On the Menu | Flavors to Bridge the Seasons

Winter, spring, summer and fall—they all have their own perks. With each season, the ingredients of the family table change as well. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to all seasons. Each one brings its own unique take on food and what we crave eating, but does anyone else feel as though they are stuck between their heart’s desire for a different season and what’s in season at the market? I’m with you on that one! The season change that really gets me is the one between winter and spring. I yearn for the fresh flavors of warmer weather, but Mother Nature is laughing at me. Well, this year, I have a plan, and I’m here to tell you what’s on my menu will give those winter blues a spring in their step!

“WINTER IS THE NEW SPRING” GRAIN SALAD
I love this recipe because it feels light like spring, but has the hearty characteristics of winter. Lemon is a universal flavor booster, and the dash of cayenne is on point. The subtle sweetness of honey and grapes and the nutty grains make it a perfect blend of the seasons. It works great with all proteins to round out a meal.

SALAD

  • 1 cup cooked red quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • 1 cup grapes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shelled edamame
  • 2 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped

DRESSING

  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crumbled feta and squeeze of lemon, to serve

Cook quinoa and farro per box instructions. Combine remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to eat. To serve, toss again and top with feta and a squeeze of lemon to brighten flavors. Season to taste.

POMEGRANATE MOLASSES CHICKEN THIGHS
It is always a good time to fire up the grill; it makes me feel like warmer weather is ahead. Throw that coat on, if needed, and get the spring feels with sticky chicken, intense flavors and fresh herbs.

  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, minced, to serve

In a bowl, combine mustard, cumin, salt, pepper, allspice and cayenne. In another bowl, toss the chicken with oil and garlic. Add the spice mixture, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes. Heat the grill to medium/high heat and grill chicken until cooked through and slightly charred, about 10 minutes, flipping once. Brush with molasses at 6 minutes and again at 9 minutes. Remove from the grill and plate. Top with fresh parsley to serve.

OLIVE OIL PISTACHIO CAKE WITH LEMON ROSEMARY GLAZE
Cake is the universal dessert for all seasons! This one feels warm and cozy, and light and refreshing at the same time.

CAKE

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

GLAZE

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • Chopped pistachios for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 and liberally grease a 12-cup Bundt pan with butter and flour. In a bowl, whisk oil, eggs and sugar until fluffy, about 1 minute. Stir in pistachios, heavy cream, vanilla and lemon zest. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Gently fold into wet ingredients. Pour in to Bundt pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. While baking, add sugar, water, lemon juice and rosemary to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, while stirring with wooden spoon. Once sugar is dissolved and rosemary is fragrant, remove from heat and cool. Once cake is baked and cooled, gently poke tiny holes with wooden skewer (or similar) in the top and pour over the glaze. Sprinkle with pistachios, slice and serve!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up for Our E-Newsletter

Interested in receiving our E-Newsletter? Sign Up Now!

Subscribe to CV HOME Magazine

Subscribe to Central Virginia HOME Magazine for only $20 a year!

Copyright © West Willow Publishing, Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Site design by Stimulus