spring greens


These roasted artichokes couldn’t be easier to prepare. I’ve created a no-fuss recipe that will have these little beauties in the oven in no time and ready to eat in less than two hours. Artichokes don’t have to be trimmed down to half their size or the fuzzy choke pulled out prior to roasting. When using the smaller artichokes, simply trimming the tops and stems and then slicing in half works just as well. Roast and cool, and then serve them with this easy lemon aioli. They make a lovely appetizer or evening nibble.
Serves 4 to 6

4 to 6 small to medium artichokes
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons
Salt and pepper
½ cup good quality mayonnaise
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

With a very sharp knife, trim the tops of the artichokes about ¼ to ½ inch, just to snip the jagged edges at the tops, and then slice the artichoke in half through the stem. You can trim up the stem end if you like.

Place the artichokes in a baking dish and add enough water to barely cover the bottom of the baking dish—just enough to help the artichokes steam. Then drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper.

Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and then place it in the oven and roast for about 1 to 1½ hours. Check at 1 hour to see if they are soft. You want the leaves to fall off easily and the center to be fork tender.

Once the artichokes are done, remove them from the oven and take the foil off the baking dish. Let them cool.

While the artichokes are cooling, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon zest, the 1 tablespoon lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove some of the well-done outer leaves to reveal the more supple and softer leaves. Then place the artichokes on a platter or individual plates and serve with lemon aioli for dipping.


I do love my veggies, and this is one enticing way to eat them. Making vegetables the main course can truly be delicious, especially with this spicy and slightly smoky ragu. A hint of smoked paprika gives the sauce a little extra flavor and makes this zucchini noodle dish sing. Top it with fresh shaved or grated Parmesan for a completely decadent spring meal.

Serves 4

For the Zucchini Noodles:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium zucchinis, washed (no need to peel)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

For the Spicy Ragu:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ to 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (I lean toward ¾ to 1 teaspoon, but it’s truly up to your taste)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ cup dry red wine
2 (14-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Shaved or grated Parmesan cheese
Using a spiralizer or a julienne attachment on a mandolin, create “noodles” out of the zucchini. Place the noodles in a colander and toss with a little salt. Let it sit over the sink or a bowl and omit the liquid.

While the zucchini noodles are draining, prepare the ragu. In a medium to large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until wilted. Then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds longer. Then stir in the Italian parsley, dried oregano, paprika, and crushed red pepper.

Take the pan off the heat and stir in the red wine. Place the pan back over the heat and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Then stir in the tomato sauce and tomato paste.

Cook the sauce for about 15 minutes and then season to taste with salt and pepper. If you feel the sauce is too “bright” or tangy, add a teaspoon of sugar to tame the tang. You can simmer this sauce for at least 30 minutes for a deeper flavor.

Squeeze the zucchini noodles or blot them with a paper towel until most of the moisture is gone. Heat a skillet over medium heat and then add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the zucchini noodles and sauté for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until the zucchini noodles are slightly wilted. Remove the zucchini noodles and then divide them among four bowls.

Ladle a little sauce over each bowl and then garnish with shaved or grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Note: You can prepare this sauce and hold it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days prior to use.

Article taken from homedesign.com