Archive for the ‘Asparagus’ Category

Spring salad with new potatoes

Shamelessly copied from smittenkitchen.com  If you love good food and recipes that you can actually make, please go to this wonderful resource and try out a recipe!

Salad with New Potatoes and Pickled Spring Onion

2 pounds small new or fingerling potatoes (I used a mix of reds and yukon golds)
1 pound asparagus
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, green beans or other spring pea
4 small-to-medium radishes, thinly sliced

Pickled spring onions
3 spring onions (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt (I use Diamond brand; use less if you’re using Morton or table salt)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Sharp mustard vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard (both Roland and Maille make a whole seed one I’m tremendously fond of)
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with one inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the tip of a knife easily pierces through a potato. Drain the potatoes and let them cool until they’re almost room temperature. You can hasten this by covering them with cold water, and replacing the water a few times as it warms up.

Meanwhile, pickle your spring onions. Whisk vinegar, water, salt and sugar together in the bottom of a small container with a lid until the salt and sugar dissolve. Slice the bulbs and paler green parts into very thin coins and submerge them in the vinegar mixture. Cover and put in fridge until you’re ready to use them; if you can put them aside for an hour or even overnight, even better. Reserve the onion greens.

Refill the saucepan you used for the potatoes (here’s to fewer dishes!) with salted water and bring it to a boil. Prepare an ice bath, a large bowl with ice and water in it. Trim the tough ends off the asparagus. Once the water is boiling, add the asparagus. One minute later, add the sugar snap peas. Two minutes later, drain both together then dump them in the ice bath until chilled. Drain the vegetables and spread them out on towel to absorb excess water.

Slice the cooked asparagus spears and sugar snaps into 1/2-inch segments and place them in a large bowl. Chop potatoes into moderate-sized chunks and add them to the bowl. Cut the radishes as thinly as possible, with a mandoline if you have one. If they’re especially big (mine were), you can first quarter them lengthwise. Cut some of the reserved onion greens into thin slivers (no need to use all of them, as the onion flavor might take over) and add them to the bowl.

When you’re ready to serve the salad, or an hour or two in advance, whisk the dressing ingredients and toss it with the vegetables, to taste. (You may find you don’t want to use all of it.) Stir in as many pickled onion coins as you please, save the rest for anything and everything. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, o taste. Eat and enjoy!.

Do ahead: Pickles can be started in the day or days before. Potatoes can be boiled and chilled in fridge overnight, as can other vegetables. Vinaigrette can be made in advance as well, but I might wait until the last minute to toss it with the vegetables as the vinegar, over a long sitting time, can ever-so-slightly discolor the cut edges of the asparagus and beans.

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Paulette’s Easy Cream of Asparagus Soup

.5 onion, or 6 green onions, or one leek chopped

1 tbsp butter

1 large potato diced

2 cups Free Range Chicken broth (available in our freezer section)

1 to 1.5  lbs fresh asparagus, peeled and chopped, woody stems removed

4 stalks celery, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

.5 to 1 cup cup cream or milk

Juice of one lemon

Sautee the onions in butter.  Add the potatoes and the broth.  Simmer until the potato is soft.

Add the asparagus and celery and cook for 10 minutes or so.  Use salt and pepper to taste.

Puree the soup, adding cream or milk until you reach your desired consistency.

To serve…

Add a dollop of sour cream

or some shredded sharp cheddar

or some crumbled blue cheese

Thanks Mom!!

Freezing Asparagus for the Winter!

You can pickle or can asparagus for the winter, but I am much much too lazy for such things.  I’ll freeze asparagus as it takes next to no effort.

It’s simple

Wash as much asparagus as you plan on freezing.

Snap off the bottoms of each stalk

Get a big pot of water on the boil

Blanch (boil for 2 minutes) asparagus in one pound batches.

Once blanched, scoop out asparagus from the boiling water with a metal sieve and dump it into a sink of cold water to stop the cooking process.

Remove the asparagus from the cold water and lay it out on tea towels on your counter to dry.

Repeat with as much asparagus as you would like to have in your freezer for the winter.

