Pasta Primavera

This colorful pasta is incredibly versatile—feel free to add in any of your favorite spring veggies!

Ingredients:
1 pound pasta of your choice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ pound baby carrots, trimmed of greens and sliced into coins
½ pound asparagus, ends snapped and sliced into ¼-inch-thick pieces
¾ cup freshly-shelled peas
¼ cup thinly sliced leeks, white part only
4 cups braising greens
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
⅔ cup grated Grana-style cheese
¼ cup crème fraîche or ricotta cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Salted capers and Piranske Soline Fior di Sale sea salt

Method:
1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, asparagus, peas and leeks. Cook until vegetables are barely tender (but not too soft or mushy), 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in braising greens and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

3. Drop pasta into boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain well and transfer pasta to the skillet. Immediately toss pasta with vegetables, grated Grana cheese, crème fraîche or ricotta and herbs. Top each serving with salted capers and a pinch of sea salt, as desired.

Mashed Turnips & Parsnips

This side dish is rich and comforting, thanks to the combination of turnips, parsnips and fresh herbs.

Ingredients:
3-4 turnips, peeled and cubed
3-4 parsnips, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh herbs of your choice, such as parsley, oregano and thyme, chopped
1 cup milk
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Add the turnips and parsnips to a large pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until soft and tender, about 20 minutes.

2. In a small saucepan, add the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted and foamy, add the garlic and herbs and sauté until the garlic is fragrant and the butter begins to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add the milk and bring to a simmer.

3. Drain the turnips and parsnips in a colander in the sink. Add the turnips and potatoes back to the pot they were cooked in. Add the hot milk mixture and roughly mash the vegetables. If you prefer a smoother texture, use an immersion blender and purée until smooth and silky. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if needed.

Celery & Fennel Salad with Herbs

This side salad from Martha Stewart is incredibly crisp and refreshing.

Ingredients:
6 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise
2 fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Toss together celery, fennel, parsley, mint, and oil in a bowl. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Rustic Challah Bread, Mushroom & Herb Dressing

Fragrant with fresh herbs and accented by toasted Challah bread and meaty mushrooms, this stuffing is always a hit!

Ingredients:
1 large loaf challah (about 1 pound)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering baking dishes
2 cups yellow onion, diced (from 2 medium onions)
2 cups celery, diced
2 cups wild mushrooms, diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 cups chicken, turkey or vegetable broth

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 300° and set an oven rack in the middle position. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

2. Cut the challah into 1-inch cubes and spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until dry and lightly toasted. Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 350°.

3. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan. Cook the onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. Add the celery, mushrooms, herbs, salt, and pepper and cook until celery is slightly softened, about 5 minutes more.

4. In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread cubes, onion/vegetable mixture, and chicken broth and toss well. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with buttered foil and refrigerate until ready to bake (up to overnight).

5. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until golden, about 25 minutes more. Serve immediately.

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