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Not sure what to cook? We’ve gathered six simple spring recipes that are sure to satisfy appetites. These recipes are light and flavorful, and do a great job of reminding you that spring has sprung!

Spaghetti al Limone With Asparagus

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large bunch asparagus, trimmed, thinly sliced on a deep diagonal
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 3″-long strips lemon zest
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 2 oz. Parmesan, finely grated (about 1 cup), plus more for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1½ cups pasta cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high until shimmering. Add asparagus, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to take on color, about 1 minute. Add garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let sit until pasta is done.
  3. Add pasta and basil to pot with asparagus mixture and return to medium-high heat. Squeeze juice from both lemons into pot and add 2 oz. Parmesan and 1 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid. Cook, tossing vigorously and adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until sauce is creamy and emulsified and pasta is coated, about 1 minute. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Remove and discard garlic.
  4. Divide pasta among bowls, placing a lemon strip in each, and top with more Parmesan.

Ramp Fritters

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 oz. ramps
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¾ cup club soda
  • ¾ cup light beer
  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 6 cups)
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Remove any slippery outer layers from ramp bulbs, trim roots, then soak in a bowl of cold water, swishing around gently to loosen any dirt.
  2. Lift out ramps and blot dry with paper towels. Avoid cramming them in a salad spinner so as not to damage the delicate leaves.
  3. Cut ramps into 1″ pieces ( you should get about 5 cups). Whisk all-purpose flour, rice flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl to combine. Make a well in the center and pour in club soda and beer; whisk until smooth. Fold in ramps.
  4. Pour oil into a large cast-iron skillet fitted with thermometer to come 1″ up sides and heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°. Working in batches, place ¼-cup mounds of batter into skillet and press down lightly to flatten and submerge. Fry, turning once, until fritters are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; sprinkle with salt. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Spring Chicken Salad with Smashed Green Beans

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large chicken breasts (about 1 lb., 4 oz. total)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. green beans
  • 1 small bunch chives
  • 1 large head of Bibb lettuce
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 cup whole peperoncini
  • 1 avocado

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cover 2 large chicken breasts with 4 cups cold water in a large saucepan. Season with 3 Tbsp kosher salt. It sounds like a lot, but most of it will be discarded in the end, and well-seasoned poaching water is the key to flavorful chicken breasts.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, then immediately turn chicken with tongs. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid, remove from heat, and let sit until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 150°, 5–10 minutes (depending on thickness of the breast). Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Cut 1 lemon in half and squeeze cut side up into a medium bowl. Whisk in 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard. Whisking constantly, very slowly stream in 6 Tbsp. olive oil until dressing is thick and emulsified. The word “slowly” is key here—if you add the oil all at once, you won’t get the creamy, nicely incorporated vinaigrette you’re after. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Trim ends off of 8 oz. green beans and transfer to a large resealable plastic bag. Seal bag and whack beans with a rolling pin to split the skins and soften the insides without completely pulverizing the flesh.
  5. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. dressing into bag. Massage with your hands to break beans down further and coat. Season with salt and let sit at room temperature until ready to use.
  6. Slice 1 small bunch chives into 2″-long batons. Transfer to a medium bowl. Separate lettuce leaves from 1 large head of Bibb lettuce and add to bowl with chives. Add 1 cup basil and toss to combine. Arrange on one side of a large platter. Cover lettuce and herbs with damp paper towels and chill until ready to use.
  7. Rinse 1 bunch radishes, trim, and slice in half (or into ½” wedges if large). Transfer to a medium bowl. Tear 1 cup whole peperoncini into bowl. Mix in 1 Tbsp. dressing; season with salt. Let sit at room temperature until ready to use.
  8. Slice chicken into ¼”-thick slices. It might be the tiiiiniest bit pink inside, which is okay! Much better than it being grey and rubbery.
  9. Halve 1 avocado, remove pit, and thinly slice. Fan out slices.
  10. Remove platter with lettuce from fridge. Arrange green beans, radish salad, avocado, and chicken separately on platter. Drizzle more dressing over and serve remaining dressing alongside.

