Spring is upon us, invigorating our senses with its fresh, crisp air, vivid colours and flourishing blooms. It’s time to pack away our hats and scarves and say goodbye to stodgy pies as we need lighter jackets on our backs and lighter meals on our plates!
But even with the sensational flavours and tastes that classic spring cooking has to offer, it can still be a challenge to please everyone. We have picked just a few of our favourite spring recipes that are guaranteed to delight the whole family so why not give them a try today?
Asparagus and ricotta tart
For a simple spring starter that will look and taste much more complex and time-consuming than it really is, start by baking some ready-rolled puff pastry for 15 minutes. Next, mix together the juice of one lemon, some ricotta, Parmesan and chopped sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl and divide it between the pastry cases.
Top with asparagus spears, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. Serve garnished with mint and chives and let the compliments roll in!
Spring salmon with minty veg
Salmon has long been a spring staple – not only is it delicious, it’s also easy to prepare. Start by bringing some new potatoes to the boil and adding frozen peas and green beans until they’re nice and tender. Blend some olive oil, lemon zest and mint for a dressing, drizzle over four salmon fillets and place them in a microwaveable dish.
Cover with cling film and microwave for five minutes before draining the vegetables and serving. Dribble some of the flavoursome sauce over the vegetables and even young children won’t be able to resist their greens!
Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary
If you’re getting the family together for a traditional Sunday roast then why not give them succulent lamb - and avoid slaving over a hot oven all afternoon. This simple recipe keeps everybody happy. Take a good quality leg of lamb, cut slits in the top every few inches and push down four sliced garlic cloves, then sprinkle some sprigs of fresh rosemary on top.
Cook potatoes and parsnips in the tin around the lamb and roast at 180°C until medium-well done, add some fresh seasonal veg of your choosing and relax.
All that’s left to do is savour your mouth-watering handiwork and your time with your loved ones.
Finding more recipes online
These are just a few family favourites, but there are so many more recipes and hints to discover online, from the official websites of professional chefs to ordinary folks sharing their own cooking tips via Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
To get started, try the McCarthy & Stone Google+ page, which is packed with inspiring ways to get the most out of your meals. You may even find a few recipes to share while you’re there!