Saturday, April 25, 2015

10 Years, 10 Best: Spring Salads and Sides

Spring and fall are my favorite seasons. Here, in the Midwest, if you blink you miss the beautiful weather. We tend to have very short bursts of spring and fall before it's either hot and humid or stark and cold. No wonder I love it so much. We humans tend to appreciate things most when we don't have them but for a short and wonderful time.

Hello, Spring.

I'm massively busy. So thank you to all these new views of the book's Facebook page and the new likes. I haven't earned them much lately, but I am glad you are stopping by. Busy also translates to me leaning heavily on my favorite recipes for the season and not creating a lot of new ones. A good time to be celebrating a decade of blogging with a review of the best of the best.

I made this dish just last week. Our good friends are farmers and their chickens have been working overtime with the good weather. We have, I kid you not, 12 dozen eggs in our fridge. (to those at work who know me, I will be sharing). The mint plant I had "contained" took over part of the yard, so we also have mint aplenty and our spring CSA is bringing in about 5 lbs. of greens per week. Add a bit of asparagus from the farmers market today … 

We have kind of a crazy love of beets around this place. The kiddo does not share the love, but she'll tolerate their earthy flavor as long as there is feta cheese involved. Make extra of the roasted beet dressing, it's a favorite.

If you have more asparagus, in season now, try a simple raw, Marinated Asparagus, too.

Of course, it can't all be salads. I'd eat breakfast salad if I could, but not everyone agrees. This one works for kids, too, as a gateway path to beets.

My favorite Easter side, and really anytime I can get good fennel and carrots and potatoes, is this dish. It takes a bit of time to prep all the veggies so each is cooked perfectly, but it's got a lot of complexity and flavor going on here. Enough to overshadow the main dish.

And, the Beet goes on.

Spinach is abundant now, this Asian-inspired version of Goma Ae (Chilled Spinach with Carrot Ginger Sauce) is unique, but very simple.

Late spring, the tender greens give way to the hearty ones like bok choy.

Alrighty, last bit of citrus, first bit of spring. Grapefruit and mint salad.