what to cook when the calendar says spring but the weather won't comply
Monday, March 20, 2023
No lies detected. Definitely curious about this. I love this painting.
The bakers reimagining traditional Jewish pastries [NYT, unlocked]
Happy Spring! The last few days, the sun has been so bright, birds have been chirping outside my window, and thanks to the excessive toastiness of a NYC steam-heated apartment, I fell for it again. I galloped outside to go to a park with my kids, eager to soak up the warm and fuss over burgeoning buds on trees only to join my kids in begging me to go home to warm up within an hour because I forgot, like I do every year, that spring arrives on the calendar long before it arrives on the thermometer around here. What’s a home cook to whip up when they’re tired of winter food but the still-frozen ground and weather won’t comply? Below, several suggestions for meals that, to me, suggest spring without expecting us to shed our winter comforts.
Smitten Kitchen Keepers, my third cookbook, has been out for almost four wonderful months and I love to see everything that you’re cooking from it. While the majority of the fall/winter book tour is behind us, I’ll be in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday and tickets are still available so I hope this means you can come. You can keep up to date with all details for any future events we add on this page.
crispy tortellini with peas and prosciutto
Did you know that you could cook frozen tortellini like potstickers and they get crispy and awesome? This riff, with peas, prosciutto, mint, lemon and cream looks and tastes fancy and took about 12 minutes to make.
vidalia onion soup with wild rice
While onion soups are usually hulking, hearty, deep-winter affairs, I like to think of this as onion soup's spring-hopeful counterpart: sweet onions, mild broth, wild rice for bulk and pungent croutons. It makes a cool week ahead much more endurable.
Broccoli rubble (crunchy bits quick-cooked with a sinus-clearing volume of garlic, pepper flakes, lemon zest, juice and pecorino) are draped with a slice of provolone and broiled until blistered and collapsed in an open-face sandwich that's all I want for lunch right now.
roasted carrots with avocado and yogurt
An impossibly delicious avocado and roasted carrot salad that once made the New York City restaurant rounds, streamlined and sheet-panned for weeknight bliss, replete with yogurt and crunch. It's basically the highest calling for the bundle of carrots languishing in our fridge.
baked chickpeas with pita chips and yogurt
These fatteh-inspired spiced baked chickpeas are served with pita chips, a finely chopped tomato-cucumber salad, lemon-tahini yogurt, and toasted pine nuts. Together this is the kind of colorful, layered, and flavorful dish I crave endlessly right now. We can totally pull this off for dinner tonight.
cornmeal fried pork chops + smashed potatoes
Crispy (easy!) pork chops and the best thing since mashed potatoes: crushed potatoes with pockets of cheese, butter and cream throughout are exactly the only thing I want for dinner tonight, can we please make it happen (a text to my husband but also all of us).
squash and chickpea moroccan stew
Don't be intimidated by the ingredient list length -- this vegetarian, vegetable-full, complexly flavored stew comes together quickly and is fantastic over couscous, with or without a dollop of yogurt to finish it. Leftovers reheat well, so it's a meal prep dream too.
pineapple upside-down cake
Do you know what it always been too long since we've last had? Pineapple upside-down cake. This is the best one I know how to make. Fresh pineapple slices nest in a quick butterscotch caramel sauce with a trace of rum and not a single fluorescent cherry. Nothing bad could come of this. Nothing.
lime curd tart
This lime spin on a classic French lemon curd tart is a forever favorite. These days I make it in fewer steps, which means that I get to make it more often. I like that it uses whole eggs, instead of just yolks, so you don’t have any leftover ingredients; that it doesn’t, like so many lime desserts, demand tiny, harder-to-procure key limes; and that it takes full advantage of the lime zest, for full-bodied flavor.
shop my favorites
Ever wonder where I get my cutting boards, paring knives, offset spatulas and more than you see when I cook? I've created a page on Smitten Kitchen with links to some of my favorite kitchen items, the ones I'm asked about the most. For each item, I've attempted to provide a range of shopping links so we're not just focusing on one giant retailer.
See you next week!