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Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus with Lemon-Mustard Dressing

How to roast potatoes with asparagus

Spring is here! Spring is here! Sometimes I feel like Chicken Little. That’s how excited I get about spring and spring food.

And no, the sky is not falling, but it sure feels like my world is changing all around me when it’s no longer pitch black at 5 o’clock.

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How to Make Homemade Pasta (Without a Pasta Maker!)

Homemade Pasta Dough No Pasta Machine

I’ve been making pasta from scratch for about eight years now, often with a child standing at each hip, and all without using a pasta maker.

Sometimes gadgets can be barriers to experimentation in the kitchen, but a small kitchen or a lack of funding shouldn’t prevent anyone from making delicious homemade food. I find that most meals can be made with a few simple tools that serve multiple purposes.

In the case of my homemade pasta, my rolling pin doubles as my pasta roller.

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Lemony Broccoli Rabe with White Beans

Lemon Broccoli Rabe with White Beans

Years ago, I was with a group of friends talking about the dishes that our mothers made all the time and that became our idea of comfort food. One of the women said that her Italian-American mom made broccoli rabe and cooked it with lots of lemon and white beans.

We all quizzed her like crazy: Was this a dish her grandmother had made, too? (Yes!) Was it a weeknight dish? (Yes!) Did her mom make it for holidays? (Yes!)

We were so intrigued that something bitter, tart, and garlicky would be considered comfort food—the rest of us had been thinking about creamy, toasty, cheese-y things!

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Creamy Potatoes with Cheese and Tomatoes

New Potatoes with Cheese and Tomatoes

This recipe for creamy potatoes with cheese and tomatoes is adapted from one we found in Sunset Magazine years ago, and is inspired by a classic dish in Colombian cooking—papas chorreadas.

Potatoes are boiled in salted water, then smothered in a sauce made with fresh tomatoes, onions, cream, and cheese. So good!

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Pasta with Butternut Parmesan Sauce

Butternut Parmesan Pasta

One of the best things about fall is the abundance of pumpkins and hardy winter squash. Ever wonder why winter squash is called “winter” squash when it first makes its appearance in the fall?

Perhaps because if stored in a cool place, they’ll last several months, well into winter.

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Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie

Here’s one of the best loved recipes on the site—tomato pie! Perfect at the peak of summer tomato season.

One of the great things about going on vacation is I get to hang out with my friends, and sometimes meet their friends, who sometimes have OMG-this-is-so-GOOD dishes that they bring over. This tomato pie recipe is a result of one of these encounters.

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Cold Pea Salad

Cold Pea Salad

Long warm summer days are perfect for chilled pea salad!

This recipe uses frozen peas, which you don’t even have to defrost, green onions, water chestnuts, and smoked almonds. The peas do thaw a bit, but they’re wonderful crunchy and cold too.

I first encountered this delightful salad at a friend’s potluck. It was one of the dishes that everyone went back for for seconds.

I’m not sure of the original source of the recipe, but since the recipes calls for Smokehouse Almonds, perhaps the almond company? It could easily be made with tamari almonds as well. You just want salty, crunchy, roasted almonds for this salad.

Do you have a favorite pea salad? Please let us know about it in the comments.

Photos and recipe updated, first published 2007

 

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Spring Minestrone Soup

Spring Minestrone

Welcome spring with this savory soup from Hank. ~Elise

Minestrone is one of my favorite soups, and it is infinitely malleable with the seasons. This version celebrates springtime, when fresh, new vegetables begin to show up at the market.

I know to make this soup whenever I can get asparagus, artichokes and peas all at the same time. These vegetables form the backbone to the soup.

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Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese

Arugula Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Winter in California is the season for peppery arugula. Several years ago my parents planted some arugula in their garden and for years the arugula would re-seed itself, taking over the entire garden with a flourish, starting in December.

While mature arugula can be almost too intense to eat raw (best for left for cooking), young baby arugula is perfect for salads, and can easily be found in markets these days.

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