If you're anything like me, you've been waiting with bated breath for spring. Finally, it's practically here! The first few weeks of March brings days that are just a touch warmer and the promise of all the goodness that's soon to come. Fresh green peas will soon be abundant and we'll be able to enjoy their sweet vegetal flavor — but while you wait, lean on a few bags of frozen peas to get you really salivating. From a pea-studded dish of gnocchi to a creamy casserole with ham, peas, and leeks, make any or all of these five early spring recipes to help kick off the season.
A warm bowl of soup is still what we crave during the early days of March. This one bridges the gap between winter and spring by roasting the peas to give them a deeper, nuttier flavor, while combining them with delicate leeks and plenty of sweet, fresh tarragon.
Take advantage of just how well cauliflower pairs with sweet peas. You'll want to make a double batch of the minty pesto-like spread, as it's also great spread on toast, tossed with pasta, and dolloped on chicken and fish.
This comforting casserole is different from the rich, heavy ones you've been making all winter. A base of eggs, milk, and low-fat yogurt make it creamy yet light, while a slew of fresh dill, chives, and thyme freshen it up.
Here's another dish that's comforting yet light. The ricotta gnocchi is so pillow-soft that it practically melts in your mouth. The use of both lemon juice and zest gives it extra brightness.
This easy dish, inspired by the flavors of South India, is as lovely as a side as it a light main served with a good dollop of plain yogurt and plenty of naan. Ginger, cumin, and cardamom lend warming spice to the peas, while fresh green chili gives it heat.