But I hate all my [recipes], I have nothing to [cook]!
April 12, 2011 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Help me get over the food equivalent of hating everything in my closet and give me your yummiest recipes that make you think spring!

It's too warm for soups and too cool for my summer go-to of tomato slices for dinner. What spring recipes do you love?

I currently:
-have access to a decent grocery store, and a health food store that sometimes stocks more...unusual items.
-try to eat whole foods, with an emphasis on lean proteins and veggies and fruits
-am cooking for one, although leftovers are good, especially if they are easily frozen
-am more interested in whole meals (dinner salads, frittatas, etc.) and less interested in "cook x protein, x veggie, x starch and there you go!"

I have spent the last two weeks browsing various recipe aggregators and food blogs that are usually great sources of inspiration (like Orangette and the seasonal browse feature of Smitten Kitchen) to no avail. Surely you have some ideas for me? And many thanks for past questions I may have missed that focus on this subject.
posted by stellaluna to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
The start of spring means asparagus season and this is one of my favorite recipes: Pan-roasted asparagus with a poached egg and miso butter.
posted by AceRock at 6:10 PM on April 12, 2011

Spring always makes me go to fish or shellfish. If you prepare fish en pappiote, you can get your meat and veg into a single pouch and you're ready to cook. For shellfish, you can make clams with linguini, or mussels in a wine and butter sauce. I would add fries to that, as is traditional, but I'm nuts that way.
posted by Gilbert at 6:13 PM on April 12, 2011

My all-time favourite spring dinner-for-one is a meat fruit cheese seed salad. It goes something like this:

I wash and tear salad leaves - lettuce, spinach, rocket (arugula) etc - into a bowl. Then I add some quartered strawberries or blueberries, some feta, blue or other cheese, some chopped semi-dried tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, some olives, fresh herbs if I have them etc.

In a pan I sear either diced chicken (can be pre-spiced or marinated) or a lean piece of steak. If steak I cook till rare, let it sit for 5-10 min for the juices to set, and then I slice it very finely.

While the meat is sitting (or the chicken is cooking) I dry fry some sesame or sunflower seeds in another pan until they are just toasty.

Top the salad with the beef slices or cooked diced chicken, sprinkle on the seeds. Mix and fork it in your gob. Every mouthful tastes a little different and the whole combo is delicious.
posted by Kerasia at 6:17 PM on April 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


My secrets are: 1) soak dried beans overnight with baking soda and then cook them for 8-10 h in a slow cooker. This helps with the consistency. 2) use a more expensive brand of Tahini with Arabic on the label. These seem to be a lot better for consistency as well. Oh, and make sure you have a sturdy food processor or else you'll fry the motor.

Once you have a basic hummus down, add in fresh herbs/flavourings to taste- basil, jalapeno, spinach, etc. It freezes well and provides protein and fiber to any meal or snack.
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 6:18 PM on April 12, 2011

Best answer: Risotto? You can just make a basic risotto and mix in whatever veggies you want near the end (asparagus is especially good).
posted by oinopaponton at 6:21 PM on April 12, 2011

Here's a great dinner salad. The site may require a free login. Here's the Google cache.
posted by jedicus at 6:23 PM on April 12, 2011

Do you have a BBQ? Marinated grilled veggies or any grilled meat is my spring/summer/fall menu.
posted by arcticwoman at 6:28 PM on April 12, 2011

Prosciutto wrapped melon paired with grilled chicken thighs (italian seasoning) and asparagus is amazing
posted by carlh at 7:27 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Capers, chopped black olives*, halved cherry tomatoes, a clove of crushed garlic, lemon juice and a splash of olive oil - toss that into the warm pasta of your choice, then dot with chunks of fresh mozzarella. So freaking good.

