Is it…Spring? Dare I say the word? Oh, it’s still colder than a witches you-know-what out there, brrr. But the snow-rain mix has ceased, the sun has peeked out, and the forecast is for sunshine! Sweet, warm, sunshine, well into the week. I think we may have had our last snowstorm. I think I may have pushed my last soup post (not that I won’t be making soup, but you know, not all weekend). May you feel the warmth of sunshine on your shoulders, and may it make you happy. (I’ll stop with the corniness there, don’t worry. Lalalaaa!)
So, let’s see, what to make on a Promises-to-be-Spring Sunday? Hmmm… Spring = lamb in my mind, but that won’t work for tonight (and anyhow, I’m saving my lamb card to play at an upcoming dinner party). But I have to admit, some chops, rubbed with minced garlic, olive oil, and salt, grilled to crusty perfection… Yeah, that sounds pretty incredible.
Oh! I just had a lovely idea. There’s a gorgeous Spring menu in Alice Waters’Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, simple and elegant. (I’ve never had the pleasure of eating at the restaurant – someday! – however, enjoy this blogger’s terrific post about dining a la Alice; photo of the restaurant is from the post.) I’m including the three savory dishes from the Spring menu; any one of them would be lovely for dinner (and of course, altogether, they would be stunning). Her intro:
Wild Mushrooms on Croutons
Thin Pasta with Spring Vegetables
Charcoal-Grilled Salmon with Grilled Red Onions
When I think of spring, I immediately think of salmon – those first young delicate-fleshed fish that seduce everyone in the dining room. This menu is meant to directly complement the salmon; little croutons with the last of the fresh morels; the first peas and asparagus with very delicate thin pasta…
Suggested wines: This menu calls for new, young wines – perhaps a fresh Bourgogne Aligote and a Beaujolais with the grilled salmon.
Sheesh, just reading the recipes feels like a warm, fragrant breeze. So nice. (Recipes posted in comments, below.)