March 23, 2015

March, like September, is what I consider a transition month--a collection of weeks that lead us away from one season and tease us with glimmers of the next. Transition months are so exciting, but can be brutally frustrating. It's a near constant scenario of looking into a closet containing [seemingly] nothing to wear, because it's chilly in the morning and sweltering in the evening (or vice versa), and looking into a fridge with [seemingly] nothing to eat because you're burnt out on last season's gems and the goodies you associate with the season upon you aren't quite in their prime. The transition month struggle is real, but there are relatively simple solutions to cope. For the wardrobe issue, keep a neutral sweater or light jacket with you always (if you work in an office anything like ours, you'll be freezing all day regardless of the weather outside). And for the seasonal eating issue, relish the following ingredients that are actually in peak season during the month of March. All offer incredible versatility so that you can deploy them in hearty, comforting applications on days when you're still feeling winter's chill, and go for a brighter, more springy vibe when the sun is on your side.Radicchio Radicchio offers a stunning punch of color and distinctive layer of flavor to a wide range of dishes. Try it in salads, slaws, on pizza, or quartered and roasted. Crunch-tastic and vibrant, but served warm, this Grilled Leek and Radicchio Salad with Citrus-Walnut Vinaigrette hits all the right notes for early spring and gracefully highlights radicchio's delicious bitterness.

Grilled Leek and Radicchio Salad with Citrus-Walnut VinaigretteCauliflower As you'll recall from our week-long series of cauliflower celebration, we seriously love our cauliflower around here. Love it roasted, pureed, riced, and just about any other way you can dish it up. Cauliflower's mellow flavor and near creamy texture make it a powerhouse ingredient for potential. And for spring, I especially love cauliflower fried up into fluffy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside fritters. Quick to come together and served with an addictive tangy sauce, these make one heck of a vegetarian spring brunch entrée.

Linguine with Spinach-Herb PestoRadishesA little spicy, a little sweet, radishes are what I love to eat.I'm  a poet. But only about radishes. I may or may not have a little veggie crush on them. Radishes are awesome raw and thinly sliced or cooked--either way, they bring the party to your plate with stunning color. If you're doing any kind of entertaining this month, I highly recommend you look for a way to incorporate these little beauties. Radish and Arugula Crostini with Brie are a great place to start (literally...because they're an appetizer).

Radish and Arugula Crostini with Brie GingerGinger can infuse new life into even the most classic spring dishes. And it just so happens to be an exceptional flavor booster for both cocktails and desserts, two of my favorite consumption categories in this whole wide world.

Mango-Ginger ParfaitsArtichokesThey are so much more than being the second-listed ingredient in a token party dip. Artichokes shine so darn bright in pasta, in pie, and of course, in and of themselves.

Pan-Roasted Artichokes with Lemon and Garlic

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