March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. While the fierce winds blow, there is something to be said about visiting the local farmers market this time of year. The first fresh items are harvested and we can take advantage of this month’s seasonal produce in many forms, including appetizers, main dishes and dessert.

Before Dinner

Carrots are loaded with Vitamin A and good for our eyes. Take a much-needed break from traditional hummus to fight your afternoon snack attack and create a brightly-hued carrot hummus. It’s sure to please at parties too. Just mix up the following to serve with pita bread, chips or other raw veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped carrots cooked until tender
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. cumin (more if desired)
  • salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth in consistency.  Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Main Meal

Asparagus takes center stage at meal time in the spring time.  Its vibrant green color dresses up a table and shows off its good side.  Take it to the next level and make asparagus part of your main meal with a risotto that is light and comforting all at the same time.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ -1 lb. asparagus
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • basil to taste

Melt the butter in a pan at medium-low heat. Add onions, cooking for 3-4 minutes and then add garlic.  Cook for 1 minute. Add rice and stir.  Pour in ½ cup stock, stirring until absorbed.  Add asparagus and ½ cup stock.  Continue adding stock by ½ cup amounts as each increment is absorbed.  Stir in cream, Parmesan. Top with basil to taste.

Dessert

Round out that new spring dinner with a succulent dessert that welcomes the season.  Rhubarb pie is festive and sweet with a bit of tartness thrown in.  A great way to end the meal with color and wonderful flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. of butter
  • 9-inch pie crust recipe or pre-made pie crust.

Preheat oven to 450.  Mix together the flour and sugar in a bowl.  Drape pie crust into pie plate and sprinkle ¼ of the sugar/flour mixture over it.  Put the rhubarb in the pie crust and spread the remaining flour/sugar mixture over it.  Add dots of butter over the rhubarb and cover with crust.  Bake for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 and bake 40-45 minutes.

Enjoy!