Time to store the big soup pot

The pots for hot soups are put away until cooler weather and the menus we consider tend to lean more toward the fresh fruits and vegetables of the warmer seasons — especially salads.

The pots for hot soups are put away until cooler weather and the menus we consider tend to lean more toward the fresh fruits and vegetables of the warmer seasons — especially salads.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

Spring is finally here, and as we head closer to the hot summer months, the foods we want to eat change drastically. The pots for hot soups are put away until cooler weather and the menus we consider tend to lean more toward the fresh fruits and vegetables of the warmer seasons — especially salads.

The farmers’ markets are loaded with wonderful choices after the deep freeze of this winter. If you need ideas on how to cook any of the vegetables, just ask. Some markets even have a chef on the premises to give you ideas.

 

Celery, Radish and Parsley Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of finely grated lemon zest
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Preparation:

Whisk lemon juice, zest, and salt and pepper in a small bowl until salt is dissolved. Whisk in olive oil; adding more salt and pepper, if needed. Toss radishes, celery and parsley in a large bowl. Drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss to coat evenly.

 

Mango-Radicchio Caprese with Basil Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus eight whole large basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 8 radicchio leaves, thick ends trimmed
  • 2 large mangoes, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 8 1/4-inch-thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese

Preparation:

Blend chopped basil, oil and vinegar in mini food processor until most of basil is puréed. Add salt and pepper. Overlap radicchio, mangoes, cheese and basil leaves on plates. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve with remaining vinaigrette. Yield: 4 servings.

 

Grilled Lemon Dill Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Clean and dry asparagus. Mix together lemon, dill and butter in a bowl. Place asparagus on grill; add salt and pepper. Grill until just tender. Add a dollop of lemon butter on each spear.

 

Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Lemon and Radish Tops

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches medium radishes (about 20 red, pink and purple)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large heavy-duty, rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Cut off all but 1/2 inch of green radish tops; reserve trimmed tops, rinse very well, checking for grit. Coarsely chop and set aside. Cut radishes in half lengthwise and place in medium bowl. Add olive oil and toss to coat thoroughly. Place radishes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast until radishes are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Add more salt, if desired. Melt butter in heavy, small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pinch of coarse kosher salt to skillet and cook about three minutes, until butter browns, swirling skillet frequently to keep butter solids from burning. Remove skillet from heat and stir in fresh lemon juice. Transfer roasted radishes to warmed, shallow serving bowl and drizzle with brown butter. Sprinkle with chopped radish tops and serve. Yield: 4 side-dish servings.

 

Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 24 large asparagus spears (about two pounds), trimmed and peeled
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • Parmesan cheese, for shaving

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange asparagus spears in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and turn to coat. Add salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and just tender, 18-20 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a platter and drizzle vinegar over asparagus. Use a vegetable peeler to shave Parmesan cheese over the spears. Yield: 4 servings.

 

Citrus Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon jui
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Combine first six ingredients in a small jar; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover, shake to blend, and chill. Can be made one week ahead. Shake before using. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.

 

Sources: bonappetit.com, gourmet.com and Joanne’s recipe box.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 2, April/May 2013.

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