April is spring and the desire to be outdoors on increasingly bright days. April is also the month of Easter and Easter Monday, which together with the national holiday of 25 April are the occasion for family lunches, walks and picnics. Orchards and gardens are awakened: aren’t the soft green of the grass and the buds that sprout on the trees beautiful?
Seasonal food in April:
- Vegetables: asparagus, artichokes, broad beans, new potatoes, beets, peas, nettles and other wild herbs;
- Fruits: strawberries, oranges, apples, pears, medlars;
- Fish: cuttlefish, anchovy, hake, sole, mullet, scampi, sea bass.
Fish recipe in April: cuttlefish with chickpea cream
Cuttlefish with chickpea cream is an easy and tasty second course ready in less than 30 minutes. If you don’t have chickpeas, you can follow the same procedure with cooked cannellini beans, just as creamy.
Ingredients for the cuttlefish with chickpea cream recipe (2 servings):
- about 400 grams of cleaned cuttlefish
- a jar of already cooked chickpeas
- half a glass of white wine
- a bunch of fresh chives
- mixed aromatic herbs (bay leaf, rosemary, thyme)
- 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of turmeric (if desired)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- salt and pepper
Cut the cuttlefish into strips and cook them for 2-3 minutes in a pan with hot oil with a clove of garlic. Add the white wine and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
In a pan, heat the oil with the other clove of garlic, the aromatic herbs and the chickpeas, stirring occasionally. Add a cup of water and leave it on the fire for 5 minutes.
When the chickpeas are hot, remove the aromatic herbs and the garlic clove and blend them, seasoning them with salt and pepper to taste. Add a little hot water if the cream is too thick (it must be soft but not too liquid). With a pinch of turmeric the cream will take on a nice warm color.
We serve the cuttlefish on the chickpea cream with chopped fresh chives and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. We can accompany the dish with toasted bread croutons.
Recipes with spinach
In April, new spinach also arrives, with tender and delicate leaves.
They are great in salad: after having washed them carefully and cleaned of the hardest stems, put them in a salad bowl, add:
- slices of apple
- parmesan flakes
- pan-roasted walnuts or pine nuts or almonds
and season with a good extra virgin olive oil: simple and very tasty.
To accompany a salmon fillet: cook the salmon in hot oil, season it with a few drops of soy sauce and serve it on asalad of baby spinach and asparagus tips, raw and well seasoned with extra virgin olive oil. We can make the same salad without the apple slices by adding some crumbled feta cheese and hard boiled eggs cut into quarters or cooked to perfection.
If we want to prepare a single dish, good and filling: blanch the spinach for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, coliamoli well (squeezing them with your hands if necessary) and toss them in a pan in hot oil with a sliced onion and a clove of garlic. At the last minute add two eggs and cook for the time necessary to firm them, season them with salt and pepper or with a pinch of paprika.
READ ALSO: Examples of Weekly Vegetarian Meal Prep
Recipes with peas
When you see a stall full of seasonal vegetables, don’t you also have a great desire for fresh and healthy food? In April, don’t miss the first peas, the most tender and sweet ones.
A different snack from the usual: le bruschetta with fresh cheese and peas! As an alternative to a sweet snack, we can lightly toast some good homemade bread on which to spread robiola or another fresh spreadable cheese. We mash a handful of fresh peas with a fork, season them with a pinch of salt and a little extra virgin olive oil and add them to the bruschetta.
The same bruschetta become a spicy snack for the older ones by adding very thin slices of radish, also very good for an aperitif.
With the most tender peas we can also prepare a very easy one pasta with peas pesto for weaning: blanch a handful of sweet peas in a little water for 2 minutes and crush them with a fork with two tablespoons of ricotta and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. We cook a portion of pasta in a format suitable for children, drain it and season it with the peas and ricotta “pesto”.
Recipes with peas for babies:
Easter lunch menu
A simple and tasty menu to celebrate Easter with a family lunch also suitable for children:
READ ALSO: Recipes for Easter
Tiramisu with dove and strawberries
This “almost” tiramisu is a quick and easy Easter cake to offer the colomba in a different way from the classic slices. It is an alternative tiramisu without coffee and without ladyfingers, but very good in the combination of its flavors!
For 4 portions, wash 2 baskets of strawberries, remove the leaves and cut them into not too large cubes. Put the strawberries in a bowl with 4-5 tablespoons of white or brown sugar, the juice of half a lemon and two or three tablespoons of water. We mix and let it macerate for at least half an hour in the refrigerator. Place the portions of colomba on the bottom of individual glasses, add a few tablespoons of strawberries with their juice and, when serving, garnish with whipped cream or lightly sweetened Greek yogurt (or a mix of both).
Easter Monday picnic menu
Here are some very simple ideas for organizing an Easter Monday simply amazing picnic in the middle of nature with easy recipes, to be prepared even in advance:
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