*Don't like olives? Try sun-dried tomatoes or marinated artichoke hearts.
posted by msali at 7:31 PM on April 12, 2011

Spring means fiddleheads! Steam them for 10 minutes and then sautee in butter, salt and pepper. SUPER yummy.
posted by rosa at 8:02 PM on April 12, 2011

Probably not what you are looking for, but in the spring I always crave guacamole with diced cucumbers and chipotles mixed in. I love to make a big taco salad with grilled lime chicken, romaine, black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onion, and a big dollop of guacamole & cukes. Might be a little more "summery" than you like, but I'm from Seattle- I once saw a mailman delivering mail in the snow wearing shorts. It doesn't take much for us to declare winter over :D
posted by evilcupcakes at 8:36 PM on April 12, 2011

Best answer: This pasta salad. yum.
posted by Duffington at 9:06 PM on April 12, 2011

Crème D'asperges (cream of asparagus soup). The linked recipe is a perennial favorite, lighter than you'd expect of a cream soup, and makes a delightful spring supper when paired with brie and a nice baguette. It travels well in a thermos, too, making it a good option for an evening picnic.
posted by Graygorey at 11:21 PM on April 12, 2011

You also might enjoy chicken stew with olives and lemon. Granted, it's early spring (borderline wintry) food, but it's light and bright enough with the parsley and lemon that it doesn't feel heavy, and it meets your condition of being a whole meal that also stores or freezes well. You can make a large portion all at once and enjoy it reasonably well until the temperature makes it so that you do not want to eat the incorporated potatoes.
posted by Graygorey at 11:30 PM on April 12, 2011

Best answer: Sweet Paul magazine, Spring 2010, full of interesting recipes.
posted by leigh1 at 2:22 AM on April 13, 2011

Here's what I've been eating a lot of the past week, and it's delicious.

Combine following in rice cooker:
1/4 c. brown rice
1/4 c. lentils
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
2 c water

On top of stove in frying pan:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 or 2 onions, sliced into half moons
3 or 4 small carrots, sliced
Saute on high for a few minutes, then turn down to medium, and cover and cook down into delicious sweetness, stirring often for about 30 minutes.

Top the lentils and rice with the carrots and onions. Add a little yogurt. Sprinkle with some cashews and raisins.

Serve with a salad of spinach, cut-up strawberries, chopped cucumber, cottage cheese and a little ranch dressing.
posted by marsha56 at 2:37 AM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]

To me, nothing says spring like fresh pea soup.
posted by SomeTrickPony at 4:13 AM on April 13, 2011

1. Steam up a handful of asparagus until they're tender. Wrap a slice of proscuito around them to make a little bundle. Butter up a baking dish just big enough to hold them, lay that little bundle in, and dot it with a little more butter. Crack an egg just on top and sprinkle on some parmaesan. Bake that at 350 for about a half hour until the egg is set.

2. Steam up some green beans. In a separate pan, melt a couple tablespoons butter, then toss in 1/3 cup blanched almonds. While the almonds are toasting up, strip the zest from a lemon. When the almonds are golden brown, dump the almonds and the butter together into the beans, toss in the lemon zest, then juice the lemon and add the juice to the beans too. Toss all that together.

3. Pasta of any kind, with fresh peas, and nothing more than butter and mint for the sauce.

You're welcome.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:37 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Broad beans, beetroot, goats cheese. Maybe a bit of avocado too. Squeeze of lemon and a dash of olive oil. Mmmmm.
posted by penguin pie at 7:18 AM on April 13, 2011

Response by poster: It's so nice to be looking forward to cooking again! These are all awesome answers--the ones marked best are just things I hadn't even thought of making before. Happy Spring!
posted by stellaluna at 10:41 AM on April 13, 2011

My two absolute favorite spring recipes:

Asparagus lemon pasta...fabulous combination of rich and light-tasting. Very easy.

Garlic scape pesto-over pasta or fish or as a dip. Garlic scapes are aka garlic whistles-this curly, green-onion looking shoot that comes off a garlic plant in the spring.
posted by purenitrous at 3:46 PM on April 13, 2011

This is really good with chicken or haloumi:

Pasta Primavera

375gm pasta
350gm asparagus
150gm snowpeas
1 cup frozen peas
200gm carrot
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 spring onions


1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp lemon thyme

Cook the peas, carrot and pasta until just cooked then cool. Shake dressing in jar and pour on salad.

Another great chicken salad recipe:

Chicken, avocado and beetroot
posted by kjs4 at 5:18 PM on April 13, 2011

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