We're in that in-between state, hovering between chilly winter and warm spring. What do you cook when the days can switch from cold to warm and back in a blink? We have a few ideas, from salads to desserts, that will help you craft a full menu for the season.
The Salad Course
Lentil salad with roasted vegetables and lemon-rosemary vinaigrette
From the recipe: "You could use any roasted vegetable you like in this recipe, and it would still be delicious. Roasted cauliflower, broccoli, red peppers, kale, even little new potatoes would all work perfectly well. If you are lucky enough to have asparagus now, use that. This makes a lot, so it would be a great dish for a casual brunch or light dinner with friends, or if you are making it for two people, you could cut the recipe in half."
Beet salad with vanilla bean vinaigrette and toasted hazelnuts
From the recipe: "Another way to present the same salad is to cut the beets into a small dice, then add the vinaigrette, hazelnuts, tarragon, salt and pepper to taste. Scoop into whole endive spears and top with the blue cheese crumbles. This presentation turns a salad into excellent finger food for a party, for when you don't want to deal with plates and forks."
The Soup Course
Cream of asparagus soup with Greek yogurt and lemon zest
From the recipe: "It's been so very cold this year but I love the surprise of a warm winter day. Because you can serve this soup warm or chilled, you are ready for both! So double the recipe, it makes for great leftovers."
Roasted cauliflower soup with aged cheddar
From the recipe: "Just like the wonderful recipe for baked potato soup, the roasting of the vegetable adds a whole other dimension to the soup. The flavour is a bit more intense, and with the cauliflower, a bit nutty tasting."
The Main Course
Pan-seared asparagus over wild mushroom risotto
From the recipe: "While this wine demands a hearty and savory food to stand by, it's really asparagus season that fueled this recipe. It's finally here! But don't be afraid to experiment further. How about a smoked Gouda sauce instead of Gruyere? Or topping it with some arugula? There are lots of possibilities for adding your own personality to this recipe."
Linguine with smoky avocado sauce
From the recipe: "Grilling avocados seems to be all the rage these days, and I finally tried it. It took me a while to get accustomed to the idea, because I always think of avocados as a cool, creamy treat, but I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised."
The Dessert Course
Baked apple stuffed with candied ginger and almonds
From the recipe: "I created this baked apple recipe for ease in preparation but mostly for the aroma. There's a reason real estate agents use the scent of apple pie to sell homes! It's so comforting and warm. And this simple, yet flavorful, recipe is bound to become a family favorite."
Vegan no-bake chocolate coconut macaroons
From the recipe: "Second to their too-good-to-be-vegan taste, I fell in love with the coco-choco-drops for their simplicity. No baking is required; just a single oven-top burner, a medium-sized pot, and a whole lot of love."