How do we fete the amazing women in our lives? With this collection of fab and festive springtime recipes.
1. Lemon Kale Salad with Parmesan, Apples & Pine Nuts (above)
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 cups baby kale leaves
¼ cup dried black currants
¼ cup dried cherries
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp lemon zest
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
1) For the Parmesan cups, preheat oven to 350ºF. On a piece of parchment paper, draw 6 ½-inch circles. Flip parchment paper over and place on baking sheet so the ink side is facing down. Place approximately 5 tbsp of Parmesan cheese in each circle and gently spread out to cover the outlined circle. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 9-10 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute. Immediately drape over a small bowl or glass to get a basket shape. Let cool for a few minutes. Remove from bowl and store Parmesan cups at room temperature in an airtight container.
2) For the salad, in a large bowl, combine kale, currants, cherries and diced apple. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. To serve, pile salad in Parmesan cup and top with toasted pine nuts.
3) For the dressing, place lemon juice, rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk until blended. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while constantly whisking, until incorporated.
2. Balsamic Grilled Vegetable Stacks
Stuck for the perfect side dish? Can’t get your family to eat their vegetables? We’ve got a healthy and simple solution: fire up the barbecue. These balsamic and olive oil-marinated peppers, zucchini and portobello mushrooms are grilled to perfection and then stacked and served with a fresh rosemary sprig.
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large red bell peppers, quartered lengthwise and seeded
2 large yellow peppers, quartered lengthwise and seeded
2 large zucchini, cut into 1/3-inch diagonal slices, total of 12
6 medium portobello mushrooms (approx. 3-inch diameter), peeled, gills gently scooped out with small spoon
6 rosemary sprigs (4″ in length), leaves removed from the bottom half
1) For the marinade, in a large bowl, whisk balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Add red peppers, yellow peppers and zucchini slices, tossing well to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Add mushrooms, tossing gently and marinate another 15 minutes.
2) Lightly coat grill with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium-high heat. Remove vegetables from marinade and keep marinade to brush on vegetables while grilling.
3) Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred, about 8-10 minutes for the peppers and 7 minutes for the mushrooms and zucchini. Brush with marinade once or twice during cooking.
4) Remove from grill. When you are almost ready to serve the stacks, place the mushrooms upside down on a flat surface. Next, layer with a slice of red pepper, zucchini, yellow pepper and another slice of zucchini. Poke the rosemary sprig through the middle of each stack with the leaves at the top.
3. Honey Dijon Asparagus
We have great respect for asparagus- it’s a nutrient-rich, versatile veggie that takes well to steaming, grilling, blanching or roasting – and while it’s a regular at our tables, we sometimes want to dress it up a bit. The fleshy green spears are easily enhanced with the addition of this honey Dijon vinaigrette, a light tangy dressing that perfectly balances the sweet with savory. To gussy things up even more, the tender-crisp stalks are sprinkled with lightly toasted almonds, providing a nutty crunch in every bite. Who knew that 6 inches growing out of the dirt could be so dignified?
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1) Bring a medium pot of water to a boild over high heat. Add asparagus and reduce heat to low, simmering 2-3 minutes until tender-crisp. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop further cooking. Pat dry with kitchen towel and arrange on a platter.
2) For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk olive oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice, honey Dijon, salt and pepper. Spoon over asparagus.
3) For the toasted almonds, preheat oven to 350°F. Place almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast 6-8 minutes shaking the pan frequently to prevent burning. Sprinkle over asparagus.
4. Sweet Citrus Spiced Salmon
If you’re a fan of this omega-3 rich fish but prefer when it doesn’t taste, well, too salmony, this Sweet Citrus Spiced Salmon recipe is for you. Salmon is marinated in pineapple and lemon juice and then baked with a sweet and spicy topping, leaving every bite the perfect blend of flavorful (but mellow) fish!
