"A recipe has no soul.
You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe."
-- Thomas Keller
I admit, I love the start of a new cooking season. The first cranberries in the produce section fill me with glee. Asparagus in spring starts me joyfully flipping through my cookbooks. Don't even get me started about brussel sprouts, butternut squash and Rainier cherries!
Half way through the season I start to lose momentum though. I crave variety in my diet and the roasted root veggies and coconut quinoa that was such a delight in November feels like too much after the holidays. In January especially, I start to want less of the grounding comfort food and want lighter fresher tasting fare. My thermometer is still hovering around freezing and my calendar says we have two months to go though. What to do?
Here are some tips to perk up your mid winter menus:
- Try some winter salads with hearty greens and roasted veggies
- Add a squirt of citrus or some zest
- Snip in some fresh herbs just before serving
Another favorite recipe on the rotation right now is pesto pasta dishes. You can buy ready-made pesto at the store but it is also super simple to make your own. Pick a suitable fresh herb--parsley, cilantro or basil work well. Add some nuts or seeds--pine, sunflower, walnut--and a squirt of lemon juice. Process in the food processor until well chopped. Drizzle in some oil near the end of processing, until the pesto is the consistency you want. Season with salt and pepper. You can also add in some grated parmesan cheese or garlic to the mix when processing.
- Try something new
How are you sprucing up your winter dishes? What new things are you adding to your cart? Have fun exploring!