Showing posts with label Spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spring. Show all posts

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Roasted Spring Vegetables #SundaySupper

A good roasting in a hot oven brings out the best in most vegetables. Theoretically a side dish, I love a plate of these for a vegetarian main course. When you add a garlicky dressing, your roasted spring vegetables can be elevated to center stage.

This week my Sunday Supper group is sharing easy spring recipes. Which puts me in mind of baby vegetables and spring lamb. Fortunately a nearby supermarket that always has a stock of baby veg so I picked up a selection. I ended up not using them all because my pan was full and if you want caramelized roasted spring vegetables, it is key not to crowd them in the pan.

If the baking pan is too full and there’s not room for air to move between the vegetables, they’ll just steam together and will not roast. Left behind were tiny bulbs of fennel and baby corn. Now I need to think of another recipe to make with those!

For the roasted vegetables:
7 oz or 200g each assorted baby vegetables
(I used small pickling onions, baby leeks, new carrots, baby zucchini and patty pan squash.)
1/4 cup or 60ml extra virgin olive oil

For the dressing:
Leftover oil from the vegetables
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons cloudy apple cider vinegar or your favorite good quality vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C. I have a convection fan that I like to use for roasting as it circulates the heat more evenly. If you don’t, you can turn the oven up a few degrees to compensate.

Trim the vegetables of stems and scrub them clean. Since they are tiny, leave them whole. Pile them in a large mixing bowl.

Drizzle the olive oil over them and toss to coat. Sprinkle on some fine sea salt and give the veggies a couple of good grinds of black pepper. Toss to disperse the salt and pepper. You can use salad spoons but clean hands work the best. Plus, you are going to use your hands in the next step so might as well get them dirty. 

One by one, transfer the vegetables to a large baking pan, spacing them evenly. 

Put the vegetables in the oven to roast for 30-35 minutes or until they are golden and possibly a little charred in places.

There will be seasoned oil left in the bowl. We are going to use it for the dressing.

Grate or mince the garlic cloves into the oil. 

Add in the vinegar and honey and whisk to combine. Add another good pinch of salt and more freshly ground black pepper. Set aside. 

When the roasted spring vegetables are ready, remove them from the oven and scrape them and any sticky bits from the pan into the bowl with the dressing while they are still hot. 

Toss or stir to coat the vegetables with the dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature. 


As I mentioned, this week our Sunday Supper tastemakers are sharing easy spring recipes. Check out this fabulous link list. Many thanks to our host, Anne of Simple and Savory and our event manager, Cricket of Cricket’s Confection.


Main Courses

Veggies and Sides



Cakes, Pies, and Sweets

Cookies and Bars

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.
To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Pin it!

Roasted Spring Vegetables -


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Grilled Lamb Skewers with Roasted Carrots #SundaySupper

These grilled lamb skewers are made with tender marinated leg of lamb chunks, cooked over high heat in a grill pan, then left to rest on sweet roasted young spring carrots. A sprinkle of feta and mint lend even more flavor and just the right touch of saltiness to this flavorful dish.

A number of years ago, when we were living in Kuala Lumpur, I had a friend who would buy the organic new baby carrots, greens still attached, that would turn up on occasion in one of our grocery stores. They weren’t cheap but she said that they were worth the splurge. As much as I like carrots, I didn’t imagine that she could be correct. Who would pay that much – don’t remember the exact amount except that it seemed like a lot – for carrots? Not me. After all, how special could they be?

Last week I decided that a simple spring vegetable minestrone would be the perfect recipe to share on the Sunday Supper Movement website for today’s Welcome Spring event, and since it was for the website and not just this little blog, I did splurge. I bought freshly hulled peas, fine French beans, baby zucchini, baby leeks and tiny corn on the cob along with a large bunch of spring carrots, greens still attached. Such a pot of sweet wonderfulness.

I used just a couple of the carrots in the soup so I started looking for another recipe to show off the rest. My original plan for this post was simply spring lamb but when I came across a recipe on Bon Appétit for lamb skewers with carrots, it seemed like kismet. (Which is comes from the Arabic word for fate, by the way.)

