Warmer spring days call for changes in the kitchen.
The recipes for stews and roasts and thick soups (not to mention those big pots) are packed away. Tastes have turned to spring vegetables and lighter seasoning combinations.
Here are three dishes from Washington Post columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick that work right now, before it gets too hot to even stay in the kitchen.
The risotto uses the fresh spring onions that are all over the farmers markets. Lighter than leeks and more substantial than scallions, these onions are a good starting point for a risotto. Swiss chard adds earthiness and pancetta a classic Italian flavor.
Likewise, big bunches of little carrots can be found now at many market stands. The light glaze in the recipe below makes good use of those fresh tender veggies.
Sedgwick was helping her son make arroz con pollo when it occurred to her the chicken-and-rice dish would make a terrific chicken burger.
The result is a lighter, contemporary classic. Poblano and jalapeño peppers, scallions and cilantro add flavor and moisture to ground white-meat chicken, and the rice holds it all together.
Tuck the patties inside warm, folded flour tortillas, with lettuce and tomato; you could also serve them on your favorite buns. As added garnishes, sliced avocado, a sprinkle of lime juice or a salsa topping would all work.