How to CookSpringNot Recipes

How to Get Your Favorite Meals Ready for Spring

1 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

You've developed a winter routine (kudos to you!). You know how to make breakfast hash with cabbage and potatoes; how to make white bean piccata like you're Giada De Laurentiis; how to make thumbprint cookies filled with Nutella—and you know how to do it all without a recipe.

Photo by Eric Moran

But then spring comes along (or, almost comes along) and suddenly, there are new bright, flashy, practically-neon-green kids on the block. How can you incorporate the newbies into your go-to meals without breaking your cooking streak?

Advertisement

Here's some inspiration for taking your favorite dishes, your mastered techniques, and adding a little sunshine:

How to Make Pasta Salad without a Recipe

How to Make Pasta Salad without a Recipe by Marian Bull

+
How to Make Any Grain Salad in 4 Steps

How to Make Any Grain Salad in 4 Steps by Emily Horton

+

In the winter, you can accessorize your pasta and grain salads with the fridge and pantry regulars: oil-cured olives, sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed tuna, roasted red peppers—all those ingredients that are perfectly good at their jobs but not necessarily thrilling to work with.

But in the spring, the grass pasta is greener: Add English peas and snap peas (raw or sautéed), cucumber and herbs (roughly chopped or torn or left proud and whole), maybe even some blistered fiddleheads (but only if you want to!). Or go the simple route: Pick one or two minor characters, then shell out for a bottle of olio nuovo, made from the season's first olive pressing, for your dressing.

Advertisement
How to Make Panzanella Without a Recipe
+
How to Make Panzanella Without a Recipe

Your panzanella doesn't require tomatoes when the greeny things at the market are calling your name! This one has peas and bacon; this one has peas, leeks, asparagus, snow peas, basil, mint, and thyme (sheesh).

If you're going the spring veg route and saving the tomatoes for a few months from now, just make sure you provide your bread with the bit of extra liquid—vinaigrette, oil from sautéed leeks, flavorful broth—it needs to get comfortable.

How to Make Breakfast Hash Without a Recipe
+
How to Make Breakfast Hash Without a Recipe

Asparagus hash. Spinach hash. Leek hash. Artichoke hash. Or all of it at once, and radishes, peas, and spring onions, too. Plus a bouquet of fresh herbs and lots of lemon zest.

How to Make Shrubs (aka Drinking Vinegars) Without a Recipe
+
How to Make Shrubs (aka Drinking Vinegars) Without a Recipe

While you wait for spring's first berries, use the last of the lemons, grapefruits, and tangerines from citrus season. Later in the year, ask for seconds at the farmers market and turn your stone fruit into shrub, too.

Make Your Cheese Plate 100x More Exciting in Minutes
+
Make Your Cheese Plate 100x More Exciting in Minutes

They're light and lovely, sure, but spring produce is just at home in a light salad as it is sautéed or roasted, then laid atop a cheese mattress. We'll be placing asparagus (tossed in a warm brown butter-anchovy sauce and broiled) and butter-poached radishes on broiled ricotta, then scooping it all up with slices of bread.

How to Make Fresh Pasta Dough Like a Chef
+
How to Make Fresh Pasta Dough Like a Chef

Once you've got your fresh pasta dough, make a springy sauce to toss it in:

How to Piccata Anything
+
How to Piccata Anything

You can piccata tofu or chickpeas anytime. Cod, flounder, sole, and haddock, however, are at their height in March, April, and May—and they all taste excellent pan-fried, then covered with a briney, lemony, winy sauce.

How to Make Yogurt Biscuits Without a Recipe
+
How to Make Yogurt Biscuits Without a Recipe

To your biscuits, add finely chopped herbs or minced alliums, like tiny spring scallions, ramps, or young garlic.

Serve them with soft scrambled eggs. Like fruits and vegetables, eggs have a season, too: When the days get longer, birds lay eggs (even chickens, animals bred for high egg production, will only lay with ten or more hours of light a day, according to Edible Manhattan).

How to Make Thumbprint Cookies Every Which Way
+
How to Make Thumbprint Cookies Every Which Way

Make your dough with lavender-, rose-, lemon-, or vanilla-scented sugar, then fill the cookies with something you can only find in the spring (macerate the season's first strawberries!) or something that tastes like it is (pineapple jam or plum preserves).

What part of your winter routine are you ready to shake off? Tell us in the comments!