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Pardon my long absence here. Well shoot!  There has been a lot going on. Since I have been away I am grateful to read all of your comments and emails. I loved this little post about my last recipe for the peanut butter tarts! Thank you Baking Bird.

Seasonally, who doesn’t love spring?

I dig spring; it’s all about the sweet peas, the mesmerizing shapes of the fiddleheads and aroma of spring onions. I could not imagine a spring pasta dish without peas, tender greens and fiddleheads. Could you?

SpringPastaRecipe

For this Northerner, I welcome it as soon as fall heads into winter, and looking forward to the first blooms of the season.

Springtime is where the sweeping away of the robust flavors of winter and the attentive nature of the palette gears towards fresh, vibrant things.

Peas3

All of these and more are delicate in substance needing nothing more than a brisk dive in frantically boiling water and to set their emerald color.

For a few weeks it will be the enjoyment of what spring has to offer. The most vibrantly emerald green soups, tender asparagus, and the most beautiful blossoms.

Peas1

Until then, have a beautiful spring.

Spring Pasta Recipe [Serves 4]

4 ounces gluten-free spaghetti pasta

3 cups fresh pea shoots –or- baby arugula

1 cups fiddlehead ferns

½  cup freshly shelled peas

½ cup freshly shelled fava beans

¼ cup thinly sliced purple spring onion

¼ cup capers, drained

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

White sesame seeds [for garnishing]

Fresh chervil leaves [for garnishing]

Ground red pepper [for garnishing]

Shaved Parmesan [optional, not pictured]

1. Cook pasta as directed on the package, rinse to cool.

2. Briefly blanch peas, fava beans and fiddleheads in salted water, cool in ice water.

3. Toss pasta with vinaigrette, blanched vegetables and capers.

4. Place half of the pea shoots on a platter.

4. Place dressed pasta on a serving platter and garnish with Parmesan shavings, remaining pea shoots, chervil, sesame seeds and ground red pepper.

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette [for recipe above]

3 Tablespoons toasted hazelnut oil

2 Tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice

1 – 1 ½ teaspoon Meyer lemon zest

1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon cane sugar

¾ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

1. Whisk together all ingredients except the oil until smooth.

2. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. The sunshine and weather was gorgeous the past few days. It’s a marvelous time out in the garden to see everything bursting with life. There is definitely lots of garden chores ahead and getting things ready. The whole process to me is pure joy.

Today spring is finally here. I took a few photos of what I have found already growing quickly in the garden. I hope you enjoy them.

I couldn’t resist the temptation to dig and work in the garden. As you know the weather can take a turn for the worst this time of year. All of the gathered seed pods from last year’s blooms have been scattered about. This usually is the case so that plants I like can pop up everywhere and of course removing the strays that get too close to the more established giants.

I also couldn’t resist sharing some spring like recipes. Bright pink radishes, vibrant sweet peas and seductive purple carrots all favor a splash of fresh colorful flavor.

Can you smell spring in the air? It is glorious!

Dijon Glazed Salmon Recipe [serves 4]

4-8 ounce salmon fillets

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 Tablespoon strong Dijon mustard

½ Tablespoon olive oil

½ Tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Whisk glaze ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Pan sear salmon in a little bit of olive oil until sides are golden, approximately 2-3 minutes.

3. Place salmon in an oven safe dish and brush with glaze.

4. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.

5. Bake for 15 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.

Sweet Pea & Chickpea Salad [serves 4]

15-ounce can chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas

1 cup purple carrots, fine julienne or grated

2 watermelon radishes, fine julienne or grated

1/3 cup bleu cheese, crumbled [Fourme d’Ambert used here]

¼ cup roasted & salted sunflower seeds

1 large handful of pea shoots [optional]

3 Tablespoons olive oil or sunflower oil

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon strong Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon fresh oregano

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1. Assemble the salad ingredients and toss gently in a bowl.

2. Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, oregano, sea salt and pepper until smooth.

3. Slowly whisk in oil to emulsify.

4. Toss dressing with salad and serve promptly.

As a new year begins I find that I do not make resolutions, but a list of projects I would like to complete and things I would like to do. When it comes to sticking to a diet, I like to think in terms of moderation. Since I love food and with so many recipes to make, making smaller portions is the way to go, even making smaller sized desserts.

 

Is this recipe low-fat? Why make low-fat anything? Something I hear a lot. Things that contain cream can make one think is it terribly bad for the waist line, but keep in mind, cream may not always be the culprit. This simple spring like soup I made has only one tablespoon of cream per serving, but still seems full bodied. A touch of cream can go a long way to pull flavors in a recipe together.

 

A simple food philosophy I like to stick to is: enjoy your food in manageable portions, enjoy what you eat and of course eat plenty of vegetables. Just don’t ask me about my crazy cookie habit. Friends that see me on a daily basis usually see me with a cookie in hand! Something I guess needs addressing.

 Enjoy these fresh new recipes from my kitchen!

 

Smoked Salmon Stew Recipe

 

1 Tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup shallots, julienne thinly

1 garlic clove, minced

 

¼ cup dry vermouth

2 ½ cups seafood stock -or- cold water

 

1/3 pound tiny red-skinned potatoes, thinly sliced

 

¼ cup small pea pods, snow peas or frozen peas

8 ounces smoked salmon, broken into bite size pieces

¼ cup cream

 

Freshly chopped dill

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

preparing the stew:

 

1. Sauté shallots in oil on low heat until tender. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes more.

2. Deglaze with vermouth and add potatoes and stock or water.

3. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until potatoes are just about done.

4. Add peas and finish the cooking. Potatoes should be tender, but not falling apart.

5. Add cream, salmon and fresh dill, heat through.

6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 2-4.

 

 

Beet & Kale Salad Recipe

 

1 bunch purple kale, stemmed & torn into bite size pieces

3 large red beets, peeled & fine julienned

1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1/3 cup sliced almond, toasted*

 

¼ cup sesame oil [not toasted]

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons orange juice [red navel oranges used here]

2 Tablespoons honey

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon freshly minced ginger

1 teaspoon orange zest [from the red navel oranges]

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

 

preparing the salad:

1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl, set aside.

2. Combine all of the dressing ingredients except oil in a food processor.

3. Add oil while the machine is running to emulsify.

4. Dress salad and enjoy.

Serves 2.

 

*Toast almonds in a 350°F for 8-10 minutes.

 

Some things you may like in this salad are: sliced pears, chicories, orange segments and/or radishes.

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