Spring is when you can relax in the kitchen and let the ingredients do the work, as the produce tends to be young and fresh. Grab fistfuls of bright green young asparagus and fresh broad beans while they last, make yourself some zesty dressings and celebrate the arrival of deliciously crisp salads. I’ve put together some simple recipes to take with you on a spring picnic, or to have up your sleeve for last minute lunch guests.
Pea, burrata & lemon oil salad
- Fresh peas 350g
- Burrata 200g ball
- Lemon oil x 3 tablespoons
- Sea salt flakes
- Black pepper
- Handful mint leaves
Shell the peas (or use defrosted frozen peas) and dress with the lemon oil, shredded mint & black pepper. Tear the burrata roughly and scatter over the top. Serve with warm focaccia.
Taleggio, truffle & asparagus tarts
- 1 sheet rolled puff pastry
- Cream cheese x 100g
- Taleggio x 200g, sliced
- Truffle oil x 1 tablespoon
- Asparagus spears x 12
- Black pepper
Roast the asparagus spears with a little olive oil and salt at 180 celsius for 10 minutes then set aside. Add the truffle oil to the cream cheese and spread over the pastry sheet leaving a 1cm border. Dot the taleggio and cooked asparagus over on top of the cream cheese covered sheet and bake in the oven at 180 for 15 minutes or until the pastry border is golden brown. Slice into triangles and serve.
Figs with mascarpone & ‘Nduja
- 6 x ripe figs
- Mascarpone x 250g
- Jar of ‘Nduja or (sundried tomato paste for a vegetarian option!)
Roast the figs in the oven on 180 celsius for 15 minutes or grill until starting to char. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Dot the mascarpone on top and drizzle the ‘Nduja on the top. Serve on a large platter or on top of ciabatta for a delicious bruschetta!
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas or cannellini beans, drained
- 2 x ripe avocado, skin off
- Olive oil 2 tablespoons
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 pinches sea salt
Blitz the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Delicious as part of a sharing style buffet with crudites, nuts and crudites for dipping!
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