Dinner: April 20, 2010

I like pretty food.

What can I say, I’m drawn to colors that pop, to produce that is as vibrantly colored as it is tasty. After months and months of cream-beige-brown food (with the occasional deep green or orange thrown into the mix), the reappearance of spring green at the farmers’ market, of tender shoots and tiny leaves, has me feeling hopeful. We’re far from September’s splashy abundance, but in some ways, I prefer this time of year – you choose one or two beautiful ingredients, treat them well, and you’re all but guaranteed a good meal.

microgreens

Which brings us to these microgreens, a lovely combination of baby leaves and blossoms, spicy, peppery, utterly bewitching. They make a lovely salad with a spritz of champagne vinegar, salt, pepper, and the barest drizzle of your very best olive oil. They also make a beautiful bed for deviled eggs.

chives

I’m a little in love with these willowy chives, too, with their gentle onion flavor and their crisp green hue.

Peas won’t come in around these parts until mid-June or so, but I had some in the freezer from last summer, so I decided to build a stuffed pasta dish. I thawed the peas and pureed them with a little crème fraiche, plenty of chives, some cream cheese and soft fresh goat cheese, then I piped the mixture onto sheets of freshly rolled pasta, folding and pinching and then cutting them into agnolotti. The agnolotti bathed ever-so-briefly in boiling salted water, then I carefully placed them into a pan of melted butter with a healthy hit of lemon juice added, plus a splash of the pasta water to bring it all togther.

I added a couple of handfuls of those beautiful microgreens to the pan off the heat, gently tossing them with the pasta and lemon-butter sauce, then I divided the agnolotti, greens, and sauce between our bowls. A few more fresh chives snipped on, a little lemon zest, a crumble or three of goat cheese, and our pretty plates were ready.

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