A simple puréed soup is something I turn to often, usually relying on a creamy tomato, but lately I've been relying instead on a lightly-spiced cauliflower soup. Cauliflowers are easy to come by and quite inexpensive at the markets (in Seattle anyway), so as you sit and wait for true spring produce (peas, favas, asparagus!), this is a good recipe to tide you over.
Whether you choose the toppings or let your guests join in on the fun, pizzas and flatbreads are great crowd pleasers. I'm especially fond of socca, a chewy, crispy, gluten-free flatbread made from chickpea flour. As an appetizer or main course socca can be served plain or topped, like this one for spring. It features an herby, lemony pesto and fresh salad — plus it should even satisfy the worst dinner guest ever!
At the start of spring, the whole world seems to be bursting with tiny, irresistible signs of new life: green leaves sprouting from branches, fuzzy kittens popping up in my Facebook feed, and tender, sweet new potatoes making their brief annual appearance at the market. They may not last long, but when preparing ingredients this fresh and fleeting, the upside is that you don't have to do much to make them stand out. Simply boiled and tossed with fresh herbs and anchovy-flecked butter, new potatoes are a savory, soul-satisfying way to celebrate spring.
Since going gluten-free, I've had lots of fun expanding my arsenal of flours. My latest discovery? DIY sunflower seed flour. I discovered "sun-flour" while developing my recipe for Fruit Crumble with Oats & Dates and have started using this wonderful ingredient in other baked goods, too.
Fruit crumble is usually pretty straightforward: combine flour, sugar, and butter and you've got a perfect streusel topping, right? But what happens when you can't eat regular flour, sugar, or butter (or nuts)? Suddenly, making a really good fruit crumble might not be so simple after all. Faced with such a predicament, I started experimenting with gluten-free and vegan ingredients (and eating many, many servings of crumble in the process!) until I finally came up with my new go-to, allergy-friendly crumble recipe.
Crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle, a good coconut macaroon is an irresistible thing. It's also a particular favorite for people observing Passover and those who avoid gluten. As long as you have some shredded coconut stashed away in your cupboard and a few eggs that you don't mind cracking, a batch of sweet macaroons can be yours in less than a half an hour.
Looking for more feel-good recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth? Check out Healthy Desserts, the newest iPad and iPhone app from the food blog Green Kitchen Stories, which is full of gorgeous photos and recipes for an assortment of sweets, many of which are grain-free, vegan, or raw — and totally tempting.
This week in Gatherings from The Kitchn, we're sharing the details of an Italian Polenta Supper featuring lots of toppings, like hearty braised beef, on a bed of creamy cornmeal polenta. For a lighter, vegan-friendly accompaniment to polenta, let me suggest this spring vegetable ragout. Like the braised beef, it's rustic and uncomplicated yet completely dinner-party worthy. Make it now if you're already basking in the glow of peas and asparagus, or save this recipe so you can celebrate the moment spring arrives.