Tips and ideas to make the best out of the season’s bounty
After a long winter, there's nothing more welcome than celebrating spring with the sight and the flavor of new colorful, tasty seasonal ingredients: asparagus, broad beans, peas, radishes, green beans, spring onions, courgettes, strawberries, flowers, but also the last artichokes, often very present at Easter and in Easter lunch dishes together with eggs and lamb.
Spring is also the season of the first barbecues and picnics with friends: a wonderful time for cooking, a perfect time of year to indulge in so many different dishes because it is not too hot to spend time around the oven and stove and the ideas to experiment are aplenty. Consuming seasonal products is essential for a variety of reasons: product quality, environmental sustainability, as well as economic savings. In spring it becomes even more important to cleanse and nourish the body after the colder months. And it is not difficult, given that greengrocer’s stands are a rainbow of colors and shapes:
Vegetables: Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Bok Choy, Carrots, Fennel, Fava Beans, Herbs, Leeks, Salad Greens, Morels, Onions, Peas, New potatoes, Radishes, Ramps, Rhubarb, Scallions, Spinach
Fruits: Apricots, Strawberries, Cherries, Blackcurrant, Gooseberry.
Looking for some original ideas for your dishes? Here is some inspiration:
Leek is a very versatile ingredient which can give a delicious aromatic taste to several recipes. If, during fresh early-spring evenings you still want to let yourself be comforted by hot soup, try a simple recipe with seasonal ingredients: new potatoes and leeks cooked in vegetable stock. With the KitchenAid Artisan Power Blender, you can have it warm and smooth in less than 5 minutes! The chef’s touch? A handful of edible flowers before serving.
Although they are eaten all year round from frozen, Fava beans have their best time from march onwards, and can be used in a variety of recipes. We suggest you make a tasty cream to combine with bread, chips or croutons. With the help of the versatile KitchenAid Professional Hand Blender, it is very simple: peel the beans, boil them in water for 7 minutes, then cool them and remove the skin before blending and seasoning with salt and pepper and a drizzle of oil. Then add wild fennel and garlic, along with a little' lemon juice, finish blending and complete with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Asparagus is rich in vitamins and minerals, it has detoxifying properties, fights cellulite and has anti-depressive effects: This is why it is one of the most popular vegetables of spring, as it can be the protagonist of many recipes, from classic risotto to quiches. Asparagus are excellent just boiled and seasoned with extra-virgin olive oil but, with the help of the KitchenAid Chef Touch system, you can preserve all their nutrients and flavor, putting them in a vacuum bag with the seasoning and then cooking them in the Twelix Artisan steam oven. If you want to try something new, try making a delicious vegetarian tartare: steam the asparagus, let them cool, cut them into rings and season with oil and salt. Then serve them with a sauce prepared with mustard, oil, vinegar and minced capers.
Rhubarb is a plant with an intensely tart flavor and velvety texture. The leaves of the plant are mildly toxic and are not to be eaten; the colorful, celery-like stalks are full of gastronomic and medicinal virtues and are usually cooked and combined with sugar to offset their tartness: it is a popular ingredient in pies and cakes, cooked down into compotes, or simmered and turned into tart sauces or syrups. A classic recipe is the Rhubarb Berry Pie, but you can also try it to make an ice cream. If you want it in a savory dish: Rhubarb gives the best of itself with fatty fish, like salmon: its light sour taste gives a unique aromatic note, while being a perfect palate cleanser.
Radish has many benefits and can also be used to help you sleep because it contains vitamin B and has tranquilizing properties. It is composed primarily of water and contains iron, potassium, fibre and is very low in calories. Today you can use it as a great ingredient for colorful and delicious salads with a spicy and sour taste. Try discovering Fattoush, a Lebanese recipe whose name literally means “moist bread”: it is like Italian Panzanella and it is very simple to prepare as it is made with toasted bread and a mix of fresh vegetables, so it is perfect for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. Among the typical vegetables of this salad there are cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, lettuce and radishes, tied by a flavored citronette
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