Gone are the stews, soups and hearty meals that we enjoyed during the colder winter months. In their place we long for fresh, crisp greens, zingy lemon flavours and dishes that incorporate new produce from the markets or from our gardens. Spring foods bring crunch and colour to meals. Asparagus, strawberries, sugar snap peas – all the flavours of spring!
Here, we take a look at some simple spring recipes that can be prepared easily in your oven and make the most of the beautiful new flavours of the season. No slow roasts or involved recipes, but simple, fresh dishes that can be prepared without working up a sweat and that give you the chance to enjoy the better weather while they are cooking. Enjoy!
One-Pan Salmon with Roast Asparagus
This light, colourful one-pot meal is packed with spring vegetables and herbs (serves 2).
400g new potato, halved if large
2 tbsp olive oil
8 asparagus spears, trimmed and halved
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 salmon fillets, about 140g/5oz each
Handful basil leaves
- Heat oven to 220 °C. Tip the potatoes and 1 tbsp of olive oil into an ovenproof dish, then roast the potatoes for 20 mins until starting to brown. Toss the asparagus in with the potatoes, then return to the oven for 15 mins.
2. Throw in the cherry tomatoes and vinegar and nestle the salmon amongst the vegetables. Drizzle with the remaining oil and return to the oven for a final 10-15 mins until the salmon is cooked. Scatter over the basil leaves and serve everything scooped straight from the dish.
Chicken and Veggie Pie (serves 4)
If your family likes chicken, try this simple but elegant variation packed full of flavour.
4 small chicken breasts, skin removed
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine (optional)
1 bay leaf or bouquet garni sachet
700g mixed vegetables of choice (carrots, cauliflower, leeks, cabbage, asparagus, baby corn, peas)
2 teaspoons cornflour
2 tablespoons low-fat milk
2 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano, marjoram) or 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
Freshly ground or cracked black pepper, to taste
6 sheets filo pastry
Olive or canola oil spray
Preheat oven to 200 °C. In a large covered pan, slowly poach chicken breasts in chicken stock, sherry and bay leaf for 15–20 minutes depending on size. Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan. Cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and place chicken and vegetables into a deep pie dish, leaving behind the juices. Mix cornflour with milk and add to juices, bringing to the boil to thicken. Add herbs and season with pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables. Prepare pastry crust by spraying every second sheet of filo with a little oil and layering sheets on top of each other. Place over top of dish, scrunching up slightly. Spray with a little oil and bake until crisp and brown. Serve immediately.
Roasted Rhubarb (serves 4-6)
In spring, take advantage of the first pink stems of rhubarb. Soft and sweet, they make for a wonderful springtime dessert which is easy enough to eat during the week but also pretty enough to grace a dinner party table!
400g trimmed rhubarb, preferably pink
85g golden caster sugar
To serve: Vanilla ice cream
- Heat oven to 200 °C. Rinse the rhubarb and shake off the excess water. Trim the ends and cut the rhubarb into little finger-sized pieces. Put the rhubarb in a shallow dish or baking sheet with sides, tip the sugar over, toss together, then shuffle the rhubarb so it’s in a single layer.
- Cover with foil and roast for 15 mins. Remove the foil. The sugar should have dissolved, so give everything a little shake and roast for another 5 mins or until tender and the juices are syrupy. Test with a sharp knife; the rhubarb should feel tender, not mushy, and still have kept its shape.
Serve warm or cold, with ice cream.
If these tempting spring recipes make you feel that you want to explore more great-tasting menu ideas and spend more time in your kitchen, it may be time to look at investing in a new cooker top.
ASKO continuously strives to find the most environmentally friendly solutions and economical use of resources. Their machines are among the most water and energy efficient on the market. Stylish, efficient and self-cleaning, the pyrolytic oven allows you to take full advantage of healthy, quick and easy to prepare meals that all the family will love.