Great Seasonal Produce for Spring Recipes

Along with sunshine and flowers, springtime also brings delicious, fresh-from-the-garden produce. With their juicy, crispy texture, fresh fruits and veggies can help take your dishes to the next level. Celebrate the return of the growing season with Hickory Farms and these fantastic ideas for spring recipes.

Source: James Baigrie via Real Simple

As one of the very first crops of the year, asparagus is your sign that spring has truly arrived. Cheer on this milestone with a simple dish that allows the subtle flavor of asparagus to shine through. Just bake a little prosciutto until it’s nice and crispy and sauté the asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the two together and serve with a crisp white wine, like the Bogle Sauvignon Blanc from our Vineyards and Orchards Gift Box.

Source: Martha Stewart

Whether you harvest your own wild onions or pick some up at the local farmers’ market, spring onions are an important part of seasonal cuisine. Transform yours into a creamy spring onion soup by cooking down your mixed onions with fennel, salt and pepper until tender. Then, mix in wine and cream before pureeing. You can add an extra depth of flavor by melting our Peppercorn White Cheddar over the top of this dish.

Source: Babble

Bright, tangy and perfectly sweet, fresh local strawberries are only around for a limited time. Start your meal off right by enjoying some spring berries with a sweet and savory salad. In a large bowl, simply toss together fresh spinach, sliced berries, a handful of our Mixed Nuts and some homemade poppy seed dressing.

 

Early and late spring brings the perfect weather for fresh greens. Savor this seasonal delicacy with a wholesome and satisfying meal that works well with any green. Simply combine the greens of your choice, such as mustard, chard, or collard, with white beans, fresh tomatoes and gnocchi. Add the finishing touch with a sprinkle of our Harvest Vegetable White Cheddar Blend.

Cooking with fresh spring produce is the perfect way to brighten up your dinner table. Finish your delicious seasonal dishes with a few extra texture and flavor components such as fresh ground pepper, such as fresh ground pepper, for a true seasonal delicacy.

 

Pairing Wine with Spring Foods

One of our favorite things to do at Hickory Farms is to pair exceptional wines with delicious treats for the perfect sweet and savory taste experience. We’ve come up with a few tips to help our loyal customers pair their favorite spring foods with the perfect wines.

Spring is a transitional season for wines. Heavier reds enjoyed during winter holiday feasts give way to lighter, fruitier wines to accompany the season. Below are some suggestions you can try at your own table.

 

A traditional Easter dinner with baked ham is best complemented with the soft tannins and red raspberry notes of the Clos du Bois Pinot Noir from our All the Cellar’s Best basket.

 

Another perennial Easter favorite is roast leg of lamb. The gaminess of lamb blends best with the smooth and refined flavors of the Cabernet Sauvignon from our Hickory Celebration Feast basket.

 

The fruitiness of a La Crema Chardonnay makes it an ideal choice with mild cheeses like Hickory Farms Apple Smoked Cheddar. It also pairs nicely with seafood dishes, pasta and poultry.

 

White asparagus shoots are a wonderful side dish for a brunch omelette on a leisurely spring weekend. Pair them with a cold glass of Bogle Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc and a slice of artisanal classic cheddar cheese.

 

A simple but delicious springtime dessert is strawberries in cream. To finish this off, you need a sweet dessert wine with a citrusy hint like our Kendall-Jackson Vitner’s Reserve Chardonnay.

We’ve made your wine pairing choices easy with Hickory Farms Wine Gifts. Sample several different varieties and decide which one is your favorite. We make ordering a breeze with several options. Just call 800.753.8558, order online or find a store near you. Take a little time this spring to treat yourself to your favorite reds and whites!

 

Tips from Food & Wine Experts on How to Host a Wine Tasting

Robert Mondavi said it well. Wine is not just a drink. “It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art.” If you are feeling inspired, tap into your inner artist and create an excuse to enjoy good wine, good food, and good company by hosting your own wine tasting.

You don’t need be a wine sommelier or owner of a four-star restaurant to host a wine tasting. You also don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to throw a fabulous wine tasting party.

As Epicurious writer Lauren Salkeld wrote, “With just a little planning and shopping, a wine tasting can be fun, easy, and affordable.”

Stephen Tanzer of Food & Wine recommends no more than eight tasters for a casual in-home wine tasting. Tanzer suggests lining up three or four glasses in front of each person to serve them in “flights.” For each taste, pour between one and two ounces of wine.

The best way to ensure your guests get the most out of the wine tasting is to organize it similar to the way you would a science experiment. As silly as that may sound, the idea is to keep all but one variable the same for each group of wines. For example, try to choose wines of the same variety and same year, but from different regions. This way you and your guests can enjoy picking up on subtle differences.

Here are some additional ideas and inspiration on how to organize and host your wine tasting party:

Show your guests the steps…

wine tasting party steps

Photo via With This Bling

Make it a mystery wine tasting …

mystery wine tasting party

Photo via CB2

Let your guests be the judge …

wine tasting score card

Photo via Things Festive

Pair the wine with gourmet sausage, cheese, and crackers…

Photo via Etsy

The most important thing to remember when hosting a wine tasting is to keep it light and fun! Make sure your guests can really enjoy themselves no matter how much they know or don’t know about wines.

Let Hickory Farms help you throw a fabulous in-home wine tasting party with our selection of gourmet sausage, cheese, crackers, wine gift baskets, and more! Don’t forget to share your favorite wine tasting party ideas on the Hickory Farms Face book page, too!