Signs Of Spring Are All Around

food photography of heart made from different fruits and vegetables on wooden table

In greengrocers’ and farmers’ markets around the country, signs of spring are all around. Make good use of the fresh, vibrant new vegetables and fruits inspire us to make these tasty appetizers and starters.

Grilled Apricots with Burrata, Country Ham and Arugula

Grilling apricots brings out their sweetness and adds a delicious smokey flavor

201109-r-grilled-apricots-with-burrata-country-ham-and-arugula

 How to make this recipe

  1. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the apricots with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, cut sides down, just until lightly charred, 5 minutes. Let cool.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the 1/4 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss in the apricots, radicchio and arugula. Transfer to a platter and top with the burrata, ham and vinegar. Serve.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds apricots, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced.

Artichokes with Smoked-Herb Mayonnaise

“You can ‘turn’ the artichokes, but that’s a bit fancy and laborious,” says Richard Blais about the chef technique of trimming the hearts down. It’s much easier to serve the steamed artichokes whole; their nutty flavor is especially delicious with the smoky, herb-flecked mayonnaise.

2. Artichoke

  1. Set a steamer basket in a large pot over 1/2 inch of boiling water. Arrange the artichokes, stem side down, in the basket. Cover and steam over moderate heat until a knife easily pierces the stems, about 30 minutes. Transfer the artichokes to a platter.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, dill, capers, lemon zest and juice, salt and paprika. Add a few dashes of hot sauce and season the mayonnaise with pepper. Serve the artichokes warm or lightly chilled with the mayonnaise.

Ingredients

  • 4 large artichokes, stems trimmed
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped capers
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • Hot sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper

Spicy Avocado-Cucumber Soup

This tangy, luscious soup is an excellent make-ahead dish: Simply puree everything except the garnish, then chill. For a milder version, scale back on the serrano.

Coconut Green Curry Soup w/Avocado & Cucumber A100503_FW_August 2010

  1. In a food processor, puree the cucumbers until smooth. Add the avocados, curry paste, sugar, lime zest and chile. Process until blended. Add 3 1/2 cups of water, the coconut milk and lime juice and process until smooth. Transfer the soup to a large bowl and season with salt. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, toast the coconut over low heat, stirring a few times, until lightly browned and crisp, 3 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Ladle the soup into small bowls or cups, garnish with the toasted coconut flakes and cilantro sprigs and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Lively, refreshing Grüner Veltliner.

Ingredients

  • Two 12-ounce cucumbers—peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Hass avocados, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped
  • One 13-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish
  • 10 cilantro sprigs, for garnish

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