The Italian Spring Recipes

This week’s lineup combines a bevy of fresh spring produce—from bright, vibrant greens to golden beets—with the soulful flavors of Italy, also including soft, pillowy focaccia bread, smoky sun-dried tomato spread and a verdant, leaf-shaped pasta that is begging to star in pasta primavera for supper (see the enclosed recipe suggestions for that one!). Also including fun Italian-style pantry provisions such as salted capers, Piranske Soline Fior di Sale sea salt and soft amaretti cookies with chocolate, this box will transport you abroad, all without leaving your very own kitchen. Mangia!

Here are a few recipe ideas for the week:

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

Fresh Chive Vinaigrette
We like to toss this vibrant, green vinaigrette with fresh spring lettuce and lots of the tender herbs—think celery leaves, mint, chervil, or parsley.

Fava Shoot Salad with Walnuts
This bright and fresh salad shines a spotlight on light, tender, succulent fava greens.

Cara Cara Orange Salad with Escarole & Fennel
This crisp, citrus-kissed salad is both bold in flavor and beautiful in presentation.

Roasted Golden Beets with Balsamic Glaze
Sweet-tart balsamic glaze beautifully complements the mellow flavors of spring beets in this simple side.

Roasted Golden Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Sweet-tart balsamic glaze beautifully complements the mellow flavors of spring beets in this simple side.

Ingredients:
6-8 baby golden beets
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Balsamic glaze*

Method:
1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375° . Rinse and dry your beets and trim off any leafy tops. Place each beet on a sheet of foil and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil, then wrap each beet in the aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, for about 1 hour.

2. Remove from the oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, using a spoon, gently scrape the skin off the beets (a soup spoon works well!) and cut them crosswise into thin slices. Place on a platter, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil and the balsamic glaze. Serve with your favorite fresh greens.

*You can purchase balsamic glaze from the grocery store, but it’s also super simple to make at home: To make a 12 cup portion, heat 2 cups balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to summer, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar thickens and reduces to a ½ cup (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before using.

Roasted Golden Beet & Carrot Dip

This vibrant spread is delicious slathered on toasted bread or crackers.

Ingredients:
6 baby golden beets, trimmed and peeled
6-8 baby carrots, trimmed and peeled
1 medium-sized head of garlic, with the end cut off
3 tablespoons plus ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons minced parsley
Sea salt

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Quarter the beets and halve the carrots, then toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, and slide into the oven. Roast 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and edges are a light golden brown, flipping vegetables halfway through.

2. Meanwhile, set out a 10-inch rectangle of foil. Set the head of garlic in the center, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Wrap the foil packet tightly around the garlic, set in a small ovenproof baking dish, and roast for about 15 minutes, or until cloves are soft and cooked through. Carefully open the foil packet, and set garlic aside until cool enough to handle. Squeeze the soft cloves out of the papery skin and set aside.

3. Place the roasted beets, carrots, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until broken down a bit. Then, with food processor running, drizzle in the ½ cup olive oil, honey and a large pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as needed. Top dip with minced parsley and serve at room temperature.

Beet & Snap Pea Salad

This colorful salad is perfectly complemented by a lemon-honey vinaigrette.

Ingredients:
1 bunch beets, trimmed of any greens, washed and scrubbed
½ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
2 cups mixed salad greens
Lemon-honey vinaigrette (see recipe)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil. Bake until tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool. Peel beets and cut into wedges.

2. Cook sugar snap peas in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Pat dry.

3. Line a serving platter with the greens Mix the beets and snap peas in a medium bowl with about ¼ cup of the honey-lemon vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper and then spoon the mixture over the greens. Drizzle with additional vinaigrette as desired.

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