Seasonal cooking at its best

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By Claudia Pierson

Living in the moment is wonderful, as is living in the season. Using what is reflective of the season and fresh from picking is always a treat, as are these recipes.

Recipesbeet-salad-1

Roasted Beet and Orange Salad serves 6

2 bunches fresh beets (I like to use a mixture of red and golden)

10-12 ounces mixed spring greens

3 fresh oranges (zest first), segmented removing as mush white as possible

1½ cups toasted pine nuts

3 cups crumbled chevre

Vinaigrette: ½ cup fresh orange juice

½ cup white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon garlic

1 cup canola oil

Zest of oranges above

Wash beets while on stem and then cut at base and end. Save washed leaves for plate décor. Cube into four to six bite-sized pieces. Toss in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt/pepper. Roast in oven at 400 degrees until fork tender, about 30 minutes. Toss greens, oranges and beets with vinaigrette and place on beet leaves. Top with chevre and pine nuts.

RecipesBellaSalad

Bella Pasta serves 6

12-14 ounces fettuccine

2 bunches fresh asparagus (see below)

2 cups diced oil packed sun-dried tomatoes (drained but NOT rinsed)

2 dozen medium cremini mushrooms- quartered

1 cup fresh basil chopped

Olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh garlic

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 cups fresh shaved parmesan

Boil water for pasta

Bend each asparagus stalk by holding each end and it will snap at tender part. Cut the remaining stalk into thirds and toss out ends.

Heat sauté pan with olive oil and add garlic

Sauté asparagus and mushrooms for two to three minutes. Add ½ cup of balsamic and reduce. Add brown sugar and remaining balsamic and simmer until blended into sauce. Add sun-dried tomatoes and basil and blend well. Remove from heat.

Drain cooked pasta, add asparagus trio and toss. Top with fresh parmesan. Serve immediately.

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