Of course, Bon Appétit being Bon Appétit, the dish was complicated with two marinades and then a dressing, so I simplified it down to one marinade for the lamb and a mere sprinkling of feta and mint for the finished dish. Ain’t nobody got time for all that. I can’t imagine how this could be improved upon. It was perfect in every way and the carrots were fabulous. Sweet, tender and with such wonderful flavor. Now I know what my friend was talking about! Next time I make this, I will double the carrots so I suggest you do too. I’ve already been back to the store and bought another bunch.

Ingredients to serve 2-3
For the spring lamb skewers:
1 lb 3oz or 540g leg lamb chunks

For the lamb marinade:
2 large garlic cloves
1 small red chili pepper
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup or 60ml dry white wine
1 teaspoon large grain sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil

For the oven roasted spring carrots:
9 1/3 oz or 265g spring carrots
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (a good drizzle to coat)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
8-10 fresh mint leaves
2 oz or 57g crumbled feta
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the lamb into bite-sized pieces and put them in a Ziploc bag.

Mince your garlic and red chili pepper. Strip the rosemary leaves off of the stems and chop them finely.

Add all the marinade ingredients into a mixing bowl up to and including the black pepper, then whisk in the olive oil until well blended.

Pour the marinade into the bag with the lamb. Mix it around until the lamb is well coated, then press all of the air out and seal. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but you can also make this early in the day and leave it marinating till you are ready to cook dinner. Mine marinated about three hours.

To roast the carrots, preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Scrub the carrots well and cut the long tops of the greens off. You can leave on a little bit for color, if desired. If some of the carrots are thicker than the others, cut them in half lengthwise.

Pile the carrots on a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then spread them out so they aren't touching each other.

Roast in the preheated oven until lovely and golden and caramelized, turning once in the middle of roasting time of about 20-25 minutes.

Thread your lamb onto wooden skewers cut to fit snugly in your grill pan. Discard the bag with the marinade.

Heat the pan over high heat. You’ll need to turn your extractor fan on or perhaps even open a window because this is going to smoke. But it’s going to be fast and worth it, I promise.

Once your pan is scorching hot, lay four of the lamb skewers in it, quickly searing one side. You don’t want to crowd the grill pan so don’t try to cook them all at once.

Cook for 2-3 minutes on that side, then turn and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes.

This will leave your small bites of lamb still pink inside. If you want them done more, cook for another minute or two on each side. I encourage you to leave them pink inside though, because they will be more tender.

As you remove the cooked lamb from the grill pan, rest the skewers on the roasted carrots.

Continue until all of your lamb skewers are done and are resting on the carrots. Give the whole pan another few grinds of fresh black pepper.

Crumble the feta and rip the mint leaves onto the lamb and carrots.


Who is ready to welcome spring with me? My Sunday Supper family sure is. Check out all the lovely spring recipes they are sharing today!

Main Dishes:
Side Dishes:
Plus Spring Vegetable Minestrone and more Spring Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement
Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Asparagus Salmon Fried Rice #BloggerCLUE

Crunchy asparagus just barely tossed in the hot pan with garlic and onions and chilies keep the fresh taste of spring, complemented by the tender poached salmon in this delightful, and delightfully easy, fried rice.

I’ve been making fried rice for a very, very long time. In fact, it’s such a common occurrence that I’ve never even considered posting a recipe on here. Fried rice has the advantage of being quick and easy, with the fabulous capacity to turn leftovers into something new and special. I never measure or quantify. It all just goes in. Roast chicken, grilled steak, boiled shrimp, pan-fried pork chops and myriad vegetables, sure. They’ve all become fried rice at my hands. But in all my years of making this dish, I have never once thought to use salmon. And that is why I love taking part in Blogger C.L.U.E. each month.

Blogger C.L.U.E. is a fun challenge where each participating blogger is given an assignment, another blog to poke around in and find recipes that fit our “clue” or theme of the month. I’ve been taking part for several months now and each time, I learn something new and my world opens just that much wider with possibilities.