3/4 cup pineapple juice
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
6 (6oz) salmon fillets, skin removed
Sweet & Spicy Topping
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1) In a large resealable plastic bag, combine pineapple juice, lemon juice and salmon. Refrigerate for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
2) Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat an 11×7-inch baking dish with non- stick cooking spray.
3) For the topping, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar, lemon zest, chili powder, cumin, salt and cinnamon. Remove salmon from refrigerator and dispose of marinade. Place fillets in prepared baking dish and rub brown sugar mixture over salmon. Bake 12 minutes or until fish is flaky.
5. White Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
Love chocolate melting in your mouth? Us too, especially with every bite of this creamy White Chocolate Cheesecake. A buttery graham cracker crust is topped with smooth white chocolate cheesecake and topped with sweet cherries and chocolate. Slice after slice, this cheesecake is heavenly.
Graham Cracker Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted
White Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
4 8oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
6oz white chocolate, chopped and melted
1 15oz can cherry pie filling
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1) Preheat oven to 450ºF. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
2) For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl. Mix until well combined. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the prepared pan. Place in the freezer until ready to use.
3) For the cheesecake filling, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Add the flour, mixing until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, add in vanilla extract and melted white chocolate. Pour filling into prepared crust and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 250ºF and continue to bake 45 minutes more. The cheesecake is ready when the edges begin to brown slightly and the center is slightly wiggly. It will firm as it cools. Remove from the oven and run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan. Cool cheesecake completely then refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
4) Before serving, spoon cherry filling over cheesecake and drizzle with white chocolate.
6. Raspberry Meringue Nests
It’s always a challenge to improve on a classic, but, as always, Chef Lisa is up to it. Here, she takes the classic Pavlova and transforms it from ho-hum to oh-yum. Meringue nests, with crisp exteriors and soft, light interiors, are packed with a homemade, sweet raspberry filling and finished with an airy pillowy topping.
4 egg whites
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp white vinegar
3 cups frozen raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
Pinch kosher salt
2 tbsp butter
Cool Whip Dessert Topping, for garnish
Seedless raspberry jam, for garnish
1) Preheat oven to 250ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Trace six 3-inch circles on the parchment sheets. Flip the parchment over so your meringue won’t touch the ink.
2) For the meringues, place the egg whites and salt in a clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, mixing until stiff peaks form. In a small bowl, combine 1/4-cup sugar with cornstarch. Lightly fold cornstarch mixture and vinegar into egg whites. Using a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle, pipe and fill in over pre-drawn circles, continuing to pipe 3-4 rings on top of each other around the rim to form a nest. Bake for 30 minutes, turn off oven and let cool for 2 hours in closed oven.
3) For the raspberry filling, in a medium saucepan, combine raspberries, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Heat on medium-high, stirring frequently for 5 minutes until mixture is lightly boiling and berries are breaking down. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, cornstarch and salt. Temper the egg yolk mixture by quickly whisking in a few tablespoons of the hot raspberry mixture. While continually whisking, transfer warmed egg mixture to saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Press raspberry mixture through a fine mesh strainer and discard any solids. Return raspberry filling back to saucepan over low heat. Add butter, whisking 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate until ready to use, cooling completely.
4) When ready to serve, fill meringue nests with raspberry filling, top with a heaping spoon of Cool Whip Dessert Topping and drizzle raspberry jam to finish.
7. Strawberry Peach Cocktail
Find a fruity sip of summer in this fresh and fantastic Pure Leaf Strawberry Peach Cocktail.
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
½ cup peach iced tea
2½ oz vodka
1 oz Grand Marnier
½ oz simple syrup
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 fresh mint leaves, chopped
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
1) Fill 2 tall glasses halfway with ice cubes and set aside.
2) In a blender combine strawberries, peach iced tea, vodka, grand mariner, simple
syrup, chopped basil and mint leaves. Blend until well combined and pour into prepared glasses.
3) Garnish with fresh mint and basil.
Authors of bestselling cookbooks Bite Me, Bite Me Too and Lick Your Plate, saucy sisters Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat love eating, feeding, entertaining and dishing up easy recipes at BiteMeMore.com.