Is that sunlight past 6pm? Do I hear an actual bird chirping happily? Obviously, this is a fever dream because winter is 1000 years long. According to science. No, for real – spring is finally here! Hi buds! It’s your friendly editor, Abby here. There is a hopefulness spring brings, in spite of winter being long depending on where you’re from. Daffodils do it for me every year, they tend to bloom first, heralding the season, determinedly happy and bright even through the last winter snow. You can see their little yellow heads bobbing as if to say, “We made it! It’s going to be okay. We carry on.”
Thankfully, my eating habits tend to change around the spring. I stop craving hearty foods that layer on like heavy blankets to keep me warm during the winter. I want my food to reflect the weather – fresh, green and bright. Give me all the citrus, the tangy vinaigrettes, deep leafy greens and cool cucumbers. And Flonase – I will need that in abundance.
It’s time to wake up your palette! Here are eight (8!) recipes to remind you of the brightness that spring brings. Even when it rains it feels different – it feels like good things are coming and I’m going to embrace that feeling.
Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad – If spring was a food, it would be this salad. It’s almost too easy, but begs for improvisation. Have cucumbers on hand? Add them. Edamame? Why not. A little cashew action? Oh, you’re in a groove now. You’re feeling it!
All of the Citrus and Some of the Greens Salad – Sometimes, not all the time, the answer to having citrus is by adding more citrus. I do not make the rules, but I am here to enforce them. If you need an excuse to use grapefruit, oranges and blood oranges and still call it salad, please make this. At worst, it’s salad adjacent. At best, it’s the most brilliant thing you can have for lunch or dinner.
Easy Watermelon Feta and Cucumber Salad – I cannot get enough this salad from late spring on through the summer. It’s so bright and beautiful I can’t think of having anything else. My only addition is I add a few squeezes of lime on top – I can’t resist. By the way, are you a person that salts watermelon? I am a lime and Tajín girl. (Try the same combo plus salt on cucumbers, you will never go back!)
Baked Lemon Spinach Risotto – This is perfect for the beginning of spring, when you still need a few comforting food hugs when things start to feel a little harried and hurried. It throws together quickly and nestles in the oven giving you time to play your guilty pleasure phone game (I’m going to embarrass myself and tell you mine – Best Fiends).
Grapefruit Yogurt Poppy Seed Loaf – My mother would categorize this as a tea cake, which is the kind of cake you’d serve in the afternoon to a guest stopping by for tea. I would categorize this as a literally-any-time-of-day cake. Breakfast with a schmear of cream cheese, after lunch with an iced coffee, a quick pre-dinner snack! An obvious post-dinner wrap up! It’s 1am and I’m still awake… you get it. You’re with me.
Kombucha Grapefruit Cocktail – Honestly, is kombucha still a thing? I feel like the hype around it has settled and if you like it, cool, if you don’t, also cool. The beauty of this cocktail is the gift of alcohol for breakfast. There are absolutely healthy things involved – tart juice and kombucha. Champagne just happened to be invited, it was a coincidence, and you dare not leave it out. We cannot offend the champagne. If it makes you feel better, call it a mimosa!
Brown Butter Rosemary Orange Cornbread – In my mind, cornbread is flawless. I have many relatives who are firm about how cornbread is made. Do not add cheese, do not add actual corn kernels or diced jalapeños, and if you’re a true Southerner, do not add sugar. I love it in all it’s many forms – especially if that cornbread has browned butter, rosemary and orange added and finished with honey butter like this recipe has? It would be disrespectful to refuse it.
Cranberry Orange & Pecan Coffee Cake – Another in the tea cake/any-time-day-or-night cake category, this has a subtle holiday feel. Cranberries, oranges and pecan streusel play so well together this can be enjoyed all year long. I found this recipe particularly perfect because Joy’s mom makes this every holiday season, and we’re big fans of Joy’s parents around here.
I hope these recipes bring a little sunshine into your day. Happy baking, friends!