Move over basil! We’re giving kale the leading role in the pesto jar, at least for today. This is the time of year when spring kale is in abundance. Just last week my crop share had 5 generous bundles of kale (curly, flat, baby, etc.). So I’ve been tossing handfuls into salads, adding heaps to main dishes like this one, baking them in the oven for kale chips, and sneaking a little into the kids’ smoothies. Still, I find that I’m left with some on hand. A great way to use excess kale is to toss a bunch into the food processor, add some seeds or nuts (I like Eden Foods dry roasted pumpkin seeds lightly seasoned with Portuguese sea salt), some grated pecorino, garlic and olive oil and you’ll have Kale Pesto!
It’s that time of the year when I can stop at my local farm’s market and be certain to leave with a bundle of their own fresh parsley and basil. The fragrance of these spring herbs beg to be used almost immediately, in true farm to table fashion. Coupled with a quick trip to my local butcher for fresh locally raised chicken and tonight’s dinner is, Chicken with Spring Herbs and Wine.
If you’ve never made Homemade Ricotta Cheese before, you need to stop reading this right now and go to your refrigerator, the farm market or your local grocery store, and grab some whole milk, heavy cream, quality white wine vinegar, and a pinch of kosher salt. Oh, and a cheesecloth, you can find that in the baking aisle. That’s all you’ll need. Ok, go. Come back when you have everything, I’ll wait right here….
Once you’ve made your own ricotta cheese, you’ll saunter by those imposters in the dairy aisle with a well-deserved swag. You will never want a supermarket brand again. Homemade ricotta cheese is far superior in quality and taste.
Asparagus is the undisputed king of the season. Steadily emerging through the dark soil as a ready spear, its arrival trumpeting the beginning of the spring harvest. When bundled, it’s even crown-like in appearance. Today I will honor its reign by sharing my Roasted Asparagus with Prosciutto & Fontina recipe with you, a take on the classic wrapped asparagus with a few must-have additions.
Spring is here and the temperatures of late can prove it. The mornings are brighter and the sun is setting later. The local farm markets have opened and new life is rising from the cool, damp earth.
In celebration of this tender time of the year, I’m sharing one of my favorite tartine recipes inspired by the season’s first harvest, Spring Croque Monsieur Tartine.
It’s almost Easter. That also means it’s almost time to make my Good Friday Hot Cross Buns. My family looks forward to these all year because I only make them on Good Friday. Not before and never after.
These seasonal buns are delicately sticky-sweet and beautifully golden on the outside, the warm inside is gently scented with vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, and studded with dried cranberries, orange rind (optional) and golden raisins – all of which are reasons enough to love them, though I’ve always been most captivated by their legend and lore.