Seasonal Eats

Thanks to fresh ingredients like greens, rhubarb and salmon, these light dishes are like spring on a plate.




Spring Pea, Pea Shoot, Pancetta and Goat Cheese Salad

Yields: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil 
  • ¾ cup diced pancetta
  • 7 oz. pea shoots
  • 1½ cups freshly podded peas 
  • ¾ cup goat cheese, crumbled  

FOR THE DRESSING: 

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste  

DIRECTIONS 

Place a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, followed by the pancetta. Cook the pancetta for about 8 minutes until crispy. 

Meanwhile, add all the ingredients for the dressing to a bowl and whisk together well. Season with salt and pepper. Combine all the remaining ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing, add the crispy pancetta and gently toss together. 

Divide the salad between four plates and serve. 

"Pea shoots are a nutrient-rich green, providing beta carotene,  vitamin C, folate and fiber. They are a healthful springtime substitution for other greens. To make this salad vegetarian, substitute the pancetta for smoked or pan-seared tofu, tempeh or even mixed olives.”

—Susan Gralla, registered dietitian, Vernon Nutrition Center, Montvale

Rhubarb, Rosewater, and Pistachio Galettes

Yields: 4 galettes 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1¼ lbs. rhubarb, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 2 Tbs. rosewater

FOR THE DOUGH:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 stick + 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 Tbs. superfine sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cold water

FOR GLAZING:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. milk
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar

FOR THE PISTACHIO ROSEWATER MASCARPONE:

  • ⅓ cup pistachio nuts, chopped
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 Tbs. rosewater

DIRECTIONS 

For the filling, place the rhubarb in a bowl with 2 Tbs. of the superfine sugar and toss well to coat the rhubarb. Transfer the rhubarb to a colander set over a bowl and leave for a couple of hours to release any excess moisture.

To make the dough, place the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and pulse until you have a bread crumb consistency. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and drizzle with the cold water. Gently mix with your hands until a dough forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it together, pressing to incorporate any dry bits of flour. Flatten the dough into a disk about 1-inch thick, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Transfer the rhubarb to a bowl, add the rosewater and toss to combine. In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk for glazing together. Set both aside while you roll out the dough.

Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap and cut it into four equal pieces. Roll out one piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 5-inch round. Spoon one quarter of the rhubarb filling into the center of the round, leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with egg wash and fold the edges of the dough up and over the rhubarb, overlapping slightly. Brush the border with the egg wash and sprinkle with a little bit of the brown sugar. Repeat the process to make the other galettes and transfer them to the lined baking sheet.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the dough is golden brown. For the mascarpone, mix the pistachios, mascarpone and rosewater together in a small bowl and serve alongside the baked galettes.

Rhubarb is a spring vegetable that’s low in calories, carbs, sodium and fat and is typically combined with sugar or sweet fruit to bring out its tart flavor. When cooking fresh rhubarb, be aware that the leaves are inedible—they contain oxalic acid, which can be toxic.”

—Kathy Tigue, registered dietitian, Diabetes Management Services LLC, Westwood

Whole Poached Wild Salmon with Fresh Horseradish Cream and New Potato Salad

Yields: 10 servings 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole salmon, about 5½ lbs., scaled and cleaned
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 fennel sprigs
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • ½ cucumber

FOR THE NEW POTATO SALAD:

  • 4 lbs. new potatoes or Yukon Golds, washed
  • 6 Tbs. torn mint leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 Tbs. salted butter
  • 4 shallots, finely diced
  • grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 40 fresh pea pods, podded, or 1½ cups frozen peas
  • 20 radishes, finely sliced

FOR THE HORSERADISH CREAM:

  • 8-inch piece of horseradish root, peeled and grated
  • ⅔ cup crème fraîche
  • juice of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS 

Place the salmon in a fish kettle and pour over enough cold water to cover the whole fish. Add the bay leaves, fennel sprigs, half the lemon wedges, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and leave the salmon to cool completely in the water.

For the potato salad, place the potatoes in a saucepan half-filled with water and add 1 Tbs. of the mint and a sprinkle of salt. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked completely through but still firm.

While the potatoes are cooking, place a frying pan over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the shallots and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the lemon zest, juice and mustard, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Drain the potatoes, then slice them in half and add them to your serving dish, followed by the fresh peas. If you are using frozen peas, cook them in a pan of salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then drain well and add to the potatoes. Add the radishes, the remaining fresh mint and the lemon butter to the potatoes. Toss together so all the ingredients are coated completely.

Drain the salmon, leaving it to drain free of any remaining liquid. Using a paring knife or your fingers, carefully remove the skin from the salmon and discard. Transfer the salmon to a serving platter.

For the horseradish cream, add all the ingredients to a small bowl and mix together well.

For the garnish, slice the cucumber very thinly and arrange the slices along the center of the fish. Garnish the rim of the salmon with the fennel sprigs and the remaining lemon wedges and serve with the potato salad and horseradish cream alongside.

Using a fish kettle is a healthy way to cook fresh fish, as it keeps the fish moist without adding extra oils or fats. To make this dish even healthier, substitute the crème fraîche with low fat Greek yogurt—it’s low in fat and full of probiotics, calcium and protein. ”

—Kathy Tigue, registered dietitian, Diabetes Management Services LLC, Westwood

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