Beet and Ricotta Hummus

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 baseball-sized red beet (about 6 ounces), scrubbed
  • 1 15½-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • ⅓ cup tahini, well mixed
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup ricotta
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated or smashed to a paste with flat side of knife on cutting board
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) kosher salt
  • 10 cranks freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Mint leaves, poppy seeds, and olive oil (for serving)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Wrap beet tightly in foil and place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the tines of a fork slide easily into the center of beet, 60–70 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
  2. Meanwhile, process chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Using a paper towel, rub beet to remove skin (it should slip off easily and any staining to your hands will be temporary). Trim root end and cut beet into 8 pieces; add to food processor. Process until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
  4. Transfer hummus to a shallow bowl. Top with mint and poppy seeds and drizzle with oil.

Do Ahead: Hummus can be made 4 days ahead; transfer to an airtight container and chill.

Rhubarb Custard Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter, cooled, plus more room-temperature for pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1½ cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. dark rum
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 13 oz. rhubarb stalks, halved lengthwise if thick

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour pan.
  2. Whisk baking powder, salt, and 1 cup all-purpose flour in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs, egg yolk, and 1½ cups sugar in a large bowl until very pale and thick, about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk melted butter, sour cream, rum, and lemon zest in a small bowl.
  5. Whisk butter mixture into egg mixture just to combine.
  6. Add dry ingredients and fold in until batter is smooth; scrape into prepared pan.
  7. Chill 10 minutes to let batter set.
  8. Arrange rhubarb over batter however you like, trimming as needed. Don’t press fruit into batter—just place over top and let it rest on the surface.
  9. Sprinkle with more sugar and bake until cake is golden on top and browned around the sides, 45–55 minutes.
  10. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 10 minutes. Slide a knife around sides of cake to loosen and unmold. Slide directly onto rack and let cool completely.

Do Ahead: Cake can be baked 1 day ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

The Soft Scramble Sandwich

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 spring onions
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about ¼ cup)
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 5×5″ pieces focaccia
  • 4 large eggs, beaten to blend

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°. Trim woody ends of spring onions. Separate white bulbs from green parts with a knife. Cut bulbs in half through the root end; if size varies wildly, cut larger bulbs into quarters. Cut tender green parts of stalks into 3″ pieces; set aside separately from bulbs.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a 10″ nonstick skillet over medium until foaming. Add onion bulbs and toss to coat in butter; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until deeply golden brown and starting to soften, 4–5 minutes. Add vinegar, onion stalks, and ½ cup water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all liquid is cooked off and bulbs are very soft and jammy, 6–8 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out skillet.
  3. While onions cook, mix ricotta and Parmesan in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Finely grate lemon zest and garlic into ricotta mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Warm focaccia in oven (place directly on rack) until soft and warmed through but not browned, 2–3 minutes. Divide between plates. Spread ricotta mixture in swooshing dollops on top of focaccia.
  5. Melt remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in skillet over medium-low heat. Add eggs; season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently in large sweeping figure-eight motions with a spatula, until eggs have set into creamy folds, 1–2 minutes.
  6. Divide scrambled eggs between focaccia. Top with onion mixture.

Citrus Shrimp Rice Bowls

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari soy sauce
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1½ lb. jumbo or large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large oranges, preferably different varieties (such as Cara Cara or Valencia)
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise, sliced crosswise ½” thick
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Steamed rice and sliced avocado (for serving)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Whisk orange juice, Sriracha, honey, soy sauce, ¼ cup oil, and 1 Tbsp. lime juice in a medium bowl. Set aside half of dressing in a small bowl for serving. Add shrimp to remaining sauce and toss to coat; season lightly with salt. Let sit, tossing occasionally, 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, using a paring knife, remove peel and white pith from oranges, being careful not to remove too much of the flesh; discard. Slice oranges into ½”-thick rounds, then cut into 1″ pieces. Transfer to a medium bowl and add cucumbers, scallions, and remaining 1 tsp. lime juice; toss to combine. Season with salt.
  3. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over high. Working in batches if needed, cook shrimp until charred in spots and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
  4. Divide rice among bowls. Top with shrimp, citrus salad, and avocado and drizzle with reserved dressing.

Source: bonappetit.com