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Spring is in the air, and also on your plate

Stephanie Taylor | Interrobang | Lifestyles | April 3rd, 2006



Spring is officially here; already the days seem longer, the sun is shining, and the promise of a relaxing summer by the beach is on the horizon. Get into the spirit of the season with these spring-inspired recipes!

Sautéed Garlic Asparagus
3 tablespoons butter
1 bunch fresh asparagus
3 cloves garlic, chopped

Melt the butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and asparagus spears; cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until asparagus is tender. If you like your asparagus well done, reduce heat and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Cranberry Spinach Salad
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving.

Fresh Spring Soup
1/4 cup butter
1 pound leeks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 quarts water
3 large potatoes, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 pound fresh spinach
1 cup heavy cream

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the leeks and onion, and cook until tender.

Pour water into the pot. Mix in potatoes, carrots, asparagus, and rice. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, until vegetables and rice are tender.

Stir spinach and heavy cream into the soup mixture, and continue cooking about 5 minutes before serving.

Rhubarb Crumble
3 cups diced rhubarb
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

In a large mixing bowl combine rhubarb, white sugar, and 3 tablespoons flour. Stir well and spread evenly into baking dish. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine brown sugar, oats, and 1 1/2 cups flour. Stir well then cut in butter or margarine until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over rhubarb layer.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Homemade Iced Tea
8 tea bags (any flavour)
4 cups boiling water
4 cups cold water
1 cup sugar

Steep tea bags in boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Add sugar and lemon slices. Mix hot water with cold water and chill until ice cold. Serve in a tall glass with ice.
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