Spring has sprung! There’s no better way to enjoy the warmer weather and greenery than by eating a meal with your family and friends on your back porch. Check out some of our favorite recipes below that are perfect for the spring season!
Courtesy of Food Network Magazine, this pasta primavera is a simple dish with the light flavors perfect for a sunny afternoon picnic or spring evening at the dinner table.
12 ounces fusilli or other corkscrew pasta
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise, or broccoli florets (or a combination)
2 carrots, shredded
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzlin
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1-pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fusilli and cook as the label directs. Add the sugar snap peas and/or broccoli, carrots and bell pepper to the boiling water during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and return to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until just golden, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt; cook until the tomatoes begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water. Pour the tomato mixture over the pasta and vegetables. Add the mint, parmesan and half the goat cheese and toss to combine. Season with salt.
Divide the pasta among bowls. Top with the remaining goat cheese and drizzle with olive oil.
Pesto Chicken with Blistered Tomatoes
This unique combination is from CookingLight.com and will leave your family begging you to serve it at every meal. The tomato mixture would also be delicious over pasta, tossed with roasted Broccolini, or mashed and spread over crostini.
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 (6-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1-in. thickness
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/4 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons spinach pest
3 cups multicolored cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Preheat broiler to high.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side. Remove pan from heat.
Combine panko, cheese, and butter in a bowl. Spread pesto evenly over chicken in pan; top with panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Place pan in oven; broil 2 minutes or until browned.
Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add tomatoes; cook 6 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and vinegar. Serve with chicken.
Spring Green Fried Rice
Originally from Better Homes and Gardens, this delicious dinner will be ready in 30 minutes or less. The secret to its quick, authentic flavor? Beat a few drops of soy sauce into the eggs before frying!
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 cups shredded green cabbage
3/4 cup shelled frozen edamame, thawed
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 cups cooked brown rice, chilled
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup sliced green onion
Crushed red pepper (optional)
In a small bowl beat egg and 1 tsp. soy sauce; set aside. In a wok or large skillet heat toasted sesame oil over medium heat. Add egg mixture; stir gently until set. Remove egg; cool slightly. Using your hands to roll the cooked egg into a log. Use a sharp knife, slice the egg into strips; set aside.
In the same skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger, cook 30 seconds. Add cabbage; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add edamame and peas; cook for 2 minutes. Add rice and 2 Tbsp. soy sauce. Cook and stir for 2 to 4 minutes or until heated through. Add egg mixture and green onion; cook and stir about 1 minute or until heated through. Top with crushed red pepper, if desired.