I'm officially putting myself out there as March's biggest food fan. Which makes March's food–fan count, let's see here... exactly one.
The month gets a bad rap, food-wise, because it's not quite a distinct season, even though we're all ready for spring. Technically, it's kind of spring (the spring equinox will take place toward the end, on March 20), but weather-wise, it's like a weird mash-up of winter's worst hits: sleety rain, mostly gray skies, the sort of 15-minute sun peek-outs that seem promising, until moments later, when the sky explodes with fluffy white snowflakes.
But here's why I'm an official hype man for the year's third, dreary-weathered month: I've embraced its worst qualities, and rebranded it accordingly. I've gone full-on "winter's last hurrah" with March. In my kitchen, it's treated as a bonus month for cozy, comforting winter fare—even on those days where it's inexplicably oscillating between 40 degrees and sunny, and a bizarrely humid sleet-shower.
Bring on the bowls of warm, flavorful food showered in Parm, and the snuggling up under cozy blankets to watch more episodes of television in a row than would feel prudent were it nicer out. With winter produce still available toward the beginning of the month (plus, all those pantry staples to lean on), and early April favorites coming into play at the tail-end (asparagus! ramps!), I find that March is actually a prime time to break out my comforting vegetarian favorites. Weeknight bonus: Each of these takes just 30 minutes or less, start to finish:
For those nights when you just want to eat a melty pile of cheese. And maybe a side salad, for show.
Speedy Kale & White Bean Stew
...and for those nights after those nights where you just want to eat a pile of melty cheese, when you just want to eat kale. (In a speedy, perky, tomatoey stew.)
What's your go-to weeknight comfort meal? Let us know in the comments!
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Ella Quittner is a a writer at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner.