Step into spring with these seasonal recipes

words Al Woods

Celebrate the start of springtime with these delicious recipes, bursting with fresh seasonal ingredients like spring greens, asparagus, rhubarb and more.

Parmesan Easter Chicken

Easy to make, this tasty chicken dish is packed with spring flavours while the Parmesan topping gives a fulfilling crunch. The meat is super tender, and the new potatoes are fried in a spring-onion and parsley butter.

If you don’t fancy the idea of plating up new potatoes with this chicken dinner, save time and effort by serving up some crispy and super-tasty McCain 5% fat oven chips crinkle cut instead.

These baked oven chips are just 5% fat with the extra ‘crimp’ of crinkles. And the best thing? They take less than 20 minutes to cook in the oven.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg white
  • 5 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 400g new potatoes, cut into small cubes or McCain 5% fat oven chips crinkle cut
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
  • sea salt and freshly grated black pepper
  • 140g frozen peas
  • good handful baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil

METHOD

  • Fire up your grill to medium and line the grill pan with foil. Whisk the egg white in a bowl with a dash of salt and pepper. Scatter the Parmesan onto another plate.
  • First, immerse the chicken in the egg white, then into the cheese. Place the coated chicken under the grill, turning once, until golden brown and crispy.
  • While the chicken is cooking, boil the potatoes until tender, pouring in the peas for the final three minutes, then drain. Or if cooking McCain low fat oven chips, preheat oven to 220°C and cook according to packet instructions.
  • In a frying pan, melt the butter and combine the potatoes. Sauté for a few minutes to get rid of any excess water from boiling.
  • Scatter over the chopped parsley and spring onion and save a little to garnish with.
  • Shake the pan forcefully to toss everything together. Sprinkle over a decent dose of freshly grated black pepper and a generous pinch of sea salt and serve.
  • Combine the vegetables with the spinach leaves, vinegar, oil and a little salt and pepper. Plate up between four warm plates, then serve with the chicken.

Spring Salmon with Minty Greens

Whip up a delicious, nutritious meal with this spring salmon and veg dish. What’s more, it can be on the table in under 15 minutes. Better yet, this healthy spread counts for two of your five-a-day.

INGREDIENTS

  • 750g small new potatoes, thickly sliced
  • 750g peas and green beans
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • small pack mint, leaves only
  • 4 salmon fillets, roughly 140g

METHOD

  • In a large pan, boil the potatoes for about four minutes. Pour in the peas and beans, bring back up to a boil, then continue cooking for a further few minutes until the potatoes and beans are soft.
  • Tip the olive oil, lemon zest and juice and mint into a blender and blitz to make a dressing. Alternatively, you can finely chop the mint and beat into the oil and lemon.
  • Place the salmon in a microwave-proof dish, scatter with salt and pepper, then drizzle over the dressing.
  • Place some cling film over the top, pierce, then microwave on high for a few minutes until cooked through.
  • Drain the veg, then stir in the hot dressing and cooking juices from the fish.
  • Plate up the fish on top of the veg.

Spring Chicken with Asparagus and Penne Pasta

Packed with flavour, this dish is an all-round winner for everyone this spring. Crushed chillies give it a gentle kick, and even better, it’s ready in just 30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 350g skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 350g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 tsp dried crushed chilli flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 60g freshly grated Parmesan

METHOD

  • Tip the penne into a pan of boiling water and cook as per the packet instructions. Drain and pour into a large bowl.
  • Warm one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the chicken until stiff and lightly golden. Then take out of the pan.
  • Pour the rest of the olive oil into the frying pan. Fry the garlic, asparagus and crushed chillies in the oil until the asparagus is tender. Stir in the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes to infuse all the flavours. Sprinkle over a little salt and pepper.
  • Toss pasta with chicken and asparagus mixture. Scatter with freshly grated Parmesan.

Rhubarb Crumble

What better way to embrace the rhubarb season than with this much-loved childhood favourite?

INGREDIENTS

  • 365g diced rhubarb
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 200g light brown soft sugar
  • 80g oats
  • 200g plain flour
  • 225g butter

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 190°C. Delicately grease a 22x33cm baking dish.
  • In a big mixing bowl, stir together the rhubarb, caster sugar and three tablespoons of flour.
  • Mix together well and place evenly into the baking dish. Put to one side.
  • In another bowl, stir together the brown sugar, oats and the 200g of flour.
  • Blend well then combine the butter or margarine until mixture is crumbling. Scatter the mixture over the rhubarb layer.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for roughly 40 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Hot Cross Bread-and-Butter Springtime Bake

Got some fruit buns going spare? Put them to good use with this delicious bread-and-butter bake, a truly scrumptious spring pudding, sure to please the whole family.

INGREDIENTS

  • knob of butter, for the dish
  • 4 stale hot cross buns
  • 200g lemon curd
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200ml double cream
  • 200ml milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • dash of lemon zest
  • cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve (optional)

METHOD

  • Grease a one-litre baking dish that fits the buns neatly. Slice each bun into three pieces and squash back together with a liberal smear of curd.
  • Place buns in the dish.
  • Beat the egg, cream, milk and the rest of the curd, then sieve into a jug with the vanilla and three tablespoons of the sugar.
  • Drizzle over the buns and put to one side at room temperature for about half an hour so the custard soaks in.
  • Heat oven to 160°C. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar and lemon zest over the pudding.
  • Bake until the top is lightly browned, and the custard lightly set.
  • Put to one side for a few minutes, then spoon over a nice dollop of cream or vanilla ice cream.

We’re sure these recipes will get you excited for the spring. From hot cross bread-and-butter pudding to deliciously succulent Parmesan chicken and asparagus, these dishes are packed with seasonal produce for eating well this spring.

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