Recipes for the perfect spring meal

PAM ANDERSON | 9/24/2009, 10:55 a.m.

SERVES 6 PER SERVING: 156 calories, 8g protein, 10g carbohydrates, 10g fat (1.9g saturated), 218mg cholesterol, 1g fiber, 400mg sodium1 whole side salmon, 2 1/2 pounds total weight

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper

2 pounds fingerling potatoes or new red potatoes, cut lengthwise in half


3 Tbs. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

3 Tbs. fresh dill, coarsely chopped

3 Tbs. cup capers plus 2 tsps. caper juice from jar

3 medium green onions, thinly sliced

4 1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/4 tsps. finely grated lemon zest

Garnish: Extra sprigs of parsley and dill, plus lemon slices

Set salmon on a large rimmed baking sheet; coat both sides with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Toss potatoes with another 2 Tbs. of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper; place cut side down on a second rimmed baking sheet.

Adjust oven racks to lowest and upper-middle positions. Place potatoes on bottom rack and salmon on upper rack of cold oven, then heat oven to 400 degrees. Roast until salmon is just opaque throughout, about 25 minutes (test with a fork), and potatoes are golden brown, about 30 minutes. While salmon and potatoes roast, make drizzle by mixing parsley, dill, capers and juice, scallions, olive oil and lemon zest in a small bowl; set aside.

To serve, transfer salmon with large spatulas to a large platter, spoon herb mixture over the fish and garnish platter with herb sprigs -- and lemon wedges. Arrange potatoes in a second bowl or platter (or on the same platter, if large enough). Serve immediately.

SERVES 6 PER 5 1/2-OUNCE SERVING WITH 2 TBS. HERB DRIZZLE: 519 calories, 44g protein, 25g carbohydrates, 27g fat (3.8g saturated), 108mg cholesterol, 3g fiber, 335mg sodium2 Tbs. olive oil

8 ounces (1/2 of a 16-ounce bag) frozen pearl onions

1/2 tsp. dried tarragon

2 Tbs. flour

3/4 cup evaporated milk

3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 16-ounce bag frozen green peas (regular or petite)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a 5 1/2-quart soup pot over medium-low heat. Add frozen pearl onions; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked and golden but not brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in tarragon, then flour, then milk and chicken broth; cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a simmer and starts to thicken. Stir in cheese, then peas. (Turn off heat at this point and let stand, covered, for up to 2 hours).

When ready to serve, bring vegetables to a simmer, adding water if too thick. Continue to cook, partially covered and stirring frequently, over medium-low heat to heat through and blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings, including salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving bowl.

SERVES 10PER 1/2 CUP SERVING: 104 calories, 5g protein, 13g carbohydrates, 4g fat (0.8g saturated), 3mg cholesterol, 2g fiber, 110mg sodium