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Serious Entertaining: Early Spring Dinner

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Hello there juicy strawberries. [Photograph: Dave Katz]

Though it's still basically marshmallow-coat weather in New York, our west coast friends have been enjoying spring for a couple weeks now. "Strawberries!" our Bay Area-based Drinks editor Maggie said today when I asked her what spring produce had sprung at her local markets. While a few daffodils are poking through the Northeast, there's not much yet in the way of asparagus, peas, rhubarb, or other springtime produce.

But that doesn't mean those of us in still-chilly regions can't eat like it's spring. I was inspired by this City Kitchen piece in The New York Times, with its menu of spring-mimicking recipes that call for mostly winter vegetables.

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[Photograph: Jennifer Segal]

If fresh peas aren't popping up at your market yet, grab some edamame instead. The little green guys get mixed into this crunchy rainbow of a slaw along with shredded coleslaw, grated carrots, bell pepper slivers, and salted peanuts.

Get the recipe »

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Risotto isn't exactly a vegetable but almost feels like one when it transforms into a verdant green thanks to fresh parsley, tarragon, and spinach. And isn't green risotto kind of awesome? Mushrooms land on top, splashed with lemon juice and soy sauce.

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[Photograph: Yasmin Fahr]

No other protein says springtime quite like lamb; this meaty chop is spiced with turmeric, paprika, cayenne, and other Moroccan-inspired flavors.

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[Photograph: Alice Gao]

And to drink—the Italian aperitif Aperol, refreshingly bitter and a friendly pairing with a wide range of spirits and liqueurs. Pictured is the Pimm's Cup variation at The Modern in NYC: Aperol, Pimm's, and apricot liqueur, with a splash of bitter tonic and garnishes of cucumber and mint.

Check out these 10 Aperol drinks recipes »

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