Behind the Scenes

March’s Culinary Theme: Escape Plan

As springtime shows signs of approaching, recipe editor dishes on why March is about the Escape Plan—dishes inspired by our dreamiest vacation fantasies.

The Plated Culinary team members gather monthly to brainstorm themes to unify our menus in delicious ways. The focus ranges from magical ingredients discovered on vacation to unforgettable flavor combos to cuisines sampled during NYC dining field trips. As springtime shows small signs of approaching, recipe editor Jennifer En dishes on why March is all about the Escape Plan—dishes inspired by our dreamiest vacation fantasies.

Winter’s not quite over yet, but you might be anxious to store away the cold weather accessories anyway. With the weather still a little chilly with glimpses of warmth to come—if you’re anything like us—March has you thinking about time off and new experiences. This month is a perfect time to prepare fantastic dinners that bring faraway places right into your own kitchen. Whether you’re still wearing a scarf, down to a T-shirt, or in full beach gear already, these adventurous meals will awaken your tastebuds, transport you to other lands, and get you excited anew about making dinner.

This month, as you brave the wintry homestretch, we feature ingredients to help remind you of sunny Mediterranean seaside dining—think rich avocado, smoky flatbread, and creamy tahini. With its fragrant spices, Asian Beef Tacos with Thai Basil and Red Lentil Daal with Garlic Naan might make you hanker for an escape to some place exotic. One our kitchen’s favorites is Eggplant Parmesan with Beef, Ricotta, and Spinach to make you feel like you’re in Italy. Then there are the American regional favorites that’ll have you daydreaming about hitting the open road: Pulled Chicken Burgers with Homemade Barbecue Sauce and Steak Fajitas with Roasted Tomato Salsa. And for a down-home dessert to end a meal on a high note, Upside-Down Apple Cobblers with Whipped Cream recall the warm idyllic Southern evenings of spring and summer.

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