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Cooking Between Seasons

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Spring Vegetable Ragout with Fresh Pasta

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In the almost-daily “what did you make last night?” conversations occurring around the office, talk has tuned to spring-inspired recipes. And, while spring may be in the air, it hasn’t exactly reached the market yet. That conundrum begs the question: What do you do when you’re itching to cook spring, but the market is stuck in winter?

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Cooking in between seasons is tricky, but my recent solution has been to use citrus to brighten up our otherwise wintry table. For example, last night I roasted a whole chicken over a bed of onions, Brussels sprouts, and tiny potatoes. To keep things fresh, I made a quick sauce in the roasting pan with freshly-squeezed blood orange juice, lemon juice and rice vinegar. It brought a welcome burst of sunshine to an otherwise cold-weather dish.
—Denise Mickelsen, associate editor

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Why would you stop wanting to cook winter already?! For sure, I like to cook “winter” until the last second. Beside the fact that I just love wintery, belly-warming foods, it makes those spring veggies so much more exciting when you have to wait for them. But when those first spring peas arrive, I’ll be whipping out my Café Boulud Cookbook to make Daniel Boulud’s Chilled Spring Pea Soup. It’s an amazing way to kick off the spring no matter how long you have to wait!
—Juli Roberts, editorial assistant

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There are two spring-food milestones at my house: the first time we fire up the grill and the first harvest of early-spring veggies like peas and asparagus. If we don’t eat all the peas while hanging out on the swing set, we’ll use them in Allison Ehri Kreitler’s Spring Vegetable Ragout with Pasta. Not only is this dish gorgeous, and as Allison says, “spring incarnate,” but since it’s also a quick and easy pasta, it’s foolproof.
—Robyn Doyon-Aitken, Web producer

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When April finally arrives, I’m ready to move into summer food, but it’s usually still pretty cool here in the Northeast. So to give the illusion of summer, I make my first potato salad of the season. I make it the way my mother always did, with onion, celery, and eggs, but I add chopped dill pickle and substitute plain yogurt and a big spoonful of Dijon mustard for half the mayonnaise. It’s good with baked ham or roast chicken.
—Enid Johnson, senior copy/production editor

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I’m with Enid. Who needs spring? As of yesterday I’m already onto summer, after Sam Seneviratne in our test kitchen gave me a giant bag of basil. Pesto, here I come!
—Rebecca Freeman, senior editor

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If you aren’t already itching to cook spring’s offerings, browse our collection of fresh spring recipes for inspiration. Disclaimer: We can not guarantee browsing the recipes will not bring on a serious case of spring fever; indeed, we hope that it will.

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