A Spring Menu For Friends & Family

A Spring Menu For Friends & Family
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Fresh HerbsSpring brings us fresh herbs and greens to add to our meals. Take advantage! Throw a brunch or lunch for family and friends. Serve the following with crusty bread, iced tea and a simple dessert for a lovely meal using fresh ingredients. The chicken recipe is  quite large, but that's good because you can make a nice chicken salad the next day!

Herb Ricotta Spread

Ingredients:

1 container (15 ounces) low-fat ricotta cheese

5 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

5 teaspoons snipped fresh chives

4 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced fine

Combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving with vegetables and crackers.

Spring Greens with Herb Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

10-12 cups mixed spring greens

Assorted snipped herbs: chives, cilantro, dill, thyme, oregano etc.

3-4 ounces feta cheese

1/2 cup walnuts

sugar to sprinkle

Dressing:

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme, basil or oregano

Fresh ground pepper

Prepare greens and place in a large salad bowl. Chop walnuts and toast by stirring in a medium-hot skillet for a few minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and toast just a tiny bit longer. Set aside to cool. Make the dressing by combining the ingredients in a blender until it is creamy. Toss the greens with the nuts. Sprinkle over the feta cheese. Serve with the dressing on the side.

Lemon Chicken with Herbs

Ingredients:

3/4 cup minced parsley, divided

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, lightly pounded

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

5 tbsp. olive oil

5 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup chopped herbs: chives, chervil, sage, thyme, oregano

6 cloves garlic, peeled

6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

6 tbsp. chicken broth or water

Combine 1/4 cup parsley and flour in a pie plate. Season each chicken breast with salt and pepper, then place in pie plate to coat with the flour mixture. Heat the olive oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup minced parsley, the mixed herbs and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves and discard. (or use in a soup stock, etc). Raise heat to medium-high and brown the chicken in batches on both sides--2-3 minutes each. Return all the chicken to the skillet. Lower heat to medium-low, and add lemon juice. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees) Transfer to a platter and keep warm. Add the broth or water to the pan and bring it to a boil--cooking for 1-2 minutes until it thickens. Pour sauce over chicken and serve. Serves 10-12.

Roasted New Potatoes With Spring Herb Pesto

Source: Bon Appétit Magazine April 2002

Ingredients:

3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 pounds red-skinned new potatoes, halved lengthwise

Blend parsley, chives, rosemary, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, lemon peel, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in processor to coarse puree. (Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss potatoes and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until potatoes are golden brown and tender, about 40 minutes. Using spatula, transfer potatoes to large bowl. Add pesto and toss to coat. Serve. Make 6 servings.

 Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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