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The season of new beginnings and new potatoes is upon us. The rhubarb is ripe, asparagus is in abundance and the peas are ready for picking. Pre-heat the oven and prepare to turn the best seasonal fruit and veg into some delicious dishes for the whole family.
Fresh and minty, this light soup makes a mouth-watering starter or main course.
1) Place a heavy-based pan on a medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Once it begins to foam, add the sliced spring onions and diced potato. Gently fry them for about 5 minutes before adding the stock. Bring it to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the potato becomes soft.
2) Pour in the peas and bring the broth to a boil again, cooking them until just done. Chuck the mint leaves into the mix and blitz it all in a blender until it’s a smooth purée.
Serve hot with a sprinkling of chopped spring onion or mint and season with some salt and pepper to taste.
A colourful culinary creation that’s bursting with fresh flavour, this Pesto Pasta with Shrimp is sure to be a winner.
1) Cook the pasta as per the package directions, adding the asparagus for the last five minutes. Once done, drain the liquid and reserve ¾ cup of the water for later.
2) Place a pan on the hob on a medium heat, adding the oil and butter. Dust the shrimp on both sides with red pepper and black pepper to your taste then add them to the hot pan and cook for 1 - 2 minutes on each side. Remove them from the pan and place them in a dish, keeping the pan on the heat.
3) Add the pasta, asparagus, and reserved water to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Mix in the basil pesto, fried shrimp, and cherry tomatoes. Season with a pinch of salt and cook for a further minute.
Serve your pasta up in a bowl or on a plate with a sprinkling of parsley.
A succulent salmon fillet with a serving of minty spring vegetables, this is a light and filling lunchtime or dinner meal.
1) Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place the salmon on a parchment-lined baking tray and brush with 2tsp of olive oil. Season with dill and roast for 10-12 minutes until only the centre is slightly rosy and it flakes apart with a fork.
2) Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the sliced new potatoes. Leave them boiling for 4 minutes before adding the peas and cooking for another 3 minutes.
3) Whilst your veg is boiling, add the remaining olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mint to a blender and whizz it up to create a refreshing dressing.
Once your salmon is nicely roasted, your potatoes are tender, and your peas are just done, serve it all up on a plate and spoon over some of the dressing.
Sweet and warming for the cooler spring evenings, rhubarb crumble is a firm favourite pudding of the season.
1) Preheat your oven to 180°C.
2) Slice the rhubarb into sticks, roughly 7cm each, and lay them on an over tray. Sprinkle over 4tbsp of water and dust them with the caster sugar. Roast them for 10 minutes and sprinkle over the ginger.
3) While they’re roasting, sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter and demerara sugar to form a crumble.
4) Dig out an ovenproof dish, about 4cm deep and line it with the roasted rhubarb. And cover with your crumble mix. Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins until the topping turns to a mouth-watering golden brown and the filling has begun to bubble.
Leave it to cool down for a few minutes and serve with a generous helping of warm custard or cold cream.