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April’s Culinary Theme: It’s Time to Break Free

After a long, cooped up winter, we couldn’t truly put into words our desire to run headfirst into spring. With that hibernation in mind, April’s culinary theme is Break Free! From spring produce bursting from the ground to a range of cooking techniques that’ll shake you out of your cooking rut, we’ve got menus that are sure to get you amped for the warmer, more gentle season ahead.

Spring is one of our favorite times for produce, and we’re excited to experiment with the bountiful greens that are starting to appear. Peas in particular are a go-to, and we’re showcasing them in our simple yet sensational Salmon Bowtie Pasta—the peas make for a beautiful pop in the velvety pink sauce. Because there’s still a nip in the air, comforting yet light chicken soup packed with seasonal veggies finds its place on the dinner table. And, for a salad that’s got as much color as it does flavor, we reinvented the classic Caesar salad with crunchy gem lettuces, bright purple potatoes, and spring onions.

We’re always experimenting with different ways to jazz up grains, and this month is no exception. Chewy and nutty, we’re pairing farro with hearty kale, roasted sweet potatoes, and melty goat cheese on top. We’re also bringing back a much-loved dish: Quinoa Tabbouleh with Tomato, Parsley, Cucumber, and Lemon with Charred Eggplant and Tahini. Because you can never have enough quinoa, we’ve got a new, flavorful way to cook it. Adding miso and ginger creates a lovely Asian-inspired grain bowl, which is served with sesame sweet potato, edamame, and a bright cucumber salad.

Whether you cook fish all the time or are still perfecting your technique, we have many options coming up that showcase the ever-popular salmon. In a Mediterranean-inspired creation, fish filets are covered with a crunchy combination of Parmesan, basil, and garlic for a meal you’ll want to repeat. For an Asian take on salmon, we’re bringing you the crowd-pleasing fish glazed with hoisin, soy, and ginger along with a crunchy panko topping. Served with roasted broccolini and refreshing scallions, this is a super-simple dinner that’ll definitely turn into a favorite.

Another cuisine we can never get enough of? Italian-American. This month, we’re taking things beyond classic spaghetti and red sauce. Chef Elana’s obsession with grilled cheese sandwiches gets some love in the form of a cheesy panini with sweet onions and a side of aromatic truffle fries. And, because pizza, we’ve got a version that won’t have you missing the marinara. This one is smothered with melty mozzarella and provolone, along with caramelized red onions, broccoli rabe, and fluffy ricotta cheese. We’re also bringing you chicken two ways: al forno (baked in the oven), served with Parmesan mashed potatoes, salsa verde, and a little tomato and white wine sauce and al mattone (under a brick) with extra-crispy skin and roasted veggies on the side. Our final flourish leans way more Italian than American, but we think you’ll love it. We’ve finally mastered Cacio e Pepe, which highlights cheese and black pepper, for the ultimate cheesy yet simple dish.

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