Ok, we’ve been waiting all year for this. The days may not be actually longer, but they seem like they’re longer. One more hour of sunshine in the day (or so it seems) and it’s time to fire up the grill! Time to set the outdoor table. Time for cocktails on the patio because dinner’s on the barbecue. Ah yes! Spring is very nearly in full swing.
With such enthusiasm for the beginning of grill season, it should come as no surprise to learn that we’ve already lined up our springtime favorites. Tender lamb chops, portobellos with green sauce, strawberries in pastry puffs. Spring appetizers to graze on. Spring cocktails to sip. Read on for our seasonal favorites, get home in time for dinner, and saddle up to the grill.
Make the pea and ricotta mixture in advance, then toast the crostini on the grill while it’s preheating. There are lots of great appetizers to welcome spring, but we love these toasts because they’re casual and SO EASY! Arrange the grilled toasts alongside a bowl of the pea mixture on a pretty outdoor platter and everyone can serve themselves.
Fresh parsley, cilantro and garlic are the key trio in this sprightly salsa. Hefty grilled portobello mushrooms take advantage of its versatility—using the salsa as both marinade and sauce. Tuck them into a bun to serve as a vegetarian “burger,” or serve them alongside the main dish.
With the lid closed, an outdoor grill is a wonderful vehicle for radiant heat. The method for grilling these tender lamb chops to perfection relies on a preheated stainless steel pan set over a grill rack. Close the lid and the chops cook to a juicy medium rare in under 20 minutes.
Cooked in a sauté pan on the grill rack, fingerling potatoes take on a smoky flavor and crispy crust. Mixed with fresh herbs, a sprinkling of sheep’s milk cheese, and tossed with a simple vinaigrette, these warm potatoes are everything we want. They land somewhere between side dish and salad and firmly in the realm of absolutely delicious.
Yes, you could just put a big bowl of spring’s first strawberries on the table after dinner for a nearly perfect dessert. Yet, make a batch of these pastry puffs in advance, then fill them with strawberries and mascarpone and no one will ever forget what you served for dessert. Happy spring!