Image by Elly Savva
Spring brings with it some great seasonal fruit and vegetables, such as cauliflower, rhubarb, wild garlic, and asparagus. So, we asked our contributors for their favourite recipes that make the season’s best produce shine, to welcome in the warmer months!
Creamy Mushroom and Asparagus Pasta – by Clara Boon
I always love to use up leftover ingredients that I already have in the fridge. Especially with most of us now using online shopping, making the most of what you’ve already got at home has never been more important than now! This sensational creamy Mushroom and Asparagus rigatoni pasta will fill you with joy on these fresh spring evenings.
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 250g Rigatoni pasta
- 200g assortment of mushrooms
- Grated parmigiana-reggiano
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 shallots
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp chives
- 2 tbsp Cream cheese
- A splash of white wine
- Boil the rigatoni pasta in water. Once boiling, keep aside a cup of the pasta water.
- In a separate pan, cook the asparagus via your preferred method.
- Whilst the pasta is boiling, melt 2 tbsp of butter in a frying pan alongside chopped shallots and crushed garlic, over a medium heat.
- After a few minutes the shallots will turn translucent. Gently add the pasta water and a splash of white wine.
- Add in the mushrooms and be sure to slowly stir the sauce on a medium heat.
- Pour in a generous amount of grated parmigiana-reggiano cheese into the pan, alongside a tablespoon of parsley and chives. Give it a stir.
- I personally like to add 2 tbsp of cream cheese to get an extra creamy, luxurious pasta sauce.
- Once the rigatoni has finished cooking, drain the pasta and then add it into the pan.
- Chop the pieces of asparagus into small segments and gently add into the pan.
- Let it simmer to allow all of the flavours to harmonise with one another and then serve!
Lemon and Rhubarb Shortcakes – by Hannah Penwright
Shortcake is a traditional dessert from the United States, originating from the South. It’s often served with strawberries in the summer, but I’ve always thought that shortcake would make a lovely spring-time dessert too. So, to make sure the fruit is the best of the season, I’ve swapped out the strawberries for rhubarb, and added in some lemon for an extra bit of zing!
Ingredients: (serves 6)
For the shortcake
- 240g self-raising flour
- 2 tbsps golden caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling
- 90g salted butter, cold
- 1 large egg
- 90ml single cream
- Zest of one lemon
For the filling
- 200g rhubarb
- 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 200ml double cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- To make the rhubarb filling, cut the rhubarb into 3 cm lengths and mix with the sugar and 1 tsp of the vanilla. Leave to macerate for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160 fan. Lightly grease a traybake tin and add the rhubarb. Cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Leave to cool completely, and then uncover. Leave the oven on for the shortcakes.
- To make the shortcakes, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and the rub in the butter.
- Beat the egg in a bowl and then pour half of the mix in a separate bowl, to reserve for glazing. Add the single cream and lemon zest to one half.
- Pour the liquid into the dry and mix in until just combined.
- Roll the dough out gently on a lightly floured surface until 2cm thick. Use a 6-8cm round cutter to cut out rounds. Re-roll the dough to cut out more rounds.
- Line two baking trays with parchment and place the shortcakes on them, making sure they have room to grow.
- Brush with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle over the caster sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Whilst the shortcakes are cooling, whip the double cream with the remaining vanilla and icing sugar until soft peaks form.
- When cool, split the shortcakes in half horizontally and top with a spoonful of the baked rhubarb and whipped cream. Replace the top of the shortcake on top and enjoy!
Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Macaroni Cheese – by Hannah Penwright
I recently discovered how much more delicious roasted cauliflower and broccoli are than boiled, and I’m also a big fan of cauliflower cheese. So, what better way to combine them than by adding in some roasted veg to one of my all-time favourite dinners- mac and cheese?
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 300g macaroni or penne pasta
- 60g butter
- 60g plain flour
- 750ml semi-skimmed milk
- 300g mature cheddar cheese, grated
- ½ tsp mustard power
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- ½ head cauliflower
- ½ head broccoli
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 200C (180 fan).
- Chop the cauliflower and broccoli into small florets and spread out onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well, and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway. Leave to cool whilst you make the macaroni cheese (but leave the oven on).
- Boil the pasta in a large saucepan until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large baking dish.
- Melt the butter in the same saucepan and add the flour. Cook over a low heat for a couple of minutes, stirring well.
- Slowly add the milk, stirring the whole time. Once it has all been added, boil for a few more minutes until it thickens up.
- Add in the mustard, garlic, paprika, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well, and then stir in 250g of the cheddar.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and add the roasted broccoli and cauliflower. Stir well and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
- Serve with some extra greens and enjoy!