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Sizzling Spring Recipes

In the spring, the thoughts of cooks of all ages turn to ... the freshest produce available: asparagus and (if you like the stuff) rhubarb. If you are lucky enough to live near a farmers’ market, as I do, you will see the bright green and red stalks of these vegetabes showing up on tables next to the daffodils. Asparagus is our Coastal Kitchen Fave food this month, so the first recipe here combines two mid-Atlantic staples, asparagus and crab meat, in a creamy, savory soup that can chase any lingering chill in the April air. Next we venture clear across the continent for a couple of fresh new California dishes from my new cookbook, Coastal Cooking with John Shields, coming out in August. (You get a sneak preview!) The first is a salad that could be a meal in itself. Or serve the soup and the salad for a bright spring brunch, along with some home-baked herb biscuits. Or, for a truly elegant spring meal, add Pan-Seared Scallops with Polenta, Orange-Fennel Sauce, and Crispy Fried Leeks. Finish off with a tangy-sweet strawberry and rhubarb pie.

 
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