What do vegetarians eat for Easter? Lamb is out. (Unless you want to consider some of the imitation varieties in the meat alternative market, which surprisingly has been around far longer than we know.) And so are deviled eggs. So, what’s left? How about nixing the more traditional Easter springtime recipes altogether, and testing out new meals this season with a quintessential, versatile base: the herbs! Furthermore, this yogurt base that you’ll make out of these herbs can be used in any dish: vegetarian or meat-based.
Let’s look at how to create this topping, then explore some great spring recipes for seasonal produce utilizing it.
The 5 Spring Herbs for The Yogurt Sauce
What is the best herb for cooking? The best herb is one that enhances or at least complements the dish it will be going into at the most supreme level. What are the best herbs/spices to grow at home? The best herbs/spices to grow at home are ones that can serve many purposes beyond culinary ones if that’s what you’re desiring. The great thing is that there are so many herbs out there with different flavors that no two people’s taste buds experience identically and different therapeutic traits, so it’s pretty subjective on which herb is best.
Yes, basil can be used for more than spaghetti (though it’s amazing as so!). Having a flavor that’s so layered, it can work in surprising ways with other choices of foods. In any given bite, basil can take one on a sweet and savory ride, with hints of mint, anise, and especially black pepper in the first moments, before settling as an overall hint of sweetness. Matched with the sour flavor of yogurt, it is very refreshing.
This is a no-brainer. There are endless mint-enhanced herb yogurt sauces out there (ie. Greek tzatziki) because the two blend so well together in an interesting way. Often described as sweet and a lingering cool on the tongue, mint is a great complementary contrast to the slightly tangy flavor found in most yogurt. Sweet meets sour, which is always a favorite.
Cilantro. A.k.a. Coriander
Some say it tastes like soap, others say it’s fresh and citrusy. We’ve all had it at one point or another if we’ve dipped tortilla chips in some fresh guacamole, but why or HOW does it possibly pair so well with yogurt sauce? Though it’s easy for us to forget or be deceived about its flavor under all of the piping heat it complements in its usual spicy dishes, cilantro alone actually has a cooling effect, like mint. Some comment that it has a mild spiciness, similar to parsley, though, so that can be an exciting blend for those who have palates experiencing it in that way.
Here is another multifaceted flavor. Fresh thyme has a pronounced, concentrated herbal flavor with sharp grass, wood, and floral notes (like lavender and rosemary). Yet it also brings on a mint taste. Give it a try with your yogurt sauce to see what taste it conjures up specifically for you.
With such a clean essence and notes of peppery earthiness, parsley is a great all-rounder in the kitchen. This includes pairing with your yogurt sauce.
The Yogurt Sauce
After picking out and cleaning about two or three of the pickings from above (We’d personally use all five, but that’s just us), you can now make your herb yogurt sauce.
- 7 oz Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup of your herb selections, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Juice from 1 lemon (This is essential for all yogurt sauces as far as we’re concerned. It’s the equivalent of peanut butter to one’s jelly, milk to one’s cereal. Bottom line, lemon goes with yogurt sauce always. Bring on the tang.)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp cold, filtered water (Use more water such as 4 tbsp and above to create more of a thicker, cream texture if you’d like)
- Maple syrup (Optional: Or some other kind of sweetener to complement the yogurt zing)
Add all ingredients to a bowl. Mix to combine.
This yogurt sauce will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, so long as you store it in a preserving 8 or 9 oz food canning jar.
The Fruits and Vegetables That Are in Season
No spring vegetables recipe is complete without picking the seasonal produce favorites. Here is a line-up of the most prosperous produce springtime foods that emerge from March to May:
- Greens: Cabbage, Collard Greens, Kale, Lettuce, Spinach, and Swiss Chard
- Peas: Snow peas and Snap peas
The Healthy and Easy Spring Recipes
Take new approaches to your springtime dinners and brunches or even Easter meals with some of these alternative food choices.
Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce (Vegan chicken selections can easily substitute here.)
Now, go and make your springtime recipes, vegetarian spring recipes, and dinners for Easter all the more dynamic and fresh like the season.