Cooking With The Seasons: 4 Spring Recipes

Cooking With The Seasons: 4 Spring Recipes

-by Ariana Palmieri | 06/07/2017 |

We've all heard how good it is to eat seasonally, but sometimes it can be hard to know what to do with seasonal produce. After all, once you find out what's in season, how do you concoct that into a healthy meal? Well, thankfully, I'm here to help. I do my best to eat seasonally, so I wanted to share with you some of my go-to recipes for the spring. These four spring dishes will make your mouth water and bring a new appreciation to seasonal foods. After all, plants that are in season taste so much fresher and tastier than in other seasons. I mean, think about it: Do strawberries taste nearly as good in December as they do in May? Absolutely not.  

Ready to dig in? Make sure you try these delicious recipes before spring ends! Or at least one of them. You won't be sorry!  

Strawberry Mint Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette 

This salad tastes absolutely divine, and so refreshing to the palate. It can be made with or without the strawberry vinaigrette, but I highly recommend trying it with the dressing. Super delicious. This recipe should serve about two people, depending on how willing you are to share. Feel free to top it with some roasted almonds or crumbled goat cheese (assuming you're not vegan).  

Ingredients for the salad: 

3 cups of fresh strawberries, halved

½ cup of mint 

1 cup of spinach (can be substituted with lettuce – both are currently in season) 

Ingredients for the strawberry vinaigrette: 

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon white sugar

Directions: 

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend all the strawberry vinaigrette ingredients together until smooth. Set it aside in a jar for later. If you prefer your salad dressing cold, leave it in the fridge while you make your salad. 
  2. Make sure to wash off all your salad ingredients thoroughly. I highly recommend buying organic strawberries, considering conventional strawberries are loaded with pesticides (but either way, you should still wash them).
  3. Add your salad ingredients to a big bowl and mix them around to your liking. Now, take the salad dressing you made earlier and pour it over your salad. If you would like, you may also top it off with roasted almonds and/or crumbled goat cheese, but that is completely optional. Serve and enjoy! 

Artichoke Potato Salad with Vinaigrette 

Artichokes and potatoes pair very well together -- trust me. And they certainly taste good in a salad. This recipe should serve 1 to 2 people, but can be doubled to serve more. I'm also including a vinaigrette recipe to top the salad with, but feel free to use a store-bought one, or a personal recipe you may like better. 

Ingredients for salad 

  • 2 cups of mini red potatoes, halved
  • 2  whole garlic cloves 
  • 1 cup of marinated artichoke hearts 
  • Two handfuls of arugula 

Ingredients for vinaigrette 

  • ¾ olive oil 
  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil 

Directions 

  1. Put the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar and shake it up. This should combine them well. Place it on the side or in the fridge to cool (if you like your dressing cold). 
  2. Now take the halved mini red potatoes. Place them in a pan with garlic cloves and roast them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast them at about 450° F (or 230°C) for 25 minutes (or until tender and golden).
  3. You can wait for the potatoes to cool off or you can add them to the bowl (where the other salad ingredients will go) right away.  Add the marinated artichoke hearts and arugula and mix them together. Now take out the vinaigrette you made earlier and add as much of it as you'd like! Mix it up and serve. Enjoy! 

Lightly Herbed Lemon Chicken and Spring Vegetables 

If you're a meat eater, you'll enjoy this dish. The vegetables used in this dish are completely seasonal and make for a delicious dinner. This will serve about 4 people, so feel free to double the ingredients if you want to make more. 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 ½ pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken quarters 
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes (or other small potatoes) 
  • 2 bunches radishes
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 bunch baby carrots
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper  

Directions: 

  1. First, preheat your oven to 500° F. Then, rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Now season it with some salt and pepper, placing it skin-side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Squeeze ½ of the lemon over the chicken and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Let it roast for about 15 minutes.  
  2. While that starts to cook, cut the radishes and potatoes in half and cut the scallions into thirds. Add the potatoes, radishes, carrots and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper.   
  3. Now it's time to remove the chicken from the oven and scatter the vegetables around it. Continue to roast until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is golden and cooked through, about 20 more minutes. Squeeze the remaining ½ lemon over the chicken and vegetables. Top with the dill and season with salt.  Trust me when I say the vegetables (and the meat) will taste super tender (and tasty)! 

Strawberry and Hibiscus Flower Granita 

This recipe is vegan, but you don't have to be vegan to enjoy it! Super tasty and healthy, it makes a great after-dinner dessert on a warm spring day. This recipe serves about 6 people, so feel free to share it with friends and family! 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons of dried hibiscus flower tea 
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water 
  • 1 pound of strawberries, hulled 
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice 
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup (or agave syrup) 

Directions: 

  1. Put the hibiscus flower tea in a bowl and add 1 ½ cups boiling water. Let it infuse for 15 minutes, and then let it cool and chill in the refrigerator 10 minutes.  
  2. Put the tea into a blender or food processor and add the strawberries, lime juice and brown rice (or agave) syrup. Now blend it together well. 
  3. Then, pour the blended mixture into a shallow, freezer-proof container. Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes, and then scrape the mixture with a fork to break up the ice crystals slightly. 
  4. Repeat the freezing and scraping another 4 times, or until the granita is frozen throughout the fine, even crystals. Serve in glasses and top with halved strawberries to make it look pretty. Enjoy!  

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