What’s cooking this springtime?

How to make use of the vibrant flavors of spring!

Levi Gettleman, A&E Editor

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It isn’t hard to love spring, with its natural beauty and slightly warmer temperatures. Perhaps the crowning glory of springtime, however, is the wide array of vegetables, fruits, and ingredients that provide inspiration for cooks across the globe.

 

Spring Pea Chilled Soup

Start to finish: 25 minutes (2 hours inactive)

Servings: 6

Chilled soups are a feature of springtime, allowing the fresh vegetables to take center stage in a vibrant, cool, fresh way.

    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
    • 6 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 6 pounds pods) or frozen peas, thawed
    • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
    • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
    • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
    • 1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or water
    • Chopped fresh chives (for serving)

PREPARATION

    1. Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 6-8 minutes. Add 2 cups broth and bring to a boil. Add peas, reduce heat, and simmer gently until tender, about 5 minutes for fresh peas, about 2 minutes for frozen.
    2. Remove pot from heat. Add parsley, mint, and remaining 2 cups broth to pot. Purée soup in a blender or with an immersion blender, thinning with water if soup is too thick, until smooth. Season soup with salt and pepper.
    3. Whisk crème fraîche and cream in a small bowl to blend. Chill for at least 2 hours
    4. Serve chilled soup topped with chives, passing crème fraîche mixture alongside for spooning over.

(Recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine)

 

Snap Pea and Burrata Salad:

Salads are a wonderful way to showcase the bright flavors of spring.

Start to Finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, strings removed
  • 4 cups arugula, thick stems trimmed
  • 1 bunch radishes (about 6 ounces), trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
  • 1 pound burrata or fresh buffalo mozzarella

 

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Cut pea pods in half lengthwise, leaving some peas on each side of pods. Combine peas, arugula, radishes, 1/4 cup basil, and 1/4 cup mint in a large bowl. Add oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and toss to coat. Season salad with salt and more lemon juice, if desired.
  • Tear open balls of burrata (if using buffalo mozzarella, slice 1/2-inch thick) and arrange on a platter. Top with salad and more basil and mint.

(Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

 

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Flatbread:

Flatbreads serve as a blank canvas, to be colored by the beauty and flavor of fresh vegetables.

Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

4 oz goat cheese

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

1 teaspoon lemon zest

5 large asparagus spears

1 tablespoon olive oil

13-15 oz Pizza Dough

3 tablespoons chopped pistachios shells removed

Salt and black pepper to taste

Lemon zest for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese, chives, and lemon zest. Using a vegetable peeler, shave asparagus spears into long, thin shavings. Place shavings in a small bowl. Drizzle a little of the olive oil over the asparagus shavings and gently toss.
  3. Roll out the pizza dough, then poke holes around the dough with a fork. Bake for 5 minutes.
  4. Drizzle a little olive oil over the flatbread. Place dollops of goat cheese evenly over the flatbread. Top with shaved asparagus. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  5. Place flatbread on a large baking sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes or until cheese is melted and flatbread is crisp. Remove from oven and top with chopped pistachios and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

(Recipe adapted from Two Peas in a Pod)