A Recipe for the Spring

Today is the first day of spring! If it’s still cold and snowy where you live, surely you’ve noticed the daylight lasting longer, and that alone is a cause for celebration. The recipe below, called salmagundi, is the perfect recipe to ring in spring on a full belly.

This recipe was originally posted on Serious Eats. The best way to tackle the many elements is to view each grouping (separated by the dividers below) as independent mini-recipes. The procedures do a fine job of accounting for timing and the order in which each component is finished.


serves 4; cooking time 1 hour and 15 minutes

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken pieces (4 bone-in, skin on thighs are ideal)
  • 3/4 pounds small potatoes
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, whole or sliced thickly
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 teaspoons of butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks sliced in half

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 8 ounces mixed greens
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, quartered


  1. Adjust the oven rack to middle position and preheat to 400°F. Place chicken, potatoes, thyme, and garlic in a roasting pan. Drizzle with oil then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Using your hands, toss all the ingredients together so they are evenly coated. Place in the oven and roast until potatoes are soft, and chicken is fully cooked and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add the almonds and toss to coat. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and toss to coat with almonds and butter. Cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until asparagus is just tender, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. Return skillet to medium-high heat and melt another teaspoon of butter. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the green beans and toss to coat with shallots and butter. Cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until beans are just tender, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  4. Return skillet to medium-high heat and melt remaining teaspoon butter. Add the lemon zest and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring often, until shrimp is just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  5. Whisk together red wine vinegar, mustard, tarragon, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, dress the lettuce with some of the vinaigrette and place on a large serving platter. Using the vinaigrette dress the radishes and place on one section of the platter, then repeat with sliced pears and tomatoes.
  6. Arrange the asparagus and the green beans on the platter, followed by shrimp, chicken, and potatoes. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the vegetables and serve immediately.

The name of this dish, “salmagundi”, has origins in an old French word meaning “hodgepodge”. It’s more of a style than a traditional dish with set components. You can substitute a variety of things in if you can’t find asparagus or green beans; for instance, carrots or roasted fennel are not unusual elements of salmagundi. Some versions even include oysters or clams!

The key to making this dish special (instead of just a bunch of random stuff on a plate) is the presentation. The colors evoke the promise of a bountiful spring, and you can get creative trying to balance the greens with bright reds and yellows. All of this fresh produce might run you a bit over $5 per serving, but it’s a remarkably hearty and healthy meal in which just about anyone can find something to love. Happy spring!

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