Fellow foodies, bloggers, and Pinterest aficionados will agree that when it comes to recipes, The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond is the authority. The recipes she shares on her The Pioneer Woman website and her television show, also titled “The Pioneer Woman” are delicious and call for fresh ingredients, which is right up my alley.
I was honored to have the opportunity to interview Ree this week to talk about some of her favorite spring dishes! Not only did she share four of her favorite recipes with us, she also prepared a stir fry dish so you can see first hand how to prepare one of her family’s favorite meals!
Candace Rose: What are some great dishes to prepare this spring?
Ree Drummond: “Spring has sprung in Oklahoma, it’s a gorgeous day. The sun is shining and my garden is bursting forth with spring vegetables. My dad used to say ‘the earth comes back to life in the spring’ and it really does feel like that. I’m always trying to find different things to whip up with the vegetables that grow in my garden.
Right now I have carrots and asparagus, so I wanted to show you a really yummy stir fry that I’ve been making, it’s got shrimp, and veggies. Anyone who knows anything about me, who reads my website or watches my show knows that I love butter. It’s my best friend, my favorite cooking ingredient. For this stir fry I’m using Land O’Lakes butter with olive oil and sea salt, and what I love about it is not just that it’s delicious, but that it comes in cute little pre-measured half sticks. So you don’t have to slice off what you need and rewrap the leftover, you just unwrap it and throw it in the pan and start cooking. So I’ll throw in some garlic and some raw jumbo shrimp. I’ll stir this around. The shrimp need to cook completely (that’ll take a few minutes). They need to cook until they’re pink and opaque. I then take the cooked shrimp out of the skillet.
I left the butter with olive oil and sea salt in the skillet, and I’ll use it to cook the veggies. So I’ve got carrots- a perfect spring veggie, sliced asparagus (I’ve got asparagus in my garden for the first time and I’m so excited), and then I’ve got some green peas. It’s a really beautiful colorful combination. When I cook veggies I don’t want to overcook them, I don’t want to cook them until they’re mushy or limp, I still want them to be crisp. I’ll let these go for a couple of minutes and then it’ll be time to add the cooked shrimp.
What makes this dish so incredibly delicious is I squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and it hits the pan and mixes with the butter and with the oil and sea salt and it makes this really nice light flavorful sauce, and it coats the veggies and the shrimp- so delicious. Now all it needs is just a sprinkling of herbs, I’m doing minced parsley and that I’ll add a bunch of fresh Parmesan shavings and toss it together, and that’s all there is to it. Super simple. It took probably 10 to 15 minutes from start to finish, and if I’m serving this to the kids, I’ll serve this over buttered noodles, cooked rice. If I’m just eating it I’ll pile it on a plate and dig in. It’s really delicious and satisfying, but really fresh and light. It doesn’t fill you up too fast.
I have some other yummy dishes that I like to make with fresh vegetables that I have on hand- Pasta Margarita, one of my absolute favorites! You use fresh diced tomato, cook it in garlic with butter with olive oil and sea salt, sprinkle a little basil on top, put it over pasta- so divine, I love this.
Oven roasted asparagus with mushrooms is perfect on its own or with a steak (if you’re my husband).
And then who doesn’t love pasta primavera? Beautiful creamy light sauce with veggies and pasta. This is a lifelong favorite of mine.
All of these are recipes are family friendly, they don’t take very long to cook. You can use ingredients that you have on hand and that’s the kind of cooking that I love to do.”
Candace Rose: What’s your favorite way to roast asparagus?
Ree Drummond: “I just drizzle it with olive oil, have a pretty hot oven because I want it to roast in a short amount of time. I’ll do 425 or 450, sprinkle the asparagus with salt and pepper, toss it with the butter with olive oil and sea salt, and roast it for probably 10 to 12 minutes until it’s nice and golden brown. I’ll throw some sliced mushrooms in there to have a little variety.
Asparagus takes three years to grow and this is my third year after planting, so when I went outside a couple of weeks ago and saw all these spears sticking up, I was like ah! My garden has come to life. I was so excited.”
Candace Rose: Everything sounds so delicious! Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Ree Drummond: “When I’m cooking vegetables in the spring and summer- vegetables are so naturally beautiful. It really doesn’t take a lot for them to be good. My favorite way to cook vegetables is really just to saute them in the skillet. I always start with a foundation of Land O’Lakes butter or butter with olive oil and sea salt because they just give the veggies a flavor that regular oil never can. It adds great flavor but it also adds a nice golden brown color. You want your food to look as beautiful as it tastes. Both things are important to me. Butter is a great way to do that. And just don’t cook the heck out of vegetables, cook them until they’re crisp and light tasting, but still really really delicious.
The springy stir fry and all of these recipes are on LandOLakes.com. They have a great collection of recipes that are for real people that don’t want to spend two hours every night cooking ingredients that you have on hand. Really good stuff there!”