3 March 2010

A Taste of Spring with Cooking Light and Rosemary-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Balsamic Sauce

 
Rosemary-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Balsamic Sauce

We are so glad that you have decided to join us once again for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. This is a monthly event where 5 ladies in two neighbouring countries get together to create a delicious meal with a theme in mind. We all share a love for Cooking Light magazine which has an emphasis on healthy eating and living. Each issue covers light cuisine and includes more than 70 delicious and flavourful recipes. It also explores food and nutrition news as well as fitness, health and beauty. Appreciate this months write-up at their blog Test Kitchen Secrets.

For the month of March we enjoyed each others company virtually and continued with our healthy themes and honoured the season with A TASTE OF SPRING. We created what we consider a delicious and healthy menu from the pages of Cooking Light magazine. The idea is simple because we all share a common interest in cooking and healthy eating. We love to share these ideas with you each and every month through our Virtual Supper Club. This is a team effort where we combine what Cooking Light readers like best...good food with great company!!!

After what has seemed like an eternity, the northern hemisphere (read that The Great White North) can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Heavy winter coats are lifted along with people’s spirits.  With the turn of the calendar Spring has finally arrived!!!!Although in truth winter never really seemed to arrive here in the valley this year. It was mild, warm and snow free!! We are hovering between seasons here in the valley, the robins are back and they will be counting daffodils soon. Nevertheless it’s time to give winter staples "the boot" and dedicate suppertime to everything the change in seasons has to offer!!!!!.

 Spring is when everything seems to come alive!!!!! The days are longer and the markets begin to burst with the colours of the bountiful fruits and vegetables of the season. This is the time to enjoy fresh rhubarb, sweet garden peas and furled fiddleheads . It is the season for asparagus and escarole and a wide variety of lettuce handplucked from the garden for green salads. The delightful fragrance of chives, mint, chervil and tarragon fill the air to season your dishes. All of these tastes of Spring are bursting from our gardens, forests, markets and window boxes.

Teanna of Spork and Foon says, "The advantages to cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients are endless. The produce tastes richer, fresher, and is more nutritious. The beauty of cooking with ingredients that are freshest in the Spring months are their pure simplicity.  The standout flavours are the fresh, natural ingredients themselves... the sweet taste of a carrot or the pop of a freshly shelled pea. Toss arugula with cherries, red wine vinegar, a touch of extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and thyme with some creamy goat cheese and you will have a dynamic spring starter. Top poached halibut with an orange vinaigrette and serve with asparagus sautéed in a bit of olive oil and topped with a dash of sea salt and shaved parmesan cheese or sauté fresh peas with spring onions in butter and delicate chervil for a side that is surprising ripe with flavor."

For those who are lucky enough to live near a farmers market as I am, we would be hard pressed not to be aware of which fruits are at the peak of their season. Pods of fresh peas and stalks of beautifully green asparagus will cook beautifully in a sauce of lemon zest, butter, mint and tossed with pappardelle or fettucini noodles. Later in the Spring season you can pick up sweet, deliciously ripe red strawberries or cherries that spill out of their baskets and pair them with early sweet-tart red rhubarb for a delicious galette. Add a bit of whipped cream topped with fragrant mint and you have the ultimate springtime dessert.

For me, just hearing the word Spring, turns my thoughts to lamb. In real time my daughter and friends came to dinner and we enjoyed the ultimate Rosemary-Crusted Rack of Lamb With Balsamic Sauce found in Cooking Light magazine.  I will make it time and time again with its crisp bread crumb coating. The sweet balsamic sauce made the perfect accent to the dish, my only regret was there was not enough so double the recipe!!!!! No need to rely on complicated recipes featuring heavy sauces or lengthy cooking times to create a mouthwatering dish such as this!!! To accompany the Spring lamb virtually Shelby of The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch brought a mind-blowing staple of Zucchini Ribbons with Saffron Couscous. Adding to our healthy menu Aggie of Aggies Kitchen cooked up a colourful and flavourful Spring Giardiniera.  For finesse Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club wowed us with Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing. Spring has arrived!!!!! To end our meal with a finale worthy of late Spring flavours Helene of La Cuisine d'Helene prepared  the ultimate delicious dessert....Raspberry-Almond Crumb Cake.

