Spring-Table

Whoops – thought this went up before I left for vacation, but apparently it did not.  Well. enjoy while I sort out a few photos from Mexico… xx

If it is not yet apparent, friends & dinner is my favorite thing ever – and I particularly love the combination at home.  On Saturday, we had a few friends over and did another version of spring favorites.  You may notice that the many of the ingredients below mimic those found at the first “spring dinner” – some in a new way, some the same.

It was much warmer this time around, so the overall feel was a bit lighter, but definitely just as good.

Farmer's-Market-Bounty

We started with ...

Fresh Pea & Fava Puree and Ricotta with Lemon Zest
Great with grilled bread – eaten solo or piled together for the perfect bite.  This is the same Jamie Oliver version as before (and several other dinners in the meantime), but with favas too, as they were available at my farmer’s market.  Good ricotta doesn’t need much, but a little sprinkling of lemon zest and a drizzle of good olive oil takes it over the top!

Pea-Puree-and-Ricotta

And for dinner ...

Little Gems with Pickled Green Strawberries
I saw the green strawberries at the market, and decided to attempt the same method from a recent salad at Cotogna – with a quick pickle.  I used the same recipe as when I pickled grapes, and added roasted beets and goat cheese to the little gems.  As for the vinaigrette, I added a few smashed ripe strawberries in place of honey for sweetness, and love the ying and yang of it.

Spring Risotto with Preserved Lemon
When looking around for different versions of spring risotto, I found one on Food 52 that added chopped preserved lemons at the end.  I loved that idea, and used it myself — I didn’t follow the whole recipe (which called for Pernod instead of the usual white wine) and just did a fairly traditional version with asparagus and spring peas, but I did sub green garlic and fennel for onions, which made it particularly “springy” too me.

yet, the pièce de résistance (in my book) was the ...

Whole Roasted Brazino with Caper Butter
I have never roasted whole fish before (grilled once) and must say, I am hooked. Super simple but so tender and delicious!  I stuffed it with lemon, fresh rosemary & oregano and followed this technique.  Served it with caper butter and it was perfect!  Added bonus it comes across as quite a showstopper.

Spring-Dinner

Roasted-Branzino

And for dessert ...

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries
A truly perfect dessert for spring and summer.  In fact, it was such a hit that I had to make it again on Sunday when some friends dropped by.  Suffice it to say, we will be following up with our own post on this one.

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Strawberries

Have you had a chance to capture spring yet.  What are your favorties?  And can you believe that summer is almost here?

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