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Spring Comfort Food

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Just because the trees are leafing out, the days getting longer, and the weather getting warmer doesn’t mean we don’t ever need our occasional doses of edible comfort. When you do, turn to these dishes, which are the culinary equivalent of a warm hug, while also celebrating the best produce spring has to offer.

  • Recipe

    Classic Chicken Pot Pie

    This is the definitive pot pie recipe: a creamy chicken stew loaded with onions, peas, mushrooms, and carrots, and baked under a rich, flaky crust. It's comfort in a bowl. Serving this pot pie for Sunday supper? There's more where that came from; check out our slideshow for additional Sunday Dinner Ideas.

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  • Recipe

    Spring Vegetable Navarin

    Fava beans are worth seeking out, but if you can't find them, just up the quantity of the other vegetables. Unless the favas are young and garden-fresh, you'll want to peel their outer skins. If you can't find very small vegetables, use larger ones but cut them into smaller pieces.

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  • Recipe

    Macaroni and Cheese with Peas and Ham

    Peas and ham make a delicious addition to classic mac and cheese, while still keeping it kid-friendly.

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  • Recipe

    Chive-Tarragon Schupfnudeln with Braised Chicken and Spring Vegetables

    A trio of alliums and a generous splash of white wine give these braised chicken thighs a light and springy flavor that goes perfectly with the vegetables popping up at farmers markets during this transitional season—namely tender Japanese turnips, young carrots, and asparagus (though peas and radishes would be delicious, too). Chives and tarragon showered on top, as well as blended into the schupfnudeln on the side, double down on that fresh flavor.

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  • Recipe

    Pizza with Lemon and Burrata

    Creamy cheese and paper-thin slices of lemon make an incredible bite of pizza; the tang of the fruit marries well with the mellow cheese. Use a large serrated bread knife to thinly slice the lemons—you want them as thin as you can get them, almost shaved. For a thick pizza, use the larger amount of dough.

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  • Recipe

    Mushroom-Asparagus Risotto

    Baldo rice is a great pick for this simple springtime risotto because it releases enough starch as it cooks to warrant only frequent—not constant—stirring, making this less labor intensive than most risottos.

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  • Recipe

    Creamy Savory Grits with Grilled Spring Onions

    For many southerners, grits aren’t grits unless they are finished off with ample butter before serving. But this vegan version truly competes with “traditional” grits any day. The first step to creating rich, silky grits is soaking them in liquid overnight. Cashew cream added towards the end of cooking yields velvety grits with deep flavor.

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  • Dutch baby with mushrooms and leeks
    Recipe

    Herbed Dutch Baby with Creamy Mushrooms and Leeks

    Dutch babies are the perfect canvas for all kinds of accompaniments, and hearty toppings make them into full meals. The batter for this Dutch baby is loaded with chopped fresh herbs, and the pancake is piled high with a rich mixture of mushrooms and leeks.

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  • bucatini with wild mushrooms and peas
    Recipe

    Bucatini with Peas, Wild Mushrooms, and Creamy Tarragon Sauce

    Morel mushrooms are a sure sign of spring. There’s no substitute for their nutty flavor and delicate, crisp texture. If you can’t find them fresh, look for dried morels.

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  • Recipe

    Leek, Chicken, and Rice Soup

    The mellow sweetness of leeks mingles with smoky paprika to make this chicken soup perfect for a rainy spring afternoon.

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  • Recipe

    Spinach and Basil Gnocchi with Butter and Parmesan

    A hint of basil permeates these verdant dumplings. Don’t worry if the greens for the purée don’t fully break down; the bits of leaves add a speckled touch. The gnocchi’s subtle flavor won’t clash with any sauce but is best appreciated when tossed simply with some melted butter. Finish with cheese and some cracked pepper, if you like.

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  • Recipe

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Fool

    A fool is an old-fashioned English dessert, but it never goes out of style because it’s simple, delicious, and beautiful. Plus, any fool can make it since it’s only a matter of folding a quickly cooked compote into whipped cream. A little rose water adds a floral sweetness, but the fool is lovely without it, too.

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  • Recipe

    Roasted Asparagus and Fresh Herb Grilled Cheese

    In this brightly flavored, colorful sandwich, a little soft ricotta helps make the mix of mozzarella and Parmigiano more cohesive and evenly dispersed. Though it features three fresh herbs, you can use just two or even one in a pinch.

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  • Recipe

    Asparagus-Potato Chowder

    This creamy-tangy vegetarian chowder makes the most of each spear: The tough ends flavor a light asparagus stock, and the tender stalks and tips go into the chowder.

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  • Recipe

    Pot-Roasted Chicken with Spring Vegetables

    Though this dish is easy to make, you shouldn’t think twice about serving it for company. It’s full of flavor and looks elegant presented in shallow bowls.

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