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The Cookstr Weekly: Early Spring Meals

April 22, 2013

As the very first stalks of asparagus and fresh green peas begin to appear at the farmers market, it’s a joy to transform them into colorful, nourishing meals that herald the beginning of spring. And while I know we’re still looking mostly at root vegetables in large swaths of the country, I can’t help but start to salivate over bright green produce swirled into bowls of fresh pasta and served alongside simple, hearty proteins.

Fresh herbs, too, make a vast difference in the quality of many of these dishes, so don’t forget to grab a few lush bunches of mint, parsley, cilantro and basil at the market.

Warmest regards,
Kara Rota
Editorial Director

by Jamie Oliver


“This is such a simple, clean and delicious risotto. When buying asparagus, have a look around because there are lots of varieties available now – purple-tipped, white, thin straggly Japanese, wild Spanish and dozens of good locally grown English. In this recipe the stalks are finely sliced to an inch below the tips – this will give you lots of flavour from the stalks and you’ll then have those whole beautiful tips as a bit of a prize! There are variations on this risotto that I love to do, like sprinkling in a little picked crab or lobster meat or fresh, peeled prawns or sliced scallops – all of these work particularly well with asparagus if you fancy a little upgrade. (If you do decide to add any of these seafood suggestions then reduce your Parmesan by half.)” – Jamie Oliver

More Springtime Recipes from Cookstr

Sweet Potato Soup with Cilantro Pesto

by Sandra Woodruff and Leah Gilbert-Henderson


Portobello Sausage by Matthew Kenney


“Rum is a sweeter spirit due to its base in sugar cane or molasses. Aging and the casks used for aging define the characteristics of the rum. Some of the tiki drinks found in this book will call for three types of rum, and the results speak for themselves. Light (white or silver) rum is filtered after being aged in stainless steel and is the rum most frequently used in classic cocktails. Gold rum often has added caramel and is aged in oak casks, while heavily charred oak gives dark rum its rich, sweet characteristics. South American Demerara rum is an excellent dark rum, as is my personal favorite, Gosling’s Black Seal.”
– Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith
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