As we move through March, we stop craving hearty winter comfort foods like stews and braises. Instead, our palates are attracted to the milder, brighter flavors of spring — fresh herbs, young root vegetables and gently cooked meat and seafood. Inevitably, I find myself looking for those first asparagus at the farmers’ market every weekend.
To satisfy your evolving appetite try one of these recipes, which incorporate the fresh, lighter tastes of the upcoming season. You can find most of the ingredients at your market already, so you won’t have to wait for fava beans to usher in spring.
|Beef Medallions with Spring Mashed Potatoes
Young cabbage lightens the texture of mashed potatoes and gives them a new flavor component in this meal-in-one recipe.
|Chicken Breasts with Lentil-Radish-Mint Salad
Peppery radishes and refreshing mint deliver bright spring flavors to healthful chicken breasts — and a side of lightly dressed lentils makes it a full meal.
|Orecchiette with Butter-Braised Nettles
Nettles pop up in farmers’ markets during early spring, so start looking in the coming weeks. A quick dip in boiling water takes the sting out, and they are worth that little bit of trouble.
|Lamb Chops with Mint Salsa Verde
This recipe puts an unusual spin on a traditional spring combination — lamb and mint — with an Italian-style salsa verde. Serve with your first asparagus of the season.
|Sauteed Scallops and Swiss Chard
Greens, lemon and tarragon make refreshing counterpoints to scallops’ inherent richness. Spoon this creative and colorful dish over aromatic rice so it can soak up the delicious sauce.