There is a lot of (self-imposed!) pressure to use our beautiful freshly picked strawberries in the best possible way. 🙂 I have several treats that we make annually, but I try to select a few new things to make. I had my eye on this spoon cake after seeing it in the New York Times. I loved the name too! Spoon cake.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Jerrelle Guy. I doubled the strawberries and used a larger baking dish. I also weighed the ingredients, including the berries. I may bake it in a 10-inch cast iron skillet next time.
We ate it for dessert with vanilla ice cream. It could be served as a very special breakfast as well. Delicious.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1/2cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus more for greasing
I have one more green soup to share. This bright green soup screams “springtime” to me but it can be a wonderful summertime soup because it is also delicious served chilled. It is a classic soup in my house- I have made it for years using both fresh or frozen peas.
The fresh herbs provide the bright flavor in the finished soup. I have always incorporated fresh dill but I can imagine that it would also be delicious with basil or a combination of fresh herbs.
This recipe is adapted from Mollie Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Fast, healthy, and delicious.
Every year I say that I am going to make something with Meyer lemons but always seem to miss them. I am happy to report that I was able to get them this year and put them to good use. 🙂
This recipe for this bright and fresh cocktail was adapted from Food Network.com, contributed by Scott Leibfreid. I’m a lightweight, so I drank mine over ice. It was simple, perfect, and minimally sweet.
Yield: 1 cocktail
2 ounces vodka (I used lemon vodka)
1 ounce Meyer lemon juice
granulated sugar on a small plate to coat the rim of the glass
1-2 Meyer lemon slices, for garnish
In a martini shaker, combine all ingredients except the lemon slices and sugar with a generous amount of ice.
Shake vigorously for a few seconds.
Rub the rim of the glass with a lemon slice and coat with sugar.
Strain the libation from the ice into a martini glass.
Serve over ice and garnish with a lemon slice, as desired.
After sharing my friend’s Greek Meat Stuffing recipe, I realized that I have other Greek-inspired dishes to share. As avgolemono soup is one of my all-time favorites, I must say that the star of this dish is the creamy but cream-less egg-lemon sauce. It seems to bring brightness that should be served in springtime. 🙂
This dish was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Gabrielle Hamilton. I used chicken stock instead of lamb stock. The author states that it is easier to perfect the rice by cooking it pasta style, in seasoned, boiling water. She also suggests using the delicious sauce with asparagus, roasted salmon, or poached chicken. Nice.
Yield: Serves 4
coarse salt, for cooking rice and for seasoning the sauce
1 ¼cups jasmine or Basmati rice
1cup frozen small peas
2cups homemade brown lamb stock, turkey stock, or chicken stock
5large egg yolks
¼cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4scallions, sliced in 1/3-inch rings, on a slight bias
freshly ground black pepper
Bring 8 cups of water to a rolling boil. Season lightly with salt.
Rinse the rice, and pour into boiling water, stirring well to keep grains from clumping. When the water returns to a boil, lower heat a little to a gentle boil, and cook the rice “pasta-style” until just done. (I cooked the rice 8-9 minutes.)
Drain the rice through a fine-mesh colander, giving it a couple of hearty shakes to remove the last of the water.
Immediately spread cooked rice out on a sheet pan lined with parchment to cool quickly. Do not pat down or pack the rice — you want it fluffy and to be able to cool and dry quickly.
Rinse the peas under cool water briefly to remove any frosty crystals.
Bring the stock to a simmer.
In a stainless bowl, whisk egg yolks and lemon juice together until fully incorporated.
In a slow steady stream, while constantly whisking, add half the hot stock into the yolks. Then whisk the egg-lemon mixture back into the remaining stock.
Return the pot to the stove, and simmer (still whisking constantly so as not to cook the egg too fast and too hard), until the avgolemono sauce is full-bodied, approximately the consistency of buttermilk — a minute or 90 seconds more.
Stir in the scallions, then the peas, and when they both turn bright green, turn off the heat, and stir in the rice.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. The rice should be as soupy as risi e bisi (Italian rice and peas) and as creamy as risotto.
I love springtime pasta dishes loaded with vegetables. This version was creamy, rich, and absolutely delicious. Chopping the asparagus so that it could be completely incorporated throughout the pasta was genius.
This recipe was adapted from Ruth Rogers of River Café London: Thirty Years of Recipes and the Story of a Much-Loved Restaurant cookbook, via Food 52. I modified the proportions to use one pound of pasta. I also left the asparagus tips intact. Amazing!
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
14 to 16 ounces taglierini, tagliatelle, or pappardelle pasta
5 to 6 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Trim or snap off the tough ends from the asparagus spears. Cut into 1-inch pieces; reserve tips in a separate bowl.
Finely chop the 1-inch pieces of asparagus all together with 2 of the garlic cloves and the herbs in a food processor. (I chopped the garlic and herbs first and then added the asparagus.)
Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan with the remaining 4 whole garlic cloves and simmer until the cloves are soft. Remove from the heat; discard the garlic.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a separate large pan and sauté half of the chopped asparagus for 5 minutes, stirring. (I used a 14-inch skillet.)
Add the rest of the chopped asparagus-herb mixture and the reserved asparagus tips, followed by the flavored cream. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the cream begins to thicken, about 6 minutes. Season to taste. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Cook the pasta in a generous amount of boiling salted water, then drain thoroughly.
Add to the sauce along with about half of the Parmesan and toss together.