How to Clean Fresh Artichokes

It might not feel like spring outside, but the season is in full swing in the market! It’s artichoke season, so get those kitchen shears ready, because you’re going to need to make artichokes straight away. Cleaning artichokes feels a little work intensive the first time you make them, but after once you’ll get it and you’ll be craving artichokes regularly!

Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe

I’ve always loved a light vinaigrette, especially one that’s a little creamy. And I’ve finally cracked the code – dijon mustard is the secret to this vinaigrette!

Everyone needs a good dressing recipe in their back pocket, and I swear I could put this on everything – from salad to fish to meat to veggies. I’ve made this twice this week already and it’s only Wednesday!

 

Creamy Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: Appx 1/4 c. | Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 large garlic clove, zested (or minced if you don’t own a zester)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

3 tbsp dijon mustard (the smooth kind, not grainy)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and shake it like a polaroid picture!

You can adjust the ingredients to your liking. If you want a thinner consistency, add water 1/2 tsp at a time.

Easter Lamb Lollipops Recipe

A few years ago, my mother made lamb lollipops for Christmas, which surprisingly was the first time I had ever had lamb! It was so delicious – so buttery and just the right size.

I have to confess, I’m not a huge fan of ham, so when I started creating the Easter menu, I knew I was going to feature lamb. It really was the base for my menu and I built out each course from there. Doesn’t “lamb lollipops” sound so much fancier than “lamb chops?” It is, though, one in the same. We’re just going to roll with “lollipops” over here.

These lamb lollipops cook up quickly and are marinated for several hours in lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. They cook up so fast, too! With everything else prepared, you’ll be putting fresh lamb on the table before you can even say, “Amen!”

Perfect Asparagus Tart Recipe

Warm, cheesy, tangy, flaky…downright dreamy. This asparagus tart recipe is perfect for your spring and Easter gatherings and is irresistible served warm and super tasty at room temperature.

I promise the only regret you’ll have with this recipe is wanting to eat it all! It’s so simple it’s almost a sin to even call this a recipe. You can change up any aspect of the recipe, change the cheeses, use a different veg – it’s all up to you!

The balsamic glaze I added at the end really helped to finish the dish, just add right before serving if you decide to serve this tart at room temperature!

Serve up this Asparagus Tart with an arugula salad, Lamb Lollipops and Lemon Loaf for dessert! Get your Easter table ready here!

Easy Asparagus Tart Recipe

Yield: 6-8 servings | Time: ~35 minutes

Ingredients:

Pastry dough, thawed.

1/4 c grated Gruyere cheese

1/4 c whole milk ricotta cheese

1/2 tbsp lemon zest (optional!)

salt, pepper to taste (salt might depend on the cheese you choose)

optional: balsamic glaze to finish

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°

Roll thawed pastry dough onto parchment lined baking sheet

Score pastry dough in a rectangle to make the area that will be the “crust,” about 1/2 inch from the edges. Poke the base with a fork generously to prevent the puff pastry from, well, puffing up too much. Bake dough for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim and blanch your asparagus. Drain well.

While pastry and asparagus are cooling, combine cheeses, lemon zest if using, salt and pepper. Mix well. Gently spread cheese mixture evenly on tart, leaving crust without cheese.

Top with blanched asparagus. Bake for 12 minutes or until crust is golden-brown and cheese is melty delicious.

Let cool for a few minutes and cut into slices. You’ll need a very sharp knife or a very sharp serated knife to cut the pastry without the crust falling apart.

 

Note: Frozen pastry dough typically comes with two sheets of dough. This recipe can easily be doubled to utilize both sheets of puff pastry. make sure to separate them from each other if you are going to thaw both sheets of pastry dough.

 

3 Steps to Perfect Candied Lemons

Happy first day of spring! I’m ready for all the cute bunnies, asparagus, artichoke hearts and LEMONS. Lemon everything. It’s like the pumpkin spice of March, April and May.

For Easter, I’m planning to make my lemon loaf, which I thought would be fun to dress up with a few slices of candied lemons. They’re so quick to make – just a few minutes of prep and into the oven for about 45 minutes.

I mean, hey, spring! Amirite?!

All you need is a mandolin to get your thin, even slices of lemon and about 3-4 tablespoons of sugar.

Quick & Easy Oven Candied Lemons

Yield: About 24 slices, depending on size of lemons and thickness of slices.

Time: ~50 minutes

Ingredients:

2-3 lemons, sliced with a mandolin

3-4 tbsp of sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250°.

Line pan with parchment paper.

Thinly slice lemons and arrange on pan.

Generously top each slice with sugar, which will absorb into the lemons.

Bake for about 45 minutes until the lemons are covered with a sugary glaze.
Let cool and enjoy – easy peasy lemon squeezy! xo

 

 

butternut squash & apple soup

so here we are – finally – at my very first food post. when i set out with this blog it was always something i wanted to include. i cook all the time and yesterday picked up my phone to snap some pictures and share a recipe for the most delicious squash soup i’ve ever had.

pardon the pictures – maybe some day i’ll get around to sharing some in higher quality.

let’s get to it (after the jump)!