Dinspiration: 10 Mini-Recipes to Launch Us Into Spring

Some of my favorite recipes to write (and cook from) are barely recipes at all. Instead of full lists of ingredients and quantities, and long directions for exactly what to do with them, they’re casual paragraphs (sometimes just a few sentences) that walk you through the cooking process or the basic idea of a dish. When necessary, they include amounts, to get you in the right ballpark, but they're meant to be fairly loose and adaptable, which is how I (and lots of us) like to cook. I call them prose-ipes (aka prose recipes).

If you’re comfortable straying from really regimented instructions, then these kinds of recipes are a lot of fun, and you’ll produce something delicious in the end, even if you have to improvise a tiny bit. They’re also just a good and low-stakes way to collect ideas and get inspired, which is often the biggest boost we need as home cooks.

That’s why I want to do a test run of some prose-ipes today, and if you like them, I’ll keep doing them: 10 mini-recipes/ideas based around some theme or ingredient to get you inspired for the week.

It’s spring (so says the calendar, at least), which seems like a good time to start something new and to feature some recipes and ideas that can get us excited for the new season. So, the below collection is spring-inspired: cook them as they are, put your own spin on them, or just use them as inspiration to cook something similar (or totally different). They’re a nice change of pace, and hopefully there’ll be more to come.

— Mark

There's something about these small, free-flowing recipes that I really love. Not only are they quick to digest and great for generating ideas, but they help to promote the kind of flexible, improvisational cooking that so many of us aspire to. These ones, at the very least, will drum up some excitement for spring.


Talk To Me, Goose!

Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.