CABOT, Vt., April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As we bid goodbye to one of the longest and roughest winters the Northeast has seen in recent history, it is at long last time to celebrate the arrival of Spring. Along with the colorful flowers, blooming trees and explosion of new life, enters a whole palette of fresh fruits and vegetables to create a variety of bright, amazing recipes. Cabot Creamery Cooperative, the dairy farm family owned cooperative widely known as the makers of the "World's Best Cheddar," is sharing some delicious dish options to make the most of your Spring produce.
"The Northeast faced one of the toughest winters in memory," says Nutmeg Nanny Blogger and Recipe Developer Brandy O'Neil, "which is even more reason to celebrate the arrival of Spring with fun, fresh foods and delicious seasonal recipes. Spring is one of my favorite seasons for developing recipes for my family and for my readers. There are so many fun color and texture options, and I always seem to find something new to use at my local farmers' market."
All across the country, farmers' markets are beginning to open their doors, and pack their stalls with the earliest of their Spring produce. After months of relying on fruit and vegetables from far away places, we can once again enjoy local produce.
While the selection varies depending on location, here are some of the best in-season fruit and vegetables:
Citrus (Grapefruit, Lemons)
Hearty greens (Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens)
"Cooking seasonally is important because it is one of the best ways to directly support your local farmers," says Cabot's Consumer Lifestyle Commentator and Favorite Foodie Candace Karu. "As a cooperative comprised of 1,200 dairy farm families, that is close to our hearts."
"Eating seasonal produce is also a great way to keep the excitement in eating healthy meals," says Cabot Registered Dietitian and Fit Health Team Creator Sara Wing. "While walking through your farmers' market try choosing fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. By eating a 'rainbow' of color, you're serving your body a variety of powerful, protective nutrients that can help to sustain your good health."
Ingredients: 1 cup Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar 4 teaspoons cider vinegar 1 tablespoon minced shallot 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground pepper 8 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry (5 to 6 ounces) ½ cup sliced radishes
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or generously coat with cooking spray. Divide cheddar into 8 equal piles, spaced evenly. And transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake, rotating the pan one time, until the cheese melts and starts to turn golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, shallot, oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a jar and shake to combine.
3. Toss arugula and radishes in a large bowl with the dressing. Divide among four plates and top with two cheddar fricos, broken up into smaller pieces if desired.
Ingredients: 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 shallots, minced 1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice 1/2 cup dry white wine 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium broth, such as chicken or vegetable 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper, to taste 1 ½ cup frozen sweet peas 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley and dill 6 ounces Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, shredded and divided (about 1 ½ cups)
Directions: 1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring often until softened and just beginning to brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Stir in rice and cook, stirring until the rice grains start to get translucent in spots, about 2 minutes.
2. Stir in wine and cook, stirring often until the wine has mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in broth, nutmeg, salt and pepper, increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer undisturbed until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 38 to 42 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, stir in peas, herbs and 1 cup of cheese (4 ounces), cover and let sit 5 minutes off the heat. Stir a final time and serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and more freshly ground pepper.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 (16-ounce) package frozen whole unsweetened strawberries* 1/2 cup Cabot 2% Plain Greek-Style Yogurt or Cabot Plain Greek-Style Yogurt (10%) 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions: 1. In food processor, process sugar for one full minute to make finer.
2. Add frozen strawberries and process, pulsing and scraping down sides of container, until chopped.
3. Add yogurt and vanilla and process just until mixture is smooth. Serve immediately, or transfer to metal bowl and place in freezer for 30 to 60 minutes until slightly firmer. (If any remains, cover with foil and freeze until firm, then re-process before serving.)
*Unsweetened frozen sliced peaches work well too, or try a blend of the two.
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. Widely known as makers of "The World's Best Cheddar," Cabot is owned by the 1200 dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast's premier dairy cooperative, with farms located throughout New England and upstate New York. For more information on Cabot, visit: http://www.cabotcheese.coop.
Cabot Creamery Cooperative is the world's first cheese maker and dairy cooperative to achieve B Corporation Certification, a validation of its attention to environmental and social impacts on stakeholders.