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Spring Recipes

In Britain it always feels a little unsafe to say that Spring has sprung, as we tend to believe all too optimistically that a couple of blue-skied days mean that winter is behind us. No matter: the days are getting longer, and the chill less prevalent, and so - in the kitchen, at least - I am prepared to say it's Spring.

The first way to celebrate it is surely by making my Pasta Salad Primavera, though if you want you can always substitute the orzo pasta (which is served cold) with spaghetti served hot, and the vegetables likewise. Either way, this is a seasonal treat. And while it's true that I make Pasta alla Genovese all the year around, there is just something about the way the glorious scent of basil this dish emanates that makes it a joyous way to celebrate the Spring.

I can't help feeling that anything green feels right at this time of year, and although the Green Bean and Lemon Casserole is originally a Thanksgiving dish, it really is perfect for now. Serve alongside some new season's lamb or a simple roast chicken. But then, I feel anything with the zing of lemon gives a sprightly salute to the season. Chicken with Spring Onions, Chilli and Greek Yogurt - lemony chicken, no cook herby sauce - has been an old and beloved standby of mine, as has Lemon Risotto and Linguine with Chilli, Crab and Watercress. These are the kinds of dishes that, once made, immediately insist on becoming part of your repertoire. Since we're on lemoniness, I need to put in a plea here for my Little Lemon Puddings and Lemon Polenta Cake. The latter is gluten-free, and should you wish to make it dairy-free, too, then simply substitute 150ml light and mild olive oil for the 200g butter.

Not that I mean to imply you would want to serve them as dessert necessarily after the savoury lemon-infused offerings above. But pair them with some sweet, young seasonal lamb and you will find yourself a happy cook with happy diners. To this end, I feel I must suggest to you the Anglo-Asian Lamb Salad, which is one of my favourite Spring suppers, the Crispy Lamb Chops (which is my children's), and the recipe I borrowed, with enormous gratitude, from the great Anna del Conte, Lamb Cutlets with Chilli and Black Olives. And although I have broached the subject of the low-effort and high-rewards of my Warm Shredded Lamb Salad with Mint and Pomegranate in my Easter Recipes (and advise you anyway to look there as well), I can't help mentioning it in this context too. It's hard to think of a better Spring Sunday lunch, frankly.

More everyday - though in terms only of speed and ease not quality - are my Lamb Steaks with Rosemary and Port, and Lamb Patties with Hummus and Pitta. And I just must put in a word on behalf of the Roast Lamb for One. I roast a lamb shank (first marinated overnight with herby lemoniness) much as one would a leg of lamb, although it does funnily enough need longer cooking to make sure it becomes softly tender. I suspect this would easily run to a roast-for-two, but I always err on the side of overcatering. No news there, then.

For those eschewing meat, my Tarragon Salmon truly does say 'eat me now' - but then, alas, for me, pretty much any food always does - and it would only be right to mention the Tuna and Crab and Avocado Wrap. And I end with a recommendation for Corsican Omelette, which is one of the most uplifting ways to celebrate the season for me - golden egg, sweet and gooey with butter, with sharp goat's cheese and invigorating fresh mint. Breakfast, lunch, tea, supper, any time, this will put Spring in your step.

Posted by Nigella      Serves 6

This version differs from the How to Eat original, only inasmuch as it is a slightly more time-saving take on it. Photo by Lis ParsonsRead on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 6

As with all stews, this is even better made in advance and reheated; for me, this only makes things easier. Photo by Francesca Yorke.Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 6-8

You do need to serve this lamb salad warm rather than cold (a bit of fat provides flavoursome lubrication at anything above room temperature;…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 6

This is one of my favourite salads. Photo by James Merrell.Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 2

This is comfort food on so many levels. For one, risotto has to be one of the most comforting things to eat ever. What's more, although…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 16

This cake is a sort of Anglo-Italian amalgam. The flat, plain disc is reminiscent of the confections that sit geometrically arranged…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 4-6

This is really a tweaking of a fairly traditional rabbit recipe. The chicken is easier to come by in a supermarket, though, and more…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 8

This recipe does involve a lot of fiddly preparation, but what it creates is addictive; every mouthful repays the effort a hundredfold.…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 4

The joy of these, particularly, is that they are wonderful eaten cold as well, their pink juiciness trapped within their eggy parmesan…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 8-10

Strictly speaking, I don't think of this as a casserole, but I know that this is the traditional nomenclature; and, besides, I do…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 6 pieces

I have never really thought of myself as a person who could wrap, fold or fiddle about with food or felt that way inclined. But you…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 2-3 children

When my children were younger, this was always one of their favourite teas and is now one of their favourite suppers. It serves 2…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 8

A roast, boned, butterflied leg of lamb is just about the easiest, speediest way to cook a joint of meat. Plus, you dispense with…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 4

For some reason, this lesser-known cousin of moules mariniere has gone out of fashion. That's to say, I haven't seen it on a menu…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 8

This bulgar wheat salad is loosely based on tabbouleh, only using coriander in place of the parsley, lime in place of the lemon and…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes about 8 bulging pittas

Think hamburger, Middle-Eastern style. And if this isn't enough of a come-on, think again. I am mad for these pitta-sandwiches smeared…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 2

I like my salmon almost sushi-coral and cooked for two minutes a side, but if you want yours less pink, then cook for three to four…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 4-6

The sauce borrows from the idea of tsatsiki and all those Middle-Eastern yoghurt salads - it is a cool, pungent accompaniment to the…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 2

‘Ragout’ is French, ‘ragù’ Italian, and this meat sauce is certainly inspired by the Sicilian combination…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 2

I love the sort of dinner that you cook without any special effort but without sacrificing gratification. That's the thing really:…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 4-6

Although I have called this incredible dip roquamole, I think it may be better made with a less illustrious bleu. St Agur out of a…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 6 as a starter, 4 as a main

You know, I'd eaten this a couple of times and made it myself (throwing in handfuls of peppery watercress as I did so) a few more…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 2

I love the bouncy sweetness of scallops and, although you might think the equal sweetness of the peas would be too much alongside,…Read on

Posted by Daisies and Pie      Serves 4

When you want a quick, easy low carb plate of yum!Read on

Posted by Coby      Serves 6

I liked the idea for this recipe, mixed it up a bit, and came up with a result I was really pleased with. Topping it with some traditional…Read on

Posted by Liz Stokes      Serves 6

This is ideal for a Sunday lunch eaten outside on a hot day - especially if you have sparked up the barbecue! I serve it with a couple…Read on

Posted by Welsh Girl      Serves 0

A lovely lemon cake with a crunchy icing top. The recipe came from Good Food Magazine in the spring of 2002 I think. It's really easy…Read on

Posted by Coby      Serves 0

This is from AWW Summer Salads, but as it's a warm salad, it would work any time of year I think:) I really like it because it only…Read on

Posted by Trkishdelight      Serves 2

This is so easy its ridiculous and tastes amazing. I dont like boiled peas but this is nice as its cooked in a lovely tomato sauce.…Read on

Posted by katiafromitaly      Serves 4

I like this recipe because it is easy to make and nice to taste cold, so you can leave it cool or carry with you at work.Read on

Posted by sethyoung      6

This cake is not too dissimilar to a typical Victoria sponge and referred to as Pound Cake across the pond. The recipe was passed…Read on

For more Spring recipe inspiration, browse the rest of nigella.com.