With winter boots and coats put away — perhaps replaced by sandals, light cardigans and the bright outlook that often accompanies sunshine and warmer weather — you can now fully focus on the sweet delights that come with spring. One of the most satisfying ways to leap into spring with verve is to make some tweaks to your regularly scheduled menu with a light food recipe or two.
Salads and Similar Light Recipes Tend to Dominate Spring Menus
Whether you want to modify your eating regimen to fit comfortably in your swimsuit or you want to enjoy seasonal favorite fruits and vegetables while at their freshest, salads often become the belle, or beau, of the bistro when everything is in bloom. If you want to add some variety to your repertoire, you might consider adding some of the following spring recipes to the mix.
- Ayza Spring Salad: Italian Fruta Mista. Made with creamy gorgonzola, organic mesclun, strawberries, sweet mango and balsamic vinaigrette, Ayza’s spring mix tastes like spring. The salty and buttery gorgonzola crumbles serve as a wonderful contrast to the sweet strawberries and mango while taking the edge off the balsamic vinaigrette. At NYC’s Ayza, enjoy a complimentary cup of festive sangria with your salad, in honor of the beginning of spring. Combining a red, white and rosé wine with a light carbonated soda, along with freshly squeezed citrus fruits and their peels yields a refreshing blend that works well with various recipes and on its own.
- Smoked Wild Salmon Salad. If you want to boost your omega-3 fatty acids and several vitamins and minerals to your diet, the smoked wild salmon salad has a bit of everything. Accompanied by field greens, capers, tomato and cucumber, the salmon definitely takes center stage, but it all works together for a light and satisfying seasonal meal. Add a serving of wine to enhance your dining experience and keep your spirit light. While salmon often pairs with champagne, you can go your own way and choose a dry Riesling with a hint of apple, a crisp and refreshing Chablis, or an ultra-dry Loire Sauvignon.
- Arugula Salad. A perfect base to let your taste buds roam freely, arugula — sometimes called “rocket,” as an English language offshoot of its French name “roquette” — gives you a lovely green platform upon which you can layer your favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as your most cherished cheeses, nuts and seeds. Consider adding some red grapes or juicy slices of green apple with sweet dates and walnuts. The Spanish sheep’s milk manchego cheese adds a buttery and creamy texture and a subtle piquancy to balance out the prevailing sweetness. A Cabernet Sauvignon’s sweet notes blends well with the fruits in the salad and plays harmoniously with the sharper notes of the manchego.
- Grilled Chicken and Vegetables. Everything seems to taste better from the grill once spring arrives, and this classic combination is no exception. Add a light breading to the grilled chicken that features special seasonings, including lemon pepper and a red pepper sauce, and you infuse this standby with bold new levels of flavor. Indulge in a chilled spring wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay to unwind and enjoy the rest of the afternoon or evening.
If you want to keep your dining fare light, you will find plenty of recipes that — along with the right wine pairing and perhaps a serving of your favorite dark chocolate — help you strike the balance between moderation and mild indulgence.