Spring is nearly here… You can almost feel it! Days are getting longer; evenings lighter; the chill in the air clearing. Spring brings a host of organic produce, just crying out for simple, wholesome recipes. Think free-range eggs, spring lamb, fresh asparagus. What are the best recipes for this time of the year? Here’s three of our favourites, all adaptable and interchangeable with different combinations of the same ingredients.
This is a versatile, light, yet filling dish, which can be customised to suit your tastes and dietary requirements.Ingredients:
Blanche some asparagus by lightly boiling it and then “shocking” the stalks in ice cold water. Set a few asparagus stalks aside and use a potato peeler or cheese shaver to make a vegetarian “carpaccio”. Use the sweet asparagus tips in the salad.
In another saucepan, poach a duck egg or large, organic, free range hen’s egg, to serve on top of the salad.
For the vegetarian version, serve the egg on top of the cooked asparagus spears, on top of the bed of salad leaves. Pile on the asparagus shavings, then shave some of the cheese on top. Drizzle the olive oil, squeeze over some lemon juice and sprinkle with a little sea salt and ground black pepper. Delicious!
You could also try some crumbled green Feta cheese, a soft, creamy Italian Mozzarella, or tangy Burrata cheese. This makes the dish even more hearty and is a tasty alternative to just the poached egg.
(The ingenious idea for using asparagus a bit differently to make the “carpaccio” comes from bbcgoodfoood.co.uk)
The beauty of this dish is its simplicity. Everything can be cooked together in one pan, and while it’s hearty and wholesome, the light flavours are still spring like. A tasty dinner all year.
Heat the olive oil in a lidded casserole or medium sized saucepan. Fry the red onion and white parts of the spring onion for around five minutes. Add the chicken and fry until lightly browned. Add the new potatoes and top up the pan with the stock. Season with a little salt and plenty of ground black pepper. Add the herbs and simmer for around 30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and the chicken is cooked. Add the vegetables, give everything a good stir, and cook for another five minutes. Serve with a swirl of pesto and some grated Parmesan.
This is another simple, yet mouth-watering combination. Good all year round, but spring lamb works so well with the tangy Feta and the fresh, green salad leaves. The drizzle of honey and crumbled nuts add a delicious sweetness to the dish. As the days get warmer, why not try on the barbeque?
Top each lamb cutlet with crumbled feta and wrap with a sprig of rosemary in the Parma Ham. For medium rare lamb, we recommend you cook for 2-3 minutes each side over a medium grill – or even try a barbecue in the garden, especially when the weather gets warmer! Try serving this over a bed of salad leaves, drizzle over some the raw honey and scatter with crumbled walnuts. Close your eyes and you may be forgiven you are on a Greek island enjoying fresh local food!
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