We’ll let you in on a little Test Kitchen tip: Sometimes the only secret ingredient you need is seasonal produce. Not only does it feel festive to celebrate what’s in peak condition, it also takes your dish to the next level—when in season, fruit is sweeter, leaves are greener, and herbs are more bright and fragrant.
It may not feel like it yet, but March marks the start of spring produce, and we couldn’t be more excited to make the most of our favorite ingredients of the season. Below is a sneak peek of some of our favorite seasonally-inspired recipes coming up on Plated menus—so warm up, ditch the winter doldrums, and add these to your Plated box, ASAP.
Soy-Glazed Chicken with Long Life Noodles, Sriracha Cashews, and Pea Shoots
Pea shoots, also known as pea greens, are the delicate young pea vines that add a tender crunch to any dish. They’re typically in their best form in spring and early summer, and we love their fresh, green appearance and mildly sweet flavor. In this recipe, they provide the perfect contrast of texture and flavor to chewy long life noodles, spiced cashews, and chicken tossed in a sweet and salty glaze. Plus, they make the dish look extra restaurant-worthy.
Cacio e Pepe Gnocchi with Asparagus, Peas, and Mint
Spring cooking doesn’t have to be all salads and steamed veggies—we love the contrast that a little seasonal produce adds to rich sauces and hearty pastas. Case in point? Repeat favorite cacio e pepe gnocchi, which tosses the pillowy potato dumplings in a silky cheese sauce with plenty of black pepper. For added textural contrast and savory flavor, sautéed peak-season asparagus is folded in, plus tender spinach and green peas—proof that yes, greens can be comfort food.
Leek and Gruyere Galette
With a peppery bite, crisp texture, and dramatic pink hue, radishes are, in our opinion, one of this season’s most underrated vegetables. In this recipe, we’re slicing them up paper thin and tossing them with arugula and a honey-Champagne vinaigrette. It’s a super elegant side salad for this rustic French tart filled with sautéed leeks, melty Gruyère, and toasted pine nuts. Pro tip: this tart can be sliced up and served at a cocktail party, brunch, or even a family dinner.
Lemon Flounder en Papillote with Snap Peas, Radishes, and Capers
With bright, lemony fish, fresh dill, and plenty of veggies, this colorful dish is spring on a plate. To ensure moist, tender fish, we’re baking flounder fillets en papillote, or in an enclosed parcel, with lemon, capers, and white wine to gently steam and infuse them with flavor while they cook. It’s just the light texture we crave when warm weather starts rolling back in, and makes a super satisfying pairing for the side of roasted fingerling potatoes, snap peas, and radishes tossed in a creamy mustard dressing—think of it as a super cheffy, grown up potato salad.
Seared Steak with Creamy Baked Farro and Asparagus
Another prime example of spring-centric comfort food? This hearty steak dinner, which channels the creamy, cheesy flavors of French potato gratin. Instead of spuds, however, we’re swapping in nutty farro and blending it with spinach, milk, and Fontina cheese. It’s tossed with roasted asparagus and dusted with a layer of panko breadcrumbs, then popped in the oven until gooey on the inside and crisp on top. It’s paired with pan-seared, medium rare steak for a meal that leaves winter behind.
Herb-Roasted Pork Chop with Spring Vegetable Hash and Honey Mustard
When it’s in season, we jump at the chance to cook with asparagus every chance we get. Here, it makes an appearance again as a refreshing addition to a hash with green beans and multicolored peanut potatoes. Herbes de Provence–rubbed pork chops are layered on top of the veggies partway through cooking so all the flavorful drippings seep into the hash. On top, there’s a generous drizzle of honey mustard for a sweet, tangy finish.
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