Spring is here! Finally, our gardens and farmers’ markets are filled with ingredients we’ve been looking forward to for months: asparagus, artichokes, fava beans and strawberries, just to name a few.
Celebrate the season this weekend by inviting friends over for a simple, elegant dinner inspired by its colorful bounty — our recipes and tips will show you how.
A vibrant green salad is the perfect way to begin a spring meal. Take tossed greens to the next level with this fava bean and pecorino salad, which stars rich, creamy favas and sharp pecorino.
For the main course, serve braised chicken with artichokes, a one-pot meal that makes an elegant presentation. Baby artichokes mingle with fresh tarragon, basil and parsley to create a bright, earthy complement to the chicken. Soak up the delicious braising liquid with creamy new potatoes sprinkled with fresh herbs. Tender asparagus need little finessing at their peak, so serve roasted asparagus with lemon on the side.
A fruit crumble is the ultimate spring and summer dessert, showcasing sweet berries at their best and requiring just a few steps to assemble. Try our strawberry and rhubarb crumble, a perfect balance of tangy rhubarb, sweet strawberries, and a crispy oat topping.
Working ahead makes this dinner a breeze to pull off. Here’s what you can do:
- 1 to 2 days ahead: Braise the chicken, cool, cover and refrigerate overnight (the flavors will develop and become even richer with time).
- Day of: Cook and shell the fava beans for the salad. Make the fruit filling for the crumble and add to baking dish.
- Just before serving: Boil the potatoes and finish with herbs. Reheat the chicken and cook the asparagus. Bake the crumble and finish the salad.
If you keep your own edible garden, use as many ingredients from it as you can to give the meal a true garden-to-table feel. If not, buy produce from your local farmers’ market — it will taste sweeter and fresher than anything at the supermarket. Pick up a bouquet of cut flowers while you’re there; a few buds can create a bright table without any fuss.
This menu is perfectly suited to family-style serving, where dishes are passed around the table and shared. Serve the salad in a large wooden bowl, the potatoes in a white porcelain bowl, and the asparagus on a matching platter. Serveware in classic white and natural textures allows the spring produce to shine.
A crisp white or light red wine is the ideal complement. Need ideas? See our expert’s favorite warm-weather wine picks.
When it’s time for dessert, plate the crumble in the kitchen and bring it out to the table. Guests will appreciate a scoop of vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream on the side.