Food

5 days of spring dinners! Fava bean pesto pasta, shrimp linguine and more

Joanne Ozug | Fifteen Spatulas

Despite mother nature’s attempts to confuse us with sudden polar vortexes and other freakish weather events, not much seems to be curbing the tide of spring and that means spring veggies: Asparagus, fava beans, and ramps, oh my! This week’s meal plan focuses on these produce stars and their delicate flavors.

Some notes on the recipes:

  • Ramps are a kind of wild leek with a garlicky kick that chefs get excited about in part because they only appear for a few weeks each spring. It used be that you could only find them at greenmarkets, but I’ve seen them at better supermarkets, too. If you can’t find them, you can substitute with scallions or young spring onions .
  • If you’ve never cooked with fava beans you’re in for a treat, but they are a little bit of work—it’s easy, satisfying work that you can get the kids to help with. Shelling and peeling fava beans while you talk about your day is my idea of slow food.
  • The shepherd’s pie is the comforting, indulgent meal this week so dig in and make everyone happy without skimping on cheese, but you could substitute sweet potatoes or half Yukon/half sweet to make the dish a bit more nutritious (and a touch of sweetness to this very savory dish is delicious).
  • French breakfast radishes are an heirloom variety that are longer than the standard ones, but any radish will do. A word of warning about sunflower seeds: They go rancid very quickly, so if you’re using ones you have on hand be sure and taste one first. You’ll know they’re bad by the bitter taste. I’ve ruined a couple of beautiful salads this way, so now I freeze mine if I don’t think I will use them all right away.

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

AND

FRIDAY

SHOPPING LIST:

  • 10 ramps (or scallions)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 serrano chilies
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 1 bunch of chives
  • 1 lime
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (about 3 medium Romas)
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 cups fresh fava beans
  • 1/2 cup baby arugula
  • 4 ounces baby kale
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 3 French breakfast radishes
  • 1/2 pound, cremini mushrooms
  • 6-7 large Yukon gold potatoes (to make 5 cups mashed)
  • 1 small bag of frozen vegetable medley (carrot, peas, onion, corn)
  • 1-2 boxes /packs of linguine
  • 1 pound dried orecchiette
  • 1 16-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bottle of good stout beer
  • 1 cube beef bouillon, or equivalent beef stock concentrate
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces feta¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/2 pound (21-25) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb

Pantry items:

  • Allspice (I teaspoon)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Butter
  • Red chili flakes
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Milk
  • Cornstarch
  • Smoked paprika or regular
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