Chef Karl’s Favorite 5 Course Spring Menu

By WACS Global Master Chef Karl Guggenmos

When Spring finally arrives after a cold and dreary winter, our minds switch gears and begin to  look forward to sunshine, being outdoors and inviting guests over to enjoy the change of season.

Love is also in the air and spring parties are plentiful.  And that begs the question, “what to serve on YOUR menu?”

Here are my favorites for the perfect spring 5 course meal:

  1.   First course:

Poached and Chilled White Asparagus with a Balsamic Vinaigrette and maybe a nice slice of Parma Ham.

This is especially dear to me since I am from Europe and springtime is asparagus time.

Asparagus packs 114% of daily vitamin K, Vitamin A and C. It’s great for bone health, good digestion and is especially refreshing as a first course.

The thinly sliced Parma Ham really compliments the acidic flavor of the vinaigrette, while that mild smoked flavor and texture just melts in your mouth.

  1.   Second Course

Salmon sautéed, and topped with fresh artichoke hearts.

Season and saute’ the salmon in a light olive oil or grape seed oil until it’s medium rare inside, remove from the pan and toss the artichoke hearts into the pan with some chopped onions and place them on top of the salmon.

This is a great spring seafood combination.

Salmon is rich in healthy fatty acids, Vitamin D (needed to make up for lack of sunshine on the body during winter) and also blocks the enzymes that cause the skin to dry out. It’s perfect for rejuvenating our skin and outlook, which may have been covered up all winter.

Artichokes are also a typical spring vegetable full of fiber, contains potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus and they just taste delicious when gently seasoned and sautéed in a light olive oil or grape seed oil. 

  1.   Third Course: The Salad

Every spring menu needs to have a green salad.

Spinach, watercress, fiddlehead fern, fennel, mustard greens, celeriac, radishes, daikon radishes and chives are all spring greens and vegetables that make a delicious and healthy salad course.

They are certainly packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and a host of other nutrients including, magnesium, vitamin A&C, niacin, and phosphorus, just to name a few.

It’s best and easiest to stick to a vinaigrette based dressing, while adding some nuts and even a strawberry or cherry… but otherwise, let the great flavor of the salad speak for itself.

  1.   The Main Course

For a main course, my choice would be a nice steak, pork or veal chop/tenderloin, chicken breast or boneless thigh.

Season it with a little sea salt, lemon rind (tip: this allows you to reduce the amount of salt by almost 50%), black pepper and a little Spanish paprika, and grill or broil it to perfection.

Serve it with a roasted vegetable, an ancient grain or the asparagus salad from the first course.

Meat still has valuable protein nutrients and other healthy nutrients. (Keep meat consumption and portions in moderation though.)

No matter how much we want to reduce our meat consumption, in my world it doesn’t get much better than a tender choice cut of meat grilled outside on a fresh Spring night.

Close up of whipped cream being piped onto sliced strawberries and a pastry. Creating a strawberry shortcake.
  1.   Dessert

Strawberries are by far the best fruit to use in any spring dessert.

I suggest a fresh strawberry salad with whipped cream and chocolate flakes.

Strawberries are packed with fiber, vitamins and ranked in the top 20 antioxidant fruits with a good source of manganese and potassium.  

 

Bon Appetit!

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