After another long and seemingly relentless winter of sub-zero temperatures, short, dark days, icy roads, floods and mudslides, the world is ready to welcome the arrival of spring. This long-awaited season offers soft sunshine, gentle rains and most important, an abundance of wonderful fresh foods. The first volume in the new Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration series, Spring: Recipes Inspired by Nature's Bounty (Time-Life Books; March 1997; $21.95/hardcover) pays tribute to this season of rebirth.
Noted chef and author Joanne Weir offers springtime seasonal recipes utilizing some of the year's most anticipated ingredients: tender asparagus shoots, delicate leafy greens, juicy strawberries, tart rhubarb, sweet Vidalia onions, spring lamb, silvery salmon and newly molted soft-shell crabs. "Most fresh seasonal ingredients require only light preparation before they can be enjoyed at the height of their flavor, color and abundance," writes Joanne Weir.
This "no-fuss" cooking philosophy is clearly demonstrated in fifty contemporary recipes which include everything from appetizers, soups and salads to main courses, side dishes and desserts. Each recipe is accompanied by a beautiful four-color photograph.
Easy to prepare dishes such as Artichoke and Lemon Fritters and Baked Pancetta-Wrapped Endive are tasty, simple starters. Stalks of asparagus—the quintessential springtime vegetable—are showcased in Asparagus-Parmesan Cheese Puffs and Warm Asparagus with Eggs Mimosa. Hot soups such as Fresh Pea Soup with Lemon Creme Fraiche, and the simple Italian specialty Fava Bean and Farelle Soup take the chill off those cool spring nights. Spectacular and healthful salads in unusual combinations take center stage in Weir's Watercress, Grapefruit and Papaya Salad and Belgian Endive, Arugula and Blood Orange Salad.
Main courses for Easter and Passover—or even just a simple dinner with close friends—include Rack of Spring Lamb with Roasted Garlic and a classic Roast Leg of Spring Lamb with Mint Sauce. Artichoke and Leek Lasagne is a satisfying vegetarian main course, and heart-healthy seafood shines with Peppered Salmon with Snow Peas and Ginger or Pan Fried Soft-Shelled Crabs with Lemon. Delicious side dishes of Fennel and New Potato Gratin, or Roasted Red and Yellow Beets with Balsamic Glaze will have everyone clamoring for seconds. And tempting secrets such as Marzipan Cake, a tangy Lemon Cloud Tart or a longtime springtime favorite, Rhubarb and Strawberry Crisp are perfect endings to any meal.
Spring also provides essential information on how to take advantage of the season's bounty. The introductory text highlights pointers for selecting the best ingredients, which are further illustrated and identified in six pages of full-color photographic glossaries. A section on basic recipes offers ideas for quick springtime garnishes and provides directions for preserving seasonal fruits and vegetables in such classics as marmalade and artichokes a la Grecque. Illustrated step-by-step directions teach important techniques for preparing many of spring's signature ingredients.
Spring: Recipes Inspired by Nature's Bounty
by Joanne Weir
50 four-color photographs by Penina
Time-Life Books; March 1997
ISBN: 0-7835-4606-8Information above provided by the publisher.
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