Warmer weather; green things: Spring is a season for levity and vegetable-heavy cooking. Hop into the season in a fresh way with asparagus, an unconventional take on biscotti and an optimal breakfast casserole for a crowd. 

Stovetop asparagus

(Image credit: Helen Rosner)

If you were not informed otherwise, you might think the only way to cook asparagus was roasted or grilled. Incorrect! The legendary chef and author Edna Lewis knew that stovetop asparagus is its own special creature. Butter; salt; pepper; wily green stalks: Those are the only ingredients needed for a mind-shifting way with asparagus. Get the recipe.

Spring potato salad with green garlic dressing

potato salad with green garlic dressing

(Image credit: Gentl and Hyers)

An adage worth repeating: Spring is all about young, green things. Here, a salad of new potatoes is napped with a zippy vinaigrette loaded with green garlic, parsley and both vinegar and lemon juice. You could, of course, use small regular potatoes along with garlic cloves and scallions. The creamy endgame will remain the same. Get the recipe.

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Rack of lamb with strawberry pan sauce

two lamb chops on a bed of roasted strawberry sauce

(Image credit: Ismail Samad)

Strawberries? In a pan sauce for lamb? Yes, indeed. Add butter, rosemary and balsamic vinegar to roasted strawberries. Serve with pan-seared lamb chops. It all begins to make good sense, no? Get the recipe

Chocolate-fennel-hazelnut spears

8 vertical spears of biscotti loaded with chocolate and hazelnuts

(Image credit: Graydon Herriot)

Biscotti are always a treat. In the hands of master baker Natasha Pickowicz, they become all the more delightful. She adds a wallop of butter as an unconventional addition to the traditional biscotti recipe. Fennel seeds, rough-chopped dark chocolate and whole hazelnuts provide complexity. Get the recipe.

Peas in mint cream 

a casserole of braised peas in cream with mint

(Image credit: poorgirlgourmet)

Mint does double-duty in this breezy, comforting side dish. First, fresh mint leaves are infused in hot heavy cream. Then, a shallot is softened in olive oil, peas and that infused cream are added, and the mixture is simmered until it melds. More fresh mint to finish. Get the recipe

Baked eggs with spinach and mushrooms

a large white casserole with eggs baked with spinach and mushrooms

(Image credit: smitten kitchen)

As spring rolls in, brunch feels like it should be on the menu. This one-dish breakfast casserole starts with a round of sauteed spinach and mushrooms gilded with heavy cream. It goes into a casserole dish, and 12 eggs are added. A short bake later, and your guests are ready to eat. Get the recipe

Tofu and avocado salad

chopsticks picking up a piece of tofu and avocado

(Image credit: The Woks of Life)

Some of the best recipes are un-recipes, templates for how to think about making a dish. This brisk, easy salad with tofu and avocado comprises slices of both silken tofu and avocado. Then the lot is dressed with a mix of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. You can adjust the elements of the dressing to your liking, and the Leung family behind The Woks of Life provide various alternatives. Get the recipe

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