I love April! Several of my favorite people in the world were born in April (Mom, Laurie, Smelly, Andrew... happy birthday to all of you!) and I love that the days are starting to get a little warmer, but that the nights are chilly enough to warrant hot chocolate. To me, April is when the city starts to yawn and stretch from her winter nap. (So poetic!) This is the time to balance heavier dishes like broiled and roasted meat and vegetables (while you can still stand to turn on your oven!) with lighter salads and soups featuring some of the greenmarket's spring goodies.
Broiled Leg of Lamb Leg of lamb is a classic dish for both Passover and Easter. I prefer to get a boneless butterflied leg; it cooks faster (and I can just slice it straight through without that pesky bone getting in the way)! This is a quick way to have a roast—with a little planning, you can very easily enjoy this yummy roast on a weeknight.
Fennel and Radicchio Salad with Vanilla-Grapefruit Vinaigrette Fennel is one of those vegetables that I eat every chance i get. I love it cooked, raw, as an ingredient of a larger dish or by itself. Vanilla is also a favorite, and the two flavors mesh incredibly well. (I must admit, though, I would add vanilla to just about everything.)
Fava Beans with Caramelized Onions and Bacon Fava beans are a lot of work, what with the blanching and peeling (this is why I have not used them for a dinner party)—but they are so delicious that if you're making them for a smaller crowd it's totally worth it. (You can also buy frozen peeled favas and skip this step entirely.)
Flourless Chocolate Cake This is a Passover dessert staple. This version is the easiest I've found I made it a couple of weeks ago for some friends... it is so dense and rich it's more like a really good brownie. Raspberry sauce would be a perfect partner for this cake: its tartness tempers the intense flavor of the cake. Unsweetened whipped cream also works very well.
Enjoy these spring favorites and please join me April 25 for the next Lightbulb dinner. Working out the menu now—look for the invitation next week!
see you soon!