Spring Pea/Fresh Spinach Soup Appetizer Shots
Tease the appetite with these emerald-green taste tempters. Fresh, healthful spinach and sprightly green peas lend a vibrant hue to these harbingers of spring. For convenience—and fun—serve in shot glasses.
- 1 bag baby spinach leaves
- 1 bag frozen petite peas
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 lime, juiced (plus zest from lime)
- 1/3 cup freshly grated, genuine parmesan cheese
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, sauté spinach leaves in olive oil until just wilted. Add garlic and continue sautéing until soft, about one minute. Add peas, liquid, and herbs. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. When cooled slightly, add lime juice and zest. Use a handheld immersion blender to puree soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve in shot glasses.
Guacamole with Pea Pods and Celery
No St. Patrick’s Day celebration would be complete without this vibrant-green dip from south of the border. Filled with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and plenty of other beneficial nutrients, like vitamin E, avocados are one of nature’s super snack foods all by themselves. Here we dress them up a bit for a tasty dip, conveniently sporting green for the holiday.
Buy avocados slightly underripe. The skin will change from green to glossy black when ripe. Avoid overly soft avocados; they’re probably overripe. The skin should be chartreuse green to dark purple/black, pebbly-textured, with no brown or soft spots. Cut down to the pit; remove and discard it. Nudge stubborn pits loose by carefully cutting into the pit with a chef’s knife, then using the wedged knife to wiggle the pit free. Cut into quarters and the skin should peel away easily.
Warning: Avocado quickly turns an unappealing shade of brown upon exposure to air. While this doesn’t affect taste, it definitely affects visual appeal. You can always prevent this unsightly oxidation by gently tossing cut avocado with a generous spritz of fresh lemon juice.
- 3 ripe Hass avocados, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1-2 tsp. dried basil
- juice of one-half lime, plus lime zest
- 1/4 cup prepared green enchilada or tomatillo sauce
- seasoned garlic salt
- snow pea pods, washed and trimmed
- sugar snap peas, washed and trimmed
- organic celery ribs, washed and trimmed, cut into sticks
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and gently mash avocado pieces with the back of a fork. Season to taste with garlic salt. Serve with green vegetables for dipping.
Green Eggs No Ham
- 1 doz. large eggs
- 1 cup washed/dried baby spinach leaves, loosely packed
- 1 cup watercress (or arugula) leaves
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
- 2 Tbsp. green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
- 2 Tbsp. Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 1-2 tsp. dijon-style mustard
- fresh dill fronds for garnish (optional)
- 1/4 ripe avocado, peeled, tossed with lemon juice, cut into slivers
Hard boil 1 dozen eggs. (Skip the usually recommended final ice-immersion step. In this instance, you actually want a weird, but harmless, green ring to form around the yolks.) When eggs are cool, peel and slice in half. Remove yolks taking care to leave whites intact. Place yolks in the working bowl of a food processor.
Add 1 cup baby spinach leaves, 1 cup watercress/arugula leaves, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1-2 tsp. mustard, 2 Tbsp. chopped scallions, 2 Tbsp. parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Puree egg/greens mixture and fill each egg-white half with equal portions of the mixture. Garnish with a small leaf of parsley, dill, or a tiny sliver of ripe avocado, dipped in lemon juice.