I so enjoy springtime in Southern California. This year the weather has already made the black mustard flourish into bright yellow flowers along Pacific Coast Highway all through the hills of Malibu. I think the contrast of brownish bearing hills with bright yellows is amazing — and makes me appreciate the beauty of living here. I’ve been growing leafy lettuces, and some arugula in my upright vegetable boxes in Santa Ynez, and when I travel back home I find myself bringing gobs of greens to take along with me. My herbs are pretty magical too; including my sage plant that seems to be super happy underneath the tarp, along with my French thyme and wispy dill, which I find almost impossible to keep alive at the coast during the wintertime. I can’t wait to make a pasta dish, or appetizer loaded with some fresh herbs this week. Speaking of pasta, I bought some nice ceramic bowls on Amazon that I think are both priced sensibly and pretty — so if you’re in the market for pasta bowls — check them out.
Our week begins cool and then heats up fast and when I say heat, it means 80+ degrees at the beach. So, I’m probably going to entice you with some grilling recipes, no matter where you live. Monday will be a bit loomy outside, so I will definitely start with something like my Creamy Chicken & Noodles with Asparagus. It has all the flavors of a creamy traditional pasta, but a bit lighter with fresh asparagus for spring. Tuesday we are making Sauce Vierge, my take on a famous French sauce that’s delightful to spoon over pasta, fish or chicken. By Wednesday it’s time to consider the grill or using a grill pan, if you’re in the cold, and make Whole Grilled Branzino with Dill Butter. A whole fish is super moist and the compound butter just builds on the already delicious flavor. Thursday is Potato Pancakes with Balsamic Onions made on the stove top, so you keep the oven at bay. These cakes are crispy tender and piled with deliciousness from the onions and nice with a crisp white wine. Friday is cocktail night and my Grilled Pineapple Mojito has your name on it. Saturday’s are for baking, but maybe not this week because of the heat, so my No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Jars will surely be a hit. Have a great week ahead, and if you’re in Southern Cal, keep cool!
Monday – I love a good bowl of pasta with flavors of springtime and this dish has both a lighter sauce, and asparagus that will send you into the season full speed ahead.
Creamy Chicken & Noodles with Asparagus – Recipe!
Tuesday – Make a green sauce and toss it in noodles of any kind, or with quinoa or farro. It’s also great spooned over roast chicken, fish or tofu, and a good ole’ sandwich of any kind.
Sauce Vierge – Recipe!
Wednesday – I enjoy a whole fish because the meat is so tender and fresh. It’s so easy to make right on the grill — and easy to pull the meat off the bones with two spoons.
Grilled Whole Branzino with Dill Butter – Recipe!
Thursday – Who doesn’t love a potato pancake for either an appetizer or dinner? These are easy to prepare and you can use leftover mashed potatoes, if you happen to have some on hand.
Potato Pancakes with Balsamic Onions and Basil – Recipe!
Friday – Cheers!
Grilled Pineapple Mojito – Recipe!
Saturday – It’s never too hot for dessert.