Although distance always prevents us from gathering as a group in each others homes we have enjoyed sharing a well balanced meal through our Virtual Supper Club this month and hipe you have enjoyed our healthy Spring menu. These dishes from Cooking Light magazine are sure to bring "daffodil smiles" to your own table.

What would you bring to the table? Link to the Cooking Light blog Test Kitchen Secrets when you see the post in a few days or to one of our blogs here and make something delicious from the pages of the magazine to add to our TASTE OF SPRING menu...the more the merrier!!!! 







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27 comments:

  1. I'm really looking forward to cooking lighter food. That lamb looks fantastic!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Gosh how I love spring! I don't think I have ever tried lamb. I most certainly haven't cooked it. This looks delicious Val!! Thanks for picking a perfect theme and for sharing a great recipe!

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  3. I had planned lamb this week- I may do this. It looks fabulous!
    xoxo Pattie

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  4. This recipe sounds and looks absolutely delicious. We usually eat lamb at Easter or BBQ lamb chops during the summer.

    The Virtual Dinner Club sounds interesting!

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  5. I bought Cooking Light last month and am cooking my way through it. I used to buy it all the time. This looks great. I have a rack in the freezer I should make.

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  6. This looks amazing... I have some lamb chops in the freezer right now.

    I am bringing an appetizer of fresh pears with cispy pancetta and goat cheese. Thanks for letting me join y'all for supper.

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  7. Thanks for joining us Sandie, it sounds delicious!!!

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  8. Rack of lamb is always our special Easter dinner along with roasted asparagus. Your spring time meal sounds wonderful.

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  9. Your rack of lamb looks lovely Val - I really like the rosemary crust!

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  10. What a lovely, generous dish to share with a supper club, even if it is virtual. This is virtually gorgeous!

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  11. I have rack of lamb on the top of my "foods to master" list. Yours looks great!

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  12. The rack of lamb looks so good! Thanks for reminding us that spring is on its way!

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  13. This lamb sounds delectable! And the sauce sounds incredible!

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  14. Valli, this lamb sounds absolutely out of this world! I can't wait to try this. My husband will think he's died and gone to heaven!!!!

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  15. as i look out into the barnyard and see the little lambs nuzzling their mothers, i find it difficult to consider feasting on them. don't worry, i'll get over it. :)

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  16. What a main dish Val! I really need to try lamb again. I haven't had it since I was a young girl. Great post about spring and all the wonderful food it has to offer.

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  17. Lamb sounds about wonderful right now. This looks mouthwatering.

    I wish I had nice spring like weather right now. The snow is melting (for now) but it's still chilly and rainy and nothing like spring. The farmers market is still selling me lots of root vegetables. I am so ready for some spring food, but the climate is not cooperating!

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  18. Just today I was out prepping the garden for spring. I'm ready for color in my flower beds!

    I have cooked lamb once and it was wonderful. Can't wait to have it again. Yours looks mouth watering.
    Thanks for reminding me how close spring really is.

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  19. Thanks for contributing to an awesome menu Val!

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  20. That just screams Spring. Mmmm.

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  21. My daffodils are coming up like crazy! It makes my yard look so cheery! :) Hurray for spring!

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  22. What a beautiful dish you are bringing this month. I'm glad that you feel Spring in your part of BC. Love what we find at the market in the Spring.

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  23. Aaaaah, spring means Spring lamb and you did well with these cutlets....

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  24. I'm trying to hold off on lamb until Easter...you're not helping me! I want lamb now.

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  25. nothing can go wrong with the combination of lamb, rosemary and balsamic!

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  26. Your rack of lamb looks superb. And fresh rosemary is perfect.

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  27. I really really like rack of lamb and I'm so looking forward to making this!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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