Oh Spring, the bountiful season between the cozy slumber of winter and the carefree heat of summer. We’ve selected a few choice recipes from some of our west coast eateries — from Seattle to Santa Barbara — to help you enjoy the best season of the year.
After all, the West is blessed with some of the finest produce-growing regions in the world, so who better to lead us into the blue-sky summer?
Spring Recipe #1: Artichoke and Preserved Lemon Pesto
Because pesto is delicious on anything and everything — including pizza, pasta, and even shellfish. And the best part? You don’t even need the oven for this one.
Artichoke and Preserved Lemon Pesto
- 1 cup Artichoke hearts fresh, boiled, and chopped (outer leaves and sharp tips trimmed)
- 2 tbsp Preserved lemon peel, chopped
- 1 tbsp Shallots, chopped
- 1 tbsp Parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp Chives, chopped
- 1 tbsp Mint, chopped
- 1 tbsp Garlic confit
- 1/4 cup Pure olive oil
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
Optional: Tabasco, salt, and white pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a mixer and blend until smooth.
- Season with Tabasco, salt, and white pepper.
- Serve with pasta, as a dip for flatbread, as pizza sauce, or brush on crostini and bake to enjoy with steamed clams or mussels.
Spring Recipe #2: Asparagus with Egg and Chorizo
Up your breakfast game with some extra greens — asparagus, eggs, and chorizo are a little-known match-made-in-heaven.
Asparagus with Egg and Chorizo
- 4 cups Water
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp White vinegar
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp Red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp Spanish–style chorizo, diced
- 1 tbsp Shallot, finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds Asparagus, ends trimmed
- Prepare an ice bath and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, add the water, one teaspoon of the salt, the white vinegar, and the eggs.
- Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let stand for four minutes.
- Shock the eggs in the ice water bath. Once the eggs are cool, peel and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, smash the eggs into small pieces using the back of a fork, then stir in ¼ cup of the olive oil, red wine vinegar, chorizo, shallot, pepper, and the remaining salt until well incorporated.
- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and grill until cooked through and slightly charred (about two to three minutes on each side).
- Serve warm with the egg mixture spooned over the top.
Spring Recipe #3: Raw Artichoke Salad with Parmesan
Learn how to process artichokes with this recipe — trust us, the reward is worth the wait (and the work)!
Raw Artichoke Salad with Parmesan
- 3 Large artichokes (tightly closed, not browning)
- 4 Lemons
- 2 tbsp Flat-leaf parsley, sliced
- 3 tbsp Shaved Parmesan
- 3 tbsp Fruity virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp Sea salt
Fresh black pepper to taste
- Have all of the above ingredients completed, except the artichokes. To avoid discoloration, prep the artichokes when you’re about ready to serve.
- Make sure you have a bowl of lemon water to start this process for the trimmed artichoke, prior to slicing.
- Cut off the artichoke stem and discard. Using a serrated knife cut one inch of the top of the artichoke. Bend the outer layers of leaves until they snap off close to the base (you may want to wear plastic gloves). Continue until you reach the pale yellow leaves with pale green tips.
- Using a sharp knife, remove the remaining leaves flush with the top of the choke. Remove the purple leaves and the fuzzy choke with a spoon. During this process you must be rubbing the artichoke continuously with a lemon half.
- Next, trim the remaining dark-green fibrous parts from the base and sides of the artichoke. Keep rubbing the choke with lemon juice.
- Place the artichoke in the lemon water and complete the process with the other artichokes.
- Shave the artichoke as thinly as possible with a slicer or mandolin and toss immediately with shaved parmesan, lemon juice, parsley, and olive oil.
- Season with salt and fresh-ground pepper, and serve. Try it with grilled salmon, gravlax–style salmon, or grilled beef.
Spring Recipe #4: Grana Padano Sweet Pea Salad with a Red Wine Vinaigrette
This salad is quintessentially Spring — celery hearts, peas, and the most delicious red wine vinaigrette make for a simple, fresh dish.
Grana Padano Sweet Pea Salad with a Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 3 Bunches of celery hearts (use the outsides for another application), leaves left whole, the stalks cut on the bias
- 2 pounds English peas, shucked and left raw
- 4 ounces Grana Padano (or other hard aged-cheese) crumbled into thin, bite-sized pieces
- 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Shallot, minced
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup Red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup Pure olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette together (the garlic, shallot, mustard, red wine vinegar, both olives oils) and set aside.
- To plate the salad, take a small ladle and create a small pool of the vinaigrette on each plate.
- Toss the celery hearts, English peas, Grana Padano, salt and pepper, and dress with remaining red-wine vinaigrette.
- Compose a small pile of all the ingredients in the center of each plate and serve immediately.
Spring Recipe #5: Sweet Pea Risotto
Because risottos don’t have to be complicated to be delicious.
Sweet Pea Risotto
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 tsp Fresh mint, thinly sliced
- 1 White onion, finely diced
- 1 Leek, finely diced
- 1 gallon Vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cups Fresh peas, blanched
- 4 tbsp Unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp Crescenza cheese
- 6 tbsp Olive oil
Salt and white pepper to taste
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepot, start heating four tablespoons of butter and add the diced white onion and leeks. Keep on a medium heat and stir constantly until they are soft.
- Add the rice and start toasting it.
- When this is done, begin to add the strained vegetable broth (which should be warm) by using a ladle of broth at a time and stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Continue to add the broth.
- When the risotto is almost done add the fresh mint and blanched peas and mix well. This process should use approximately four cups of broth.
- To test the risotto, take a little grain out and taste it; the rice should have a little crunch. If the risotto is too crunchy then continue to add broth, but in very small amounts at a time.
- When the risotto is done, finish with crescenza and season to taste.
Spring Recipe #6: Honey Lavender Crème Brûlée
A taste of honey and lavender make this dish a very-much-worth-it Spring treat.
Honey Lavender Crème Brûlée
- 7 1/2 ounces Egg yolks (approximately 11 large egg yolks)
- 7 ounches Granulated sugar
- 2 pounds Heavy cream
- 1/2 ounce Vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean)
- 12 Sprigs fresh lavender
- 5 tbsp Honey
Granulated sugar, for the topping
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and honey until light and fluffy.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine the heavy cream and scraped vanilla bean and slowly bring to a boil.
- Temper the hot heavy cream into the egg mixture.
- Continue to whisk in the heavy cream until well combined.
- Add the lavender sprigs and let steep in the warm custard mixture for one to two minutes.
- Strain the mixture and remove the foam from the surface.
- Fill small custard molds or 5½-ounce-sized ramekins with 2.75 ounces (78 grams) of the mixture and place in a water bath.
- Bake in a 325-degree oven until firm (approximately 30 to 35 minutes).
- Refrigerate the baked custard until ready to serve.
- Immediately prior to serving, remove the custard from the refrigerator and sprinkle sugar on the surface. Using a broiler or torch, caramelize the sugar. Makes eight 5-ounce servings.
Which recipe will be your new Spring favorite? We can’t wait to find out.