Spring is here. Spring is here. Spring is here.
It might not have felt like it lately, but I think we can say for sure, no questions asked, that spring is here. It might not be long before summer whirls its way in, but until then let's enjoy these sunny days of spring (at least until it starts raining again).
I'm home in Boston now for a few weeks before I head off to NYC. My first order of business is to do some cooking in my slightly larger home kitchen. I headed to the farmers market in Davis Square today but to my dismay they were only selling plant seedlings and meat - apparently we still have to wait a little while up here in New England for the real produce to start coming in (the only produce they had was rhubarb, which, I'm sorry, just wasn't doing it for me today). So I headed to Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis Square, Somerville. This place has some of the best pasta around. Really wonderful, truly fresh pastas including an assortment of stuffed ravioli and pasta like linguine or fettucini which, when you order it, is cut in front of you from long sheets of pasta. Their dough is rich, eggy and flavorful and really doesn't compare to anything else (unless you make your own, of course... but to be perfectly honest, this is almost as good).
I got some mushroom and spinach ravioli, which I topped with ramps sauteed in butter and olive oil. Shave some parmesan on that, and you have yourself the perfect meal.
I also went to the grocery store, where I got the ingredients for some great spring shrimp toasts, which I've included the recipe for below. These are great now, but let's be honest, I'll eat these in any season. They are meaty, fresh, flavorful, lemony, creamy and all around just plain good. Use some crusty bread and a ripe tomato under the shrimp mixture, and you won't be disappointed. They can be an appetizer, a lunch, a dinner, really whatever you want. They're a great way to welcome in the peak of the season, offering a taste of spring but hinting at summer, which is right around the corner.
So happy spring, everyone.
Spring Shrimp Toasts
-3 cups shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined and then quartered into small pieces
-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
-1 teaspoon olive oil
-1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
-2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
-1 teaspoon lemon zest
-juice of half a lemon
-1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
-salt and pepper
-3 large slices crusty bread, halved into 6 pieces
-1 large tomato, thinly sliced
-In a mixing bowl, combine the shrimp, mayonnaise, olive oil, onion, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, chili flakes and salt and pepper. Mix well and add more seasoning if needed.
-Toast the slices of bread until lightly browned.
-Arrange toasted bread on a platter. Top each with a slice of tomato. Evenly divide shrimp mixture onto each of the 6 pieces. Serve at once.