This month my assigned blog is Lemon & Anchovies and I was hunting through Jean’s beautiful pages for spring vegetable recipes. And you know what I found! What is more quintessentially springy than asparagus? I am showing all of my 52 years now (I’m among friends, right?) but I remember a time when the only asparagus I’d ever eaten came from a can. Even as I got older and learned of fresh asparagus, the season was so short that folks waited all year for the first spears to appear and they were something special. When my husband and I first met, he had three things he would not eat: beets, olives and asparagus. Turns out he had never had a fresh asparagus either! He is now a fan of both olives and asparagus – Never mind about the beets. One has to choose one’s battles. – and he loved this fried rice, even taking the leftovers for two days running for his lunch.

I made very few changes to Jean’s recipe only doubling most of the ingredients so we’d have leftovers and putting fresh chilies instead of sauce but I’d like to encourage you to head over to her blog to read the post where I found this recipe. Her stunning photographs and glorious description of a daytrip to the coast will put you right there with her and give you pleasant dreams of days on the beach. And while you are there, have a poke about yourself. Jean cooks beautiful food and loves to travel. Her lovely crab, asparagus and avocado omelet post will also treat you photos from a trip to Maui  and a bacon and leek quiche also means a gorgeous recap of her two weeks of summer on the south coast of France.   Amongst others. Seriously, do go see. If you are anything like me, you’ll get trip envy bad. And want to cook all the things.

1 1/4 lbs or 585g salmon fillets
250g asparagus
6 1/2 cups or about 900g cooked long grained Basmati rice, cooled (Day old from the refrigerator is best.)
3 eggs
2-3 shallots
4 cloves garlic
2­3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 red chili peppers
2-3 tablespoons light soy sauce 
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more for serving, if desired

For serving and garnish:
Lime wedges
Fresh chives

Poach your salmon in a medium-sized covered saucepan, in simmering water that comes just half way up the fillets, turning the fish halfway through. You want the fish just barely cooked through so, depending on the thickness of your fillets, about 10-15 minutes ought to do it. Take it off the heat but leave the salmon in the poaching liquid until you are ready to use it.

Cut the hard ends off of your asparagus and pop them into a glass with some cool water, just as you would cut flowers.

Beat your eggs and drizzle a little olive oil into a non-stick skillet. Pour the eggs in and cook over a low heat, turning once when almost cooked through.

When the omelet is cool enough to handle, roll it up and slice it thinly. Set aside.

Slice your shallots finely, mince your garlic and red chilies. Cut your asparagus into shorter lengths.

In a pan or wok that is big enough to hold all of your ingredients eventually, drizzle in the oils and add in the shallots and chilies. Cook for just a minute or two.

Add in the asparagus and cook, stirring frequently, for just a few more minutes. You want the asparagus to stay nice and crunchy.

Add in the garlic and cook for about a minute, making sure not to let the garlic color.

Add in the cold rice and stir well. Drizzle on the soy sauces and stir again, so that the soy is well mixed with all the rice.

It will take a few minutes to get all of that rice hot, so take the time now to use a fork to break the salmon into fairly large pieces. Remember that it will fall apart a bit more as you stir.

Add in the salmon and fold it into the hot rice.

Now add the egg ribbons and do the same, cooking just until the salmon and egg are both hot.

Garnish with chopped green onion and serve with lime and extra soy sauce, if desired.


Here’s a list of this month’s Hunt for Spring Vegetables Blogger C.L.U.E. participants. I’ll be updating the list with their chosen recipes as the day progresses.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bunny Nest Carrot Mini Bundts #BundtBakers

What does a bunny bring for Easter? Candied eggs, of course. What you may not know is that bunny nests are made of carrot cake, cream cheese glaze and coconut. True story. (Unless you are in France, and then the flying church bells deliver the eggs and chocolate. Seriously. I don’t make this stuff up, folks!) 

