What’s on the menu for dinner tonight? Spring abundance! Tonight’s family meal combines some of our favorite spring produce with crowd-pleasing elements for a seasonal weeknight dinner. Start with finger food: little cucumber boats filled with carrot slaw. Then top creamy pea mash with cheesy chicken and spring greens. An herby twist turns our already tasty garlic bread into a spring side. And who would complain about ice cream for dessert? Make a fast rhubarb compote to spoon over vanilla ice cream.
TO START: CUCUMBER AND CARROT BITES
Scoop out the center of cucumber rounds to turn them into bite-sized vehicles for carrot slaw. Spring carrots are so sweet and tender. Kids will not only be down to assemble this app, but they'll also enjoy eating it—the bites are so easy to pop into your mouth. Using sour cream rather than mayo adds creaminess while keeping this appetizer light.
MAIN: CHICKEN WITH HERBED PEA PUREE AND SPINACH
Double down on green vegetables while simultaneously upping the appeal of tonight’s dinner with crispy cheese-topped chicken. Have you tried pea mash before? The creamy texture is similar to mashed potatoes, but this mash also has a pop of sweet pea flavor. Bonus: while you can use fresh peas if you have them, this mash is great with those frozen peas that are always in the freezer. Swap any spring green for the spinach if you like.
SIDE: CRISP GARLIC BREAD
The vegetable quota of tonight’s dinner is fully covered, so get a little decadent for your side. This buttery garlic bread is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Boiling the cloves for just two minutes mellows the bite. Skip the step if your family members are big garlic fans. For a spring touch, chop fresh leafy garden herbs (hello parsley!) and sprinkle on top.
DESSERT: RHUBARB SUNDAES
Spring rhubarb adds pretty pink color and a sweet, tangy bite. Make a batch of this rhubarb compote, then spoon it over ice cream to make rhubarb sundaes. Crumble shortbread cookies over the top for crunch. Leftover compote is delicious with yogurt or spread on bread. Consider making a double batch and freezing some so you can enjoy rhubarb in the off season. (You may find that it never makes its way to the freezer once the family explores all the ways to use rhubarb compote.)
Watch how to make this 35-minute super-springy weeknight dinner: