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Spring

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.

Anglo-Asian Lamb Salad
Photo by Lis Parsons
Anglo-Asian Lamb Salad
By Nigella
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Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew
Photo by Francesca Yorke
Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew
By Nigella
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Bulgar Wheat Salad With Pink-Seared Lamb
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Bulgar Wheat Salad With Pink-Seared Lamb
By Nigella
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Butterflied Leg of Lamb With Bay Leaves and Balsamic Vinegar
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Butterflied Leg of Lamb With Bay Leaves and Balsamic Vinegar
By Nigella
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Chicken With Spring Onions, Chilli and Greek Yogurt
Photo by Lis Parsons
Chicken With Spring Onions, Chilli and Greek Yogurt
By Nigella
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Corsican Omelette
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Corsican Omelette
By Nigella
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Crab & Avocado Salad With Japanese Dressing
Photo by Lis Parsons
Crab & Avocado Salad With Japanese Dressing
By Nigella
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Crispy Lamb Chops
Crispy Lamb Chops
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Crispy Lamb Chops
By Nigella
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Green Bean and Lemon Casserole
Photo by James Merrell
Green Bean and Lemon Casserole
By Nigella
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Hummus With Seared Lamb and Toasted Pinenuts
Photo by Lis Parsons
Hummus With Seared Lamb and Toasted Pinenuts
By Nigella
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Lamb Cutlets With Chilli and Black Olives
Photo by Lis Parsons
Lamb Cutlets With Chilli and Black Olives
By Nigella
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Lamb Patties With Hummus and Pitta
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Lamb Patties With Hummus and Pitta
By Nigella
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Lamb With Rosemary and Port
Photo by Lis Parsons
Lamb With Rosemary and Port
By Nigella
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Lemon Polenta Cake
Photo by Lis Parsons
Lemon Polenta Cake
By Nigella
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Lemon Risotto
Photo by Francesca Yorke
Lemon Risotto
By Nigella
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Linguine With Chilli, Crab and Watercress
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Linguine With Chilli, Crab and Watercress
By Nigella
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Little Lemon Puddings
Little Lemon Puddings
By Nigella
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Mouclade
Photo by Lis Parsons
Mouclade
By Nigella
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Pappardelle With Lamb Ragu
Pappardelle With Lamb Ragu
By Nigella
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Pasta Salad Primavera
Photo by James Merrell
Pasta Salad Primavera
By Nigella
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Pasta With Ham, Peas and Cream
Photo by James Merrell
Pasta With Ham, Peas and Cream
By Nigella
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Roast Lamb for One
Photo by James Merrell
Roast Lamb for One
By Nigella
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Roquamole
Photo by Lis Parsons
Roquamole
By Nigella
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Scallops With Thai Scented Pea Puree
Photo by Lis Parsons
Scallops With Thai Scented Pea Puree
By Nigella
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Spinach, Avocado and Pumpkin Seed Salad
Photo by James Merrell
Spinach, Avocado and Pumpkin Seed Salad
By Nigella
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Spring Chicken
Photo by Lis Parsons
Spring Chicken
By Nigella
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Tarragon Salmon
Tarragon Salmon
By Nigella
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Tuna and Crab and Avocado Wraps
Photo by Lis Parsons
Tuna and Crab and Avocado Wraps
By Nigella
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Warm Shredded Lamb Salad With Mint and Pomegranate
Photo by Francesca Yorke
Warm Shredded Lamb Salad With Mint and Pomegranate
By Nigella
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Recipe by Trkishdelight

Bezelya (Quick Lamb and Pea Stew)
By Trkishdelight
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Recipe by Liz Stokes

Boned Leg of Lamb With Greek Yoghurt and Cardomons
By Liz Stokes
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Recipe by Coby

Curried Lamb and Lentil Salad
By Coby
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Recipe by Welsh Girl

Lemon Drizzle Cake
By Welsh Girl
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Recipe by katiafromitaly

Pasta Primavera - Spring Pasta
By katiafromitaly
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Recipe by sethyoung

Quatre-Quart Cake
By sethyoung
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Recipe by Coby

Spring Minestrone Soup
By Coby
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