With spring in the air, it’s time for some lighter fare. Helping prepare our springtime menu is Seasons 52, adherents of healthy yet delicious grub. Using seasonally ready ingredients and “rustic cooking techniques”—brick oven roasting and open-fire grilling—Seasons 52 tends to allow the food to do the talking without over-complicating dishes. Because of this, the list of ingredients is short, leading to lighter entrees, sides, appetizers, and even desserts that rarely top 480 calories. While that number may seem impossible to some, the flavor certainly does not lack: the dishes are fresh, light, and delicious—the perfect dining option for the warmer months here in Southwest Florida. To get the palate primed, Seasons 52 has shared a few recipes that will surely inspire the springtime dinner table.
For a Hawaiian-inspired dish, this recipe for Kona-Crusted Lamb Chops will give the grill master a little island-style versatility to the repetoire.
Kona-Crusted Lamb Chops (serves 4)
Calories: 130 per chop
- 2 lamb racks cut into 10-12 individual chops
- 4 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 6 tbsp. Kona Coffee Rub (recipe below)
- 1 tbsp. sea salt
- EVOO in a spray bottle
- 15-year aged balsamic vinegar
Start grill to establish hot bed of coals. Lay out lamb chops on a tray and rub them with Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle with coffee rub and sea salt. Spritz grill with olive oil and grill chops on one side for one and a half to two minutes; flip and cook to desired temperature. Arrange chops on a plate and drizzle balsamic vinegar over them.
Kona Coffee Rub:
- 1 cup Kona decaffeinated coffee, ground
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup dry mustard
- 1/4 cup granulated garlic
- 1/2 cup Lawry’s seasoning salt
- 1/2 cup Grana Padano parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
For a unique side that’s big on flavor, Blistered Shishito Peppers are sure to be a crowd pleaser. A chili pepper, the relatively mild shishito pepper—only one in ten have some serious spice—is thin-walled that easily chars and blisters versus its thicker-skinned cousins, while bringing some serious flavor. Sweet with an almost grassy, citrusy flavor, shishito peppers brighten just about anything they accompany.
Blistered Shishito Peppers (serves 5)
- 3 cups whole shishito peppers
- 1/2 ear roasted corn, cut from cob (recipe below)
- 2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- Two pinches sumac
- 1 tbsp. EVOO
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Start with 3 cups whole shishito peppers and place them in a pan. Lightly coat peppers with EVOO. Add roasted corn and two pinches of sumac. Bake peppers, corn, and sumac for 10 minutes. Place cooked ingredients in a bowl. Top with crumbled feta and crumbled goat cheese, and lemon aioli.
- 1 ear corn
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place corn husk directly on oven rack and roast until corn is soft. Peel corn and cut kernels off the cob.
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 1-2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice (to taste), Dijon mustard, and minced garlic. Season with coarse salt ground pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
Protein rich and loaded with healthy fats, salmon is a veritable super food. Not to mention it’s delicious too. The best way to prepare a premium filet of salmon is simply, with a light marinade and roasted to perfection. Case-in-point: Seasons 52’s Cedar-Plank Roasted Salmon. The light citrusy marinade pairs perfectly with the smoky flavor of the cedar for sunset dinner like none other.
Note: Select premium salmon filets, preferably wild-caught. Opt for wild-caught Alaskan salmon, whose populations are less depleted, and the fish’s range is less polluted. Avoid Atlantic/farmed salmon – these are bred in waters with concentrations of pollutants. Cedar blanks can be purchased at most gourmet grocery stores. Its important to soak the planks in water overnight, otherwise you’ll have burnt wood and salmon.
Cedar-Plank Roasted Salmon (serves 4)
- 4 fresh salmon filets (6 to 8 ounces per filet), boneless and skinless
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. malt vinegar
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 tbsp. EVOO
Combine Dijon mustard, malt vinegar, soy sauce, lemon zest and juice, and EVOO in a small dish. Coat salmon filets in marinade and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for one hour. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Remove cedar planks from soaking water and rub cedar planks with EVOO. Place salmon filets on cedar planks; season with sea salt and ground pepper to taste. Roast salmon for 8-10 minutes (depending on size). Serve with lemon.