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spring recipes

Cheesy Asparagus Tart

By Heidi Sutton

You can almost feel spring in the air, and with the warmer weather comes delicious, delectable foods. From casseroles, tarts and omelets to fresh fruits and wholesome vegetables, a change of season offers something to look forward to for nearly every foodie. 

Two spring dishes that are sure to impress for brunch are a Cheesy Asparagus Tart and Herbed Spanish Omelet. The tart has melted cheese, cooked asparagus and an under layer of puff pastry baked to golden brown perfection while the omelet features potatoes, fresh spring herbs and red onions. 

Cheesy Asparagus Tart

Cheesy Asparagus Tart

YIELD:Serves 8


5 cups water

1 pound asparagus

ice water

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided

1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided

flour, for dusting

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 cup grated fontina cheese

1 cup grated gruyere cheese

1 tablespoon shallot, minced

2 egg yolks

3 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 lemon, zest only


Heat oven to 400 F. In large skillet, add water and asparagus. Cook 5-8 minutes until asparagus is bright green. Drain asparagus and soak in ice water. In large bowl, mix drained asparagus, vegetable oil, salt and pepper until combined. Flour surface area. Using rolling pin, roll out pastry to 10-by-16-inch rectangle. Transfer pastry to parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick pastry with fork. Bake about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly on baking sheet.

In large bowl, mix fontina cheese, gruyere cheese, shallot, egg yolks, milk, nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste, until combined. Spread cheese over pastry, leaving 1 inch around edges. Lay asparagus over cheese mixture. Bake 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Sprinkle lemon zest over tart and serve.

Herbed Spanish Omelet

Herbed Spanish Omelet

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup diced red onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 large whole eggs, lightly beaten

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

salt, to taste (optional)


Place potatoes in large pan. Cover with water. Bring to boil and cook, uncovered, 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain well. In deep, 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and cook 5 minutes. Combine whole eggs and egg whites. Stir in parsley, basil and chives. Season with salt, to taste, if desired. Pour mixture over potatoes in hot skillet. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes, or until bottom of omelet is golden. If desired, brown top under toaster oven. 

Strawberry Soufflé with Fresh Raspberries

By Barbara Beltrami

OK, so it’s officially spring, and I’m thinking of working up a feast to fete Demeter who forced old Zeus to send Persephone back from the underworld. Frankly, I don’t know what we would do if he hadn’t struck that bargain with Pluto. Amid the fanfare of daffodil trumpets it is time to pay homage to Persephone’s return to Demeter and the regeneration of our world, to hail with delight the little sprouts that are harbingers of the greening of Mother Earth.

Long before I clean closets, wash windows or don my gardening gear, I change menus, imperceptibly at first, but soon in my pantry lumpy root veggies give way to green sproutish things like asparagus and artichokes while cabbages and beans relinquish their staple status to tender green onions and peas. Soups still simmer on my stove top, but they’re more likely to be potages of spring leeks and new potatoes than hefty minestrones. Pastas always stay, but sauces become lighter, less robust.

The minute I see the first basket of berries I swear off apples and pears; I put away the stock pot and clean up the grill and exchange the bittersweet in my vases for pussy willows.  So let the elysian games begin! Nothing but the best to honor Mother Earth. If I were to actually cook a dinner honoring the rites of spring here’s what it would be:

Carpaccio of Fresh Salmon

Spaghettini with Fresh Asparagus Puree

Roast Leg of Spring Lamb with Mustard Glaze

New Potatoes, Braised Leeks

Garden Salad with Spring Onion Vinaigrette

Strawberry Soufflé with Fresh Raspberries

Spaghettini with Asparagus Puree

Spaghettini with Asparagus Puree

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 to 1½ pounds fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 pound spaghettini


Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, steam asparagus until tender and just at the point of turning a yellowish green. Cut off asparagus tips; reserve. In a food processor, puree asparagus stems, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Cook spaghettini according to package directions.

Meanwhile, transfer pureed asparagus to a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until gently bubbling. Drain pasta, transfer to serving bowl and toss with puree. Scatter reserved tips on top. Serve hot or warm with a chilled dry white wine.

Strawberry Soufflé with Fresh Raspberries

Strawberry Soufflé with Fresh Raspberries

YIELD: Makes 6 to 8 servings


1 heaping pint fresh strawberries

8 eggs, separated

½ cup sugar + 1/3 cup sugar

Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon

2 tablespoons kirschwasser or Chambord liqueur

Butter for greasing soufflé dishes

Confectioners’ sugar

½ pint fresh raspberries


Preheat oven to 450 F. Hull, wash and drain strawberries; place in bowl of food processor and puree till very smooth. Scrape puree into a large bowl, add egg yolks, half cup sugar, lemon juice and liqueur. Beat and blend thoroughly.

Generously grease bottoms and sides of 1½-cup capacity soufflé dishes. Beat egg whites until stiff; beat in remaining 1/3 cup sugar, then fold into strawberry mixture. Spoon equal portions of mixture into prepared dishes, place on baking sheet and bake 7 minutes. Reduce heat to 425 F and bake 7 minutes more.

Serve hot sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, garnished with fresh raspberries and accompanied by crisp vanilla wafers.