A Classy Spring Feast

May 12, 2014

Food52's Managing Editor Brette Warshaw is throwing no-stress weeknight parties for anyone, anytime, and (almost) every kitchen. You're invited.

Today: How to make a Monday night feel special.

Ramp carbonara from Food52

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Usually, when I think of a "special night," I think of times when I'm on my couch without pants on, watching The West Wing on Netflix and eating ratatouille in February. Or I recall parties where I make platters of nachos and get drunk off of cheap wine, and then hold my friends hostage while I sing my favorite songs from Kinky Boots. 

But sometimes you need to make a night special: the kind of night that you buy nice produce for, that you light candles for, that you put pants on for. Because getting a little dressed up and eating ramps is a kind of escapism, just like eating zucchini in the winter; it's deciding that this night, this Monday night, is going to be the best part of the week. It's deciding to eat a Real Dinner instead of a Weird Dinner, and inviting a few good friends over to share it with you.

Let's get fancy. Here's the plan.

The Menu

Radish Salad with Anchovy Sauce
Ramp Carbonara
Asparagus Braised with Fresh Rosemary and Bay Leaves
Rhubarb Buckle with Ginger Crumb

The Plan

The night before: Make the anchovy sauce for your radish salad. Bake your rhubarb buckle. Once it's cool, wrap it in plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature.

Buckle from Food5

When you're home from work: Prep your asparagus. Cook your ramps and pancetta for your carbonara, and leave it in the pan, on the stove; you'll heat it up when the pasta is cooking.

Asparagus from Food52

When your guests start arriving: Get that asparagus braising, and dress your radish salad; it will hold for up to a half hour. Put a pot of salted water on to boil.

Radish salad from Food52

When you're almost ready for dinner: Start boiling your pasta, and heat up your pancetta and ramps. Bring everything else out to the table. When the pasta is ready, do all your tossing and carbonar-ing at the table. Watch your guests' eyes light up with glee.

When the carbonara is gone: Bring out the buckle, with some unsweetened whipped cream.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Rémy Robert
    Rémy Robert
  • ChefJune
Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.


Rémy R. May 12, 2014
"I make platters of nachos and get drunk off of cheap wine, and then hold my friends hostage while I sing my favorite songs from Kinky Boots." you are my favorite kind of person.
ChefJune May 12, 2014
so glad you mentioned this... Now I know what I'm making for dinner tonight! Pasta with ramps and bacon. Grazie mille!