It brings me the absolute most joy to announce that it is, as of today, officially Spring. The first day of the season always seems to be the sweetest. Here in Sydney, Jasmine is blooming, the sun is shining, and the plane trees are wreaking havoc on people with allergies. In light of this large spring energy, we thought why not bring some of said energy onto your plate, to really get into the spirit of spring. Seasonally, fennel is on sale and summer squash in peaking, with leeks and asparagus not far behind. Below, find five spring inspired recipes to try this week and in the month ahead.
Perfect at any time of the day and one that always makes me feel as though warmer weather is ahead of us. Leeks and spinach are sauteed with stock, cumin and preserved lemon for a fragrant base which eggs are purposefully dropped into and braised with. Topped with feta and Za'atar and eaten with crusty bread is the best way to consume.
For the nights that you so desperately want to be balmy but haven't quite reached yet, Ottolenghi's herby brothy scenario is the ticket. Kale and herbs are kneaded through dough which puffs up as it poaches in warm, hearty broth. If matzah balls were tailored to a season, this is what it feels like.
Clams can be scary for people who don't deal with seafood often, but they really are one of the easiest kinds of seafood to conquer. Perfect for a long weekend lunch in the sunshine, these brothy, salty clams make everything feel normal again, and take me right to the cliff's edge of an Italian fishing village I was supposed to be parked at this summer until that became a non-option. But hooray for clams for mimicking the experience!
One of my favourite pasta dishes ever is pasta primavera. Reminding us all time and time again that pasta doesn't always have to end with the feeling of needing to be 'rolled' somewhere, this pasta dish is delightfully green, light and suitable for most people. If you have a gluten-free dinner guest, sub out the spaghetti for the gluten-free variety. If you are dealing with a vegan or lactose intolerant person, first of all, my condolences and secondly, leave off the parm and creme fraiche and use a little more olive oil than you would usually think to.
A bright and refreshing salad option for those who need a foliage-packed pick-me-up. Fennel and apple provide crunch while the halloumi offers much-needed heartiness. Personally, I'm not very interested in a salad unless it's topped with fried cheese.