No get-together is complete without a nice meal—or, at least, a few scrumptious bites. With spring on its way, asked local caterers for their favorite seasonal specialties to spice up your gathering.

Chuck Friedhoff of Butler’s Pantry offered up the recipe for this take on a fresh spring salad. If you’d rather have it without all the prep work, you can find it on the menu at Bixby’s through the end of March. Just look for the Ladue News Spring Salad!

Ladue News Spring Salad

(Serves 4)

Champagne Vinaigrette


¼ c Champagne vinegar

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 T Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients in bowl and stir to combine.


1 head frisée

1 bunch watercress

1 bunch local asparagus (trimmed, cleaned & roasted)

4 oz oyster mushrooms (trimmed, cleaned & roasted)

6 each fingerling potatoes (cleaned, halved & roasted)

4 oz herb chevre

4 each poached local eggs


Clean and dry frisée and watercress. Clean and trim asparagus. Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Trim mushrooms, then toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Halve the potatoes and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast asparagus, mushrooms and potatoes in 400-degree oven until tender. Cool (this can be done a day ahead of time). To serve, let cool or warm to room temperature. Poach eggs and assemble ingredients.


Spring means the fruits and vegetables at the grocery store soon will be all the fresher and juicier. Chef Beau Meadows of Patty Long Catering offered this seasonal salad:

Grilled Watermelon & Avocado Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette


2 c baby spinach

1 c arugula

1 T goat cheese

1 t toasted almonds

1 watermelon wedge (Chef Beau prefers to take the rind off and grill it)

3 avocado slices


Place watermelon on chilled plate. Toss all ingredients but the avocado slices together with Champagne Vinaigrette, careful not to overdress salad. Top your salad with the avocado and enjoy!

Champagne Vinaigrette

(yields ¾ cup)


¼ c extra virgin olive oil

¼ c Champagne vinegar

¼ c Champagne

3 t Dijon mustard

2 t honey

¾ t salt

¼ t fresh ground pepper


Add all ingredients together, whisk thoroughly and chill for at least 20 minutes. Keep chilled for up to four days.

Note: Make your very own Champagne Vinegar by leaving out your Champagne in an open wide-mouthed jar at room temperature. In three weeks, you'll have Champagne Vinegar.


Ann Lemcke of Art of Entertaining offered this fresh and light dish, sure to please the taste buds:

Tomato Basil Orzo


1 box orzo (cooked – follow package directions)

1 c cooked, chopped fresh spinach

1/3 c balsamic vinegar

1/3 c lemon juice

1/3 c olive oil

1 t garlic salt

1 t lemon pepper

½ c diced sundried tomatoes

¼ c chopped fresh basil

1 c fresh-grated Parmesan cheese


Toss together all ingredients in mixing bowl. Garnish with 1/2 cup pine nuts. Can be served warm or at room temperature.


Rick Williams of Deer Creek Café offered this simple yet tasty appetizer:

Smoked Trout Appetizer

Ingredients: (serves 12 – two each)

24 mini potato pancakes

1 lb. smoked trout

Crème fraiche (or sour cream)

Fresh basil (torn into small pieces)


Deep fry or bake potato pancakes, according to package instructions. Cut trout into approximately ½ inch by 1 inch pieces. Place a dollop of crème fraiche on top of pancakes, then place the trout and basil on top and serve.

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