1. SPRING SALAD WTH ASPARAGUS, GOAT CHEESE, LEMON AND HAZELNUTS
1 bunch of asparagus, on the thin side but thick enough to cut in half lengthwise.
1 cup fresh peas, or frozen and defrosted
½ cup of cooked and prepped fava beans, you could use frozen defrosted lima beans
5 radishes, thinly sliced
2 medium raw zucchini made into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, (no seeds) (you can use the Zucchini 'Pasta' in produce section)
½ bunch of red leaf lettuce chopped bite size and a generous handful of arugula mixed together or combination of salad greens of your choice
4 oz. of chevre goat cheese
the zest of one lemon, you can cut up a few slices for garnish after
½ cup of toasted hazelnuts, slightly cracked open
shaved Parmigiano Reggiano for top of salad
extra lemons for dressing
Roast your asparagus on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil for maybe 5 or 10 minutes on 375 just until the raw taste is gone, you don't want limp asparagus they should still have a good bite to them, so keep checking. Cool them off and them slice them lengthwise.
Make a lemon and olive oil dressing using 2 parts fresh lemon juice to 4 parts olive oil.
In a bowl mash up your goat cheese and loosen it up with 2 tablespoons of the lemon dressing.
Gently toss and coat sliced asparagus into the mixture, adding salt and pepper to taste.
On a large platter assemble the greens, peas, fava beans, radishes, zucchini ribbons all over ending with the goat cheese coated asparagus on top.
Sprinkle the toasted nuts all around.
Spoon lemon dressing all around, as much as you think you need.
Add shavings of Parmiggiano Reggiano on top.
Garnish with a few lemon slices.
2. LEMON ASPARAGUS PASTA WITH GRILLED CHICKEN
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts , grilled and cut into strips
1 pound of asparagus , ends removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
10 ounces of linguine pasta (spaghetti or fettuccine will also work)
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
Optional garnishes: Lemon slices and 1/4 cup chopped parsley
Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Add the asparagus to the pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking time.
Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta cooking liquid.
In small pot, combine the heavy cream, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.
Place the pasta and asparagus back into the pot you cooked it in along with the chicken.
Pour the cream sauce over the pasta mixture and toss to coat evenly, adding pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Alternatively, you can toss just the pasta with the sauce and arrange the chicken and asparagus over the top of the pasta.
Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon slices if desired.
1. PEACH SALAD WITH GRILLED BASIL CHICKEN AND WHITE BALSAMIC-HONEY VINAIGRETTE
Grilled Basil Chicken
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp olive oil , plus more for brushing grill
1/3 cup slightly packed chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic , minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 oz Spring Mix lettuce
1 lb peaches , sliced (about 3 small)
2 ears corn , husked and kernels cut from cob
1/2 cup chopped pecans , toasted
1/2 small red onion , sliced thin (about 3/4 cup), rinse under water to remove harsh bite
4 oz Goat cheese , crumbled
For the chicken:
In a small mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, basil, garlic, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp of each). Using the back of a spoon, press basil against sides and bottom of bowl (to help extract flavor from basil). Place chicken in a resealable bag and pound thicker parts of chicken to even thickness with a meat mallet, then pour basil mixture over chicken and evenly distribute basil over chicken. Seal bag while pressing excess air out, rub marinade over chicken and transfer to refrigerator and marinate 2 - 5 hours.
Preheat a grill to 425 - 450 degrees over medium high heat. Brush grill grates lightly with olive oil then place chicken on grill. Grill until cooked through, rotating once halfway through cooking, about 4 - 5 minutes per side (chicken should register 165 degrees in center of chicken on an instant read thermometer). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes then slice into strips or dice into cubes.
For the vinaigrette:
Whisk together all ingredients until well blended and season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in refrigerator until ready to use, stir again before pouring over salad.
For the salad:
In a large salad bowl gently toss together lettuce, peaches, corn, pecans, onions, and grilled chicken. Sprinkle goat cheese over top and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve immediately after adding dressing.
4. ROASTED CAULIFLOWER, SNAP PEA, AND AVOCADO PASTA WITH WALNUT BASIL PESTO
1 head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
4 - 5 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups basil, chopped
1 cup walnuts
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp lemon juice or half a lemon
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
4 servings of spaghetti noodles
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 avocado, sliced
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Place the chopped cauliflower onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, enough to lightly coat. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes. Place into the oven and bake for 40 minutes, tossing the cauliflower half-way through baking. You want the cauliflower to be golden to dark brown in color, and a little crispy.
While the cauliflower is cooking, make the pesto. Add the basil, walnuts, salt, lemon juice, and Parmesan to a food processor. Pulse until you have a crumbly paste. With the processor still running, drizzle in the olive oil. Pour the pesto into a jar and set to the side.
Heat a large pot of water to boil. Add 4 servings of spaghetti noodles and cook until al dente.
Once the pasta is almost cooked, steam the snap peas until slightly cooked. Bright green and still a bit crunchy. Slice into small pieces.
Drain the pasta. Toss with half of the pesto to start, and then continue to add more to your liking. Plate the pasta and top with the cauliflower, snap peas, and sliced avocado. Add additional Parmesan cheese as desired.