On this day in 1968, my life changed forever when our family went from four to five with the arrival of my baby sister. I was five years old so I remember it well. I had been sent to stay with my maternal grandparents for a few weeks towards the end of Mom’s pregnancy. I “worked” with my grandmother in the store each day, dusting the appliances, keeping my “accounts” and playing in those fabulously large boxes refrigerators and the like are delivered in and occasionally accompanying my grandfather out on short service calls. I drank small bottles of ice cold Coca-Cola and Grape Nehi to my heart’s content from the old-timey red machine that took just a nickel. And my grandmother kept a small bowl of nickels at the ready. I ate candy and cake and ice cream at will. In short, it was the holiday of any child’s dream. Have all the babies you want! When the phone call came that Marta had been born, family lore tells the story of my reaction: I said that I would come home when the baby stopped crying. I have no personal recollection of making that statement, but, hey, I was no fool. I knew I had it good where I was. My parents were stunned when they picked me up. Apparently I was as wide as I was tall. So 1968 was also the year a lot of my fat cells were created. But I don’t hold it against my sister. She is smart and funny and one of the most generous souls I know. If Marta has bought you a gift, careful thought went into that thing and it will be something purchased with just you in mind.  She is one of my favorite people to spend time with, because she has a wicked sense of humor and can always make me laugh. She is a great cook, an astute businesswoman and a talented graphic designer as well as the caring mom of three beautiful boys. With an April birthday, Marta’s were often celebrated with an Easter theme when we were growing up so I thought it appropriate to make these little carrot cakes with her in mind. Happy birthday, dear sister! I love you!

Easter, circa 1969

This month’s Bundt Bakers theme is Easter and spring and our host is my good friend, Tara of Noshing with the Nolands. Happy Easter, everyone! Let’s bake some Bundts!

For the cake:
2 eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
1/2 cup or 120ml of light cooking oil (canola or sunflower)
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
 7 oz or 200g carrots
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
1/3 cup or 40g finely chopped pecans or nut of your choice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:
4 oz or 115g cream cheese, room temperature
1 oz or 30g butter, room temperature
8 oz or 225g confectioners’ or icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
Zest 1/2 navel orange
2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

For the grass:
7 oz or 200g sweetened flaked coconut (That’s half a bag of Baker’s Angel Flake coconut.)
Paste food coloring – I used Wilton’s leaf green

For the candy eggs: I used pastel colored peanut M&Ms but any small candy eggs will do nicely.

Peel and cut the very ends off of your carrots.  Cover them with water in a medium sized pot and cook until very fork tender.  Drain the water off and mash them with a potato masher until there aren’t any lumps. Transfer the mashed carrots to a bowl and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, you can make the glaze. Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat until well combined. Add the juice a tablespoon at a time. Keep adding juice until the glaze is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but thin enough to drizzle. We are going to dip those mini Bundts in it to coat once they are baked and cooled.

To color the coconut for grass, put the coconut into a large Ziploc bag and add in your paste coloring. I use the end of a clean knife to scoop some out. Stick the knife in the Ziploc and use some coconut to clean it off.  If you need to add more coloring, always use a clean knife. Close the bag securely and knead until the coconut is uniformly colored. (This takes approximately half an episode - 10-12 minutes - of How I Met Your Mother online with no commercials, so have a seat and enjoy the process.)

If it feels too sticky when you are done, you can spread it out on some paper towels to dry for a while.

When your carrots are cool and you are ready to start mixing, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup mini Bundt pan by buttering and flouring it or spraying it liberally with non-stick spray.

Add all the cake ingredients to a large mixing bowl, including the cooled carrots and mix well.

Scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula and beat for about two more minutes on high.

Divide the batter between the holes in your prepared mini-Bundt pan.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the little cakes from the pan and allow to cool completely before even thinking of glaze.

I turned mine right side up on a mini muffin tin.

If upright nests are important to you, trim off the rounded bottoms of the little Bundts. Do with these what you must but know that you will get absolutely no judgment from me if you eat them all, one by one, right as you stand there slicing.

When you are ready to glaze, hold each mini Bundt with a thumb on the bottom and one finger in the little hole on top or vice versa. Turn the cake in the glaze until it is lightly covered. Place flat side down on your serving platter and push a little of the glaze into the hole.

Sprinkle each mini Bundt with colored coconut, making sure to pat some on the sides.

Fill the little holes with candied eggs or peanut M&Ms.



If you are looking for more Easter or spring time Bundt inspiration, I’ve got a whole lot of lovely links right here.

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.  We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us baking Bundts each month, please send me an email with your blog URL to  If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board.