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Cooking With Spring in Mind

Spring is a culinary favorite. Therefore cooking with spring veggies is a must! Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, Spinach top our list! Mix together these popular greens with herbs and spices for an indulging crisp in every bite this evening!

Asparagus and Mint Salad (Serves 4)

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 handful toasted, crushed hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan or pecorino shavings (hard salty Italian cheese)

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus to create strips. Toss with hazelnuts and mint. Combine and mix lemon juice, vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Pour over asparagus and mix with salt and pepper to taste. Optional: Shave parmegiano or pecorino on top.
Brussels Sprouts Salad (Serves 4)

  • 1/4 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and shaved on a mandoline
  • 1 cup finely chopped baby arugula
  • 1 celery rib, trimmed and finely diced (1/8-inch dice)
  • 4 slices speck, cut into slivers
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of  piment d’espelette
  • Half a lemon, to taste

In a large mixing bowl, combine brussels sprouts, arugula, celery, speck, cranberries, walnuts, and cheese. Pour in the olive oil and add the piment d’espelette. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of  lemon juice and  lightly season with salt and pepper. Gently fold the salad together while adjusting the seasoning to your liking.

Penne with Asparagus, Spinach, and Bacon (Serves 4)

  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 1/2 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups bagged baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) preshredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta according to the package directions. Once finished,  drain and keep warm. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion to drippings in pan; sauté 1 minute. Add asparagus and broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Add pasta, spinach, 1/4 cup cheese, and pepper to pan; toss well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bacon, if desired.


**Recipes are excerpts of their original source, please click title link for actual recipe and site.

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