Crave: 3 dishes to make as the weather warms up

photo by: Courtesy of Mother Earth News

A simple honey and garlic sauce elevates fresh asparagus.

With the weather getting warmer, it’s the perfect time to enjoy seasonal produce, like asparagus, and other classic springtime fare, like lamb. Here’s a meal that makes the most of the season’s bounty.

Asparagus With Honey Garlic Sauce

Yields 4 servings.


1 pound fresh asparagus

1⁄2 cup Dijon mustard

1⁄2 cup dark beer

1⁄3 cup honey

1 clove garlic, minced

1⁄2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme leaves

1⁄2 teaspoon salt


Add asparagus to boiling, salted water (about 1 inch deep) and cook, covered, for about 2. minutes, or until barely tender. Drain.

Combine remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour sauce over asparagus and serve.

Herbed Leg of Lamb With New Potatoes

Grass-fed lamb doesn’t taste anything like the lamb from the grocery meat counter. It’s mild and tender, with an ideal amount of marbling, and it is best served medium rare, so make sure you don’t overcook it.

Yields 6 to 8 servings.


6 cloves garlic, peeled, divided

1 teaspoon sea salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1⁄2 cup fresh mint

2 1⁄2 pounds leg of grass-fed lamb

2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled


Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Place 3 cloves garlic, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, mustard, and mint in food processor. Process until coarse paste forms.

Rub paste over lamb, coating well; let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Place potatoes, remaining oil, remaining garlic, and an additional pinch of salt and pepper in medium bowl; toss well.

Put potatoes in bottom of large roasting pan. Place lamb on top of potatoes.

Position rack in lower third of oven. Roast lamb and potatoes for 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours, or until instant-read meat thermometer registers 140 degrees.

Transfer meat to plate and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Arrange potatoes and lamb on serving platter. Garnish with additional fresh mint, if desired, and serve.

Homemade Biscuits With Chives and Parmesan

Buttery and full of flavor, these biscuits taste great with soups and stews. For a nice sweet-savory twist, top them with preserves or thin slices of cheese and serve for breakfast or brunch. They’re also delicious split and topped with scrambled eggs.

For heartier biscuits, substitute 1⁄2 cup whole-wheat flour for the same amount of unbleached flour. Yields 1 dozen biscuits.


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Scant 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

Dash cayenne pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

Generous 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup nonfat or 1 1⁄2% buttermilk, or 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Generous 1⁄2 cup snipped chives


Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne, paprika and Parmesan and mix thoroughly. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

In small bowl, combine buttermilk with chives. Add to dry ingredients and stir to form soft dough.

Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead gently until it just comes together. Roll out to not quite 1⁄2-inch thickness. With floured 2 1⁄2-inch biscuit cutter, cut dough into rounds and place on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove to baking rack to cool slightly before serving.


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