The best recipes to put a spring in your step this April

28.04.2016

By April, spring is in full swing, and there are a variety of seasonal flavours to experiment with in the kitchen.

Crab, lamb, rocket, asparagus and spring onion are just a few of the ingredients that come into season during April, so it’s the perfect opportunity to leave behind the wintry comfort food and embrace lighter, fresher dishes.

Come rain or shine, we’ve pulled together a few spring recipes to brighten up your April.

- Recipe 1 -
One-Pan Salmon with Roast Asparagus
Recipe by Barney Desmazery

Asparagus is a quintessentially spring ingredient, and adds an intense savoury flavour to any dish. This salmon and asparagus recipe is easy as pie, but light and refreshing for a bright spring day

Ingredients

400g new potatoes, halved if large
2 tbsp olive oil
8 asparagus spears, trimmed and halved
2 handfuls cherry tomato
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 salmon fillets, about 140g/5oz each
A handful of basil leaves

Method

1. Heat oven to 220°C /fan 200°C /gas 7.

2. Tip the potatoes and 1 tbsp of olive oil into an ovenproof dish, then roast the potatoes for 20 mins until starting to brown.

3. Toss the asparagus in with the potatoes, then return to the oven for 15 mins.

4. Throw in the cherry tomatoes and vinegar and nestle the salmon amongst the vegetables.

5. Drizzle with the remaining oil and return to the oven for a final 10-15 mins until the salmon is cooked.

6. Scatter over the basil leaves, and serve everything scooped straight from the dish.

Asparagus also makes a great addition to a salad. Our Chef’s Kitchen Garden Bowl is served with fresh asparagus, butternut squash, roasted baby potatoes, red pepper, red onion and tenderstem broccoli. The asparagus stems bring a robust texture to the salad, and pack a nutritional punch.

- Recipe 2 -
Greek Roast Lamb
Recipe by Barney Desmazery

This recipe adds a fresh twist to a seasonal favourite - and with minimal prep, it’ll give you plenty of time to soak up the spring sunshine

Ingredients

1 large leg of lamb, about 3kg/6lb 8oz
6 garlic cloves
1 bunch oregano
Zest and juice 1 lemon
6 tbsp olive oil
1½ kg new potatoes
400g can chopped tomatoes
A large handful of pitted baby kalamata olives

Method

1. Heat oven to 240°C/fan 220°C /gas 9.

2. Pound the garlic, half the oregano, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar, then add the lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.

3. Stab the lamb all over with a sharp knife, then push as much of the herb paste as you can into the holes.

4. Tip the potatoes into a large roasting tin, then toss in the remaining olive oil and any remaining herb paste.
5. Nestle the lamb amongst the potatoes, roast for 20 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180°C /fan 160°C /gas 4. Roast for 1 hr 15 mins for medium-rare, adding another 15 mins if you prefer your lamb medium. Baste the lamb once or twice with the juices and toss the potatoes. When the lamb is done to your liking, remove from the tin and let it rest.

6. Throw the rest of the oregano in with the potatoes, scoop from the tin and keep warm.

7. Place the roasting tin over a medium heat, add the canned tomatoes and olives to the pan juices, then simmer for a few minutes.

8. Serve the lamb with the potatoes and sauce, and a simple salad.

For a more traditional take on this Easter favourite, enjoy the slow-cooked lamb on our spring menu.

- Recipe 3 -
Spring Vegetable Risotto
Recipe by Barney Desmazery

Risotto is comfort food at its best, so if you’re seeking refuge from the inevitable April showers, rustle up this wholesome dish, packed full of flavour

Ingredients

1 litre vegetable stock
100g asparagus tips
100g baby carrots, halved lengthways
200g fresh young peas, shelled
500g baby broad beans, shelled
2 tbsp olive oil
2 baby leeks, thinly sliced
300g risotto rice
1 tbsp pesto sauce
25g pine nuts, toasted

Method

1. Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan, then reduce the heat, add the asparagus tips, carrots, peas and broad beans and simmer for 4–5 minutes until tender.

2. Remove the vegetables with a draining spoon and set aside. Keep the stock simmering over a gentle heat.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan and add the leeks. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until they are bright green, then stir in the rice.

4. Add 2–3 tbsp of the hot stock and cook gently, stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock, a little at a time, until the mixture is soupy and the grains of rice are tender but still have a slight bite. This will take about 20 minutes.

5. Stir in the pesto and season to taste. Gently stir in the asparagus, carrots, peas and beans and cook for a few more minutes until the vegetables are heated through.

6. Serve in heated soup plates and scatter over the pine nuts.

For our take on a delicious risotto, tuck in to our Sea Bass and Seared Scallops dish, served with a prawn, pea and chive risotto.

- Recipe 4 -
Rhubarb Crumble
Recipe by Gregg Wallace

Rhubarb is known as the ‘first fruit of the season’, with the first stalks picked in April. Enjoy this seasonal vegetable (yes, it’s not actually a fruit!) in a comforting crumble.

Ingredients

500g rhubarb, chopped into chunks the length of your thumb
100g golden caster sugar
3 tbsp port (optional)
For the crumble topping:
140g self-raising flour
85g butter, chilled
0g light brown muscovado sugar
50g chopped walnuts (optional)

Method

1. Tip the rhubarb into a saucepan with the sugar and port, if using. Cover and simmer on a very low heat for 15 mins, adding more sugar if you want.

2. When soft (but still holding its shape) and sweet enough, pour the rhubarb into a medium baking dish.

3. Heat oven to 200°C /180°C fan/gas 6.

4. To make the topping, rub the flour and butter together with your fingers until you have a soft, crumbly topping.

5. Now add the sugar and nuts, mixing together with your hands.

6. Scatter the topping over the rhubarb and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown on top.

7. Serve piping hot with custard.

For our take on a delicious risotto, tuck in to our Sea Bass and Seared Scallops dish, served with a prawn, pea and chive risotto.

- Recipe 5 -
Parmesan Spring Chicken
Recipe by Good Food

Tuck in to succulent chicken coated with parmesan cheese, full of spring flavours

Ingredients

1 egg white
5 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
400g new potato, cut into small cubes
140g frozen peas
A good handful of baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Method

1. Line the grill pan with foil and heat the grill to medium.

2. Beat the egg white in a bowl with a little salt and pepper.

3. Tip the Parmesan onto a plate.

4. Dip the chicken first in egg white, then the cheese.

5. Grill the coated chicken for 10-12 mins, turning once until browned and crisp.

6. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 10 mins, adding the peas for the final 3 mins, then drain.

7. Toss the vegetables with the spinach leaves, vinegar, oil and seasoning to taste.

8. Divide between four warm plates, then serve with the chicken.

For a twist on this fresh chicken dish, try the Gourmet Chicken Plate at your local Chef & Brewer. Dive into pan-fried chicken breast and, a mini chicken and portobello mushroom pie, served with basil, tomato and parmesan mashed potato, pesto roasted red onion and red peppers, and white wine sauce.

Share your spring recipes with us at www.facebook.com/chefandbrewer/

 

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