think you could definitely use chamomile tea leaves. You could also steep the tea leaves in the cream if you wanted to infuse the flavor that way. I usually use heavy cream, I find it creates more of a soft, fluffy scone, but you can definitely use a dairy-free alternative. Coconut cream is a good choice to try and get that same feel, though it might alter the flavor a bit. Hope that helps! Enjoy!

      Kali