Spring Cooking

Welcome the season with flashes of green and other spring delicacies.


Spring Cooking

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Morels are expensive, but a few go a long way and there is nothing quite like them for flavor and texture -- chewy, meaty and that aroma, earthy and exotic. Even at $30 a pound, $7 or $8 seems well worth the price. (Photo: Rikki Snyder for The New York Times)

In this recipe, minced raw green garlic is mixed with butter, Parmesan and chives, then used to top toast. It’s pungent, herbal and sweet with a bite from the chile flakes. Serve these plain, or top with any number of embellishments – sliced avocado, sliced tomatoes, dollops of ricotta cheese, fillets of anchovies or sardines. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

If you don’t grow your own herbs, I suggest that you buy a bunch of parsley along with basil or chives to keep on hand in your refrigerator. The herbs will keep for a week if properly stored. Produce departments often use misters, a practice that drives me crazy because leafy greens don’t keep well once wet. So when you get home, spin the herbs in salad spinner if they’re wet, wrap them in a paper towel and then bag them. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

The reason I choose penne for this dish is because I always like the way the peas find their way inside the little tubes. The dish is simple, sweet with tarragon, and very quickly made. You must serve it right away or the ricotta will stiffen. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

This is a Greek-inspired pastitsio, a comforting béchamel-enriched mix of orzo, artichokes and peas. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

Fresh pasta, asparagus and smoked salmon are tossed with shallot cream sauce in this elegant weeknight dinner that can be prepared in well under an hour. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

Fresh pasta is indeed best with very little in the way of sauce. The point is to show off the noodle and enhance its flavor with a little butter or cream, perhaps a bit of prosciutto or snipped herbs. Or, when spring finally gets here, a handful of green peas. (Photo: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

Buckwheat noodles are often served cold in Japan and Korea, and are especially welcome during hot weather. (Photo: Karsten Moran for The New York Times)

I call the dish a tagine because it tastes like a Tunisian stew; its warm triumvirate of spices — coriander, cumin and caraway — are always present in the classic Tunisian spice mix called tabil. It is inspired by the Tunisian tagines I make to serve with couscous, but I served this instead with whole grain flatbread. Since my version is vegetarian, I cooked the onions and fennel in olive oil before adding them to the beans so the dish would have a bit of fat and the vegetables would have more flavor. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

Steven Satterfield, the chef at Miller Union in Atlanta, published a version of this recipe for a kind of Lowcountry risotto in his cookbook, "Root to Leaf." He uses Carolina Gold rice, a heritage long-grain variety, instead of the short-grain arborio rice you’d find in Italy. But any good long-grain rice will do. Likewise, feel free to substitute other hams for the country ham called for in the recipe. But use the very best peas you can find or, failing that, asparagus tips or tiny radishes. Not rich enough for you? Add a poached egg. (Photo: Rikki Snyder for The New York Times)

Gnocchi With Spring Vegetables and Basil. Click the link to get the complete recipe. (Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times)

Spring Lamb and Flageolets With Fay’s Relish. Click the link to get the complete recipe. (Photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

This is inspired by a lush Sicilian springtime stew called fritteda that also includes peas and fava beans (and much more olive oil). This one is simpler, but equally sweet and heady because of all the fennel and the spring onions. I like to serve it with bow tie pasta and a little Parmesan as a main dish, or with grains as part of a meal in a bowl. It also makes a delicious side dish with just about anything. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

Celery adds a new dimension to the flavor of this soup and harmonizes with the broccoli. When you cook broccoli for more than 8 to 10 minutes the color fades, so I add a little spinach at the end of cooking to brighten up the color. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

This dish is inspired by something similar served at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif. It works as a side, of course, but also as an hors d'oeuvre served with drinks. (Photo: Melina Hammer for The New York Times)

A dish from the restaurant Camino in Oakland, Calif., is the inspiration of this recipe. Experiment with a little chicken stock and pasta added to the pea stew, if you like. (Photo: Melina Hammer for The New York Times)

I’ve made many rainbow pepper stir-fries, but this time I used my multicolored carrots, and cut them into matchsticks so they would cook quickly along with the spring onions. I wanted this to be a main dish, so I added tofu, as well as the aromatics that I always use in my stir-fries: garlic, ginger, dry sherry, soy sauce and a bit of sugar. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

This is a wonderful springtime stew loaded with spring onions or shallots, fresh tarragon and peas. Much of the flavor comes from browning the veal cubes, but be careful: veal is pretty lean, so it doesn’t take long to dry out. Stewing it for 15 to 20 minutes (sometimes even less) with a little splash of white wine is all it takes. Add the peas at the end, and cook until they’re tender and warm — you don’t want to cook all the flavor out of them, especially if they’re fresh. (Photo: The New York Times)

This is inspired by — but much lighter than — risotto Milanese, the mother of all risottos. If you’ve never made a risotto, start with this utterly simple classic. Green garlic resembles spring onions or leeks. The young bulbs have not yet set cloves. The flavor isn’t at all sharp, but more like the flavor of leeks. Prepare as you would leeks. (Photos: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

This is a light, sweet onion soup to make when those big, juicy spring onions accompany fresh fava beans in the farmers’ market. You can make a quick vegetable stock with the trimmings while you’re prepping the ingredients. (Photos: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

You can use any of the ancient wheat varieties here – spelt, kamut or farro. You could also substitute other greens, like chard or beet greens, for the spinach. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

Fennel and spring onions, cooked gently until they begin to caramelize, make a sweet topping for a pizza. Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of fiber, folate and potassium. Fennel also contains many phytonutrients, including the flavonoids rutin and quercitin, as well as a compound called anethole, mainly responsible for its anise-y flavor, that may have anti-inflammatory properties. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

Click the link for the complete pickled spring onions and asparagus recipe. (Photo: Amanda Lucidon for The New York Times)

For this vegetarian lasagna, some of the cooked broccoli rabe is puréed to make a garlicky pesto and the rest is coarsely chopped and added to the layers. (Photos: Karsten Moran for The New York Times)

Thinking spring with a logo made out of peas and mashed potatoes. (Photo: Sara Bonisteel/The New York Times)