Once the spears on your counter top are dryish, pack them up in freezer safe containers or bags in sizes appropriate for your family.

Chuck them into the freezer to use all winter long!!

Now what about those stems that you snapped off?  You can use those too of course!

Wash the snapped off ends very well.

Sautee in a big sauce pan with garlic and some shallot

Add water or vegetable stock to cover.  Simmer until the stems are mushy.   Let cool and strain/sieve out the stringy asparagus bits.  Place in a freezer safe container and pop in your freezer for soup making all winter long!

Sue’s Fiddlehead or Asparagus Pasta

You have to love our customers.  They love food and cooking as much as I do, and they SHARE their recipes!!

Here is Sue’s fiddlehead pasta

Sue’s Fiddlehead Pasta

2 cups whole wheat penne pasta

2 cubed cut tomatoes

About 2 cups of fiddleheads

½ cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

Garden chives- chopped in ½ inch strips

Chilli pepper seeds to taste- about ½ tsp

Coarse ground pepper

Parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Boil or steam fiddleheads 5 minutes. Drain water and rinse fiddleheads. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil is a large saucepan, add garlic. Sauté
  3. Add fiddleheads to saucepan and continue cooking, while adding the chives, tomatoes, chilli pepper seeds and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat before fiddleheads lose their brighter green colour.
  4. Cook pasta “al dente”. Drain. Add fiddlehead mixture and top with parmesan cheese.

This is also excellent when re cooked in a pan the next day! It is a great ‘make ahead’ meal. Add a salad and serve.

Asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces can be used when fiddleheads are no longer in season.

Serves 4-6

 

Asparagus Chevre Toast…an easy party pleaser

Grill your local asparagus as per my “Asparagus on the BBQ” recipe.

Take one sliced ciabatta loaf from our bakery.

Brush one side of the ciabatta with grape seed oil.  Place the oiled side of the ciabatta down on the grill, grill for a few minutes until a bit toasty.

Remove the bread, spread some goat chevre on the toasty oiled side of the ciabatta.

Put back on the grill, cheese side up, until the cheese gets soft.

Remove from grill.

Take 2-3 spears of grilled asparagus and press into the now soft chevre.

EAT!!!

Asparagus on the BBQ

The only way I will eat asparagus is on the BBQ.  We make this dish at least 3 times a week during asparagus season.

Heat your grill to high, then turn down to medium just before putting on the asparagus

Wash your asparagus and snap off the bottom.

Mix the juice of one lemon, with a quarter cup of olive oil, and 3 cloves of crushed garlic.  Feel free to add some cracked pepper to the mix.

Toss the raw asparagus in the lemon/oil mixture.

Place asparagus on the medium hot  grill, or in a bbq vegetable cooking basket on the bbq.

Cook for 5 minutes, turning twice.

SERVE!

Cream of (insert vegetable name here) soup.

Cream of (insert vegetable name here) soup

Cream of veggie soups are ridiculously easy to make. It gets even easier if you have one of those stick hand held immersion blenders in your kitchen.

-Peel chop and sautee one onion and a few cloves of chopped garlic on medium heat. You can sautee it in olive oil, butter, margarine, whatever, it’s your soup, do as you will.

-Add about 4 cups of chopped veg of choice to the pot (broccoli works well, so does cauliflower, butternut squash, potato and leek, carrot, corn choose any one of them)

-I like to sautee the veg a bit, getting a little bit of caramelization going.

-Add a quarter tsp of black pepper if you like black pepper

-Add 4 cups (1 litre) of vegetable or chicken stock.

-Stir the whole thing up and let it simmer until your veg is cooked.
How long will it take? Depends on the veg, broccoli will be done in just 10-15 minutes, butternut squash will take longer. Test it with a fork to see how smushy things are getting.

-When your veg is soft, grab that immersion blender, plug it in and CAREFULLY start blending the veg that is cooking in the broth. You can keep your soup as chunky or make it as smooth as you would like. If you have no immersion blender you can mash everything up with a potato masher, or for a smoother texture, let the contents of the pot cool and put small batches in your blender to whisk things up.

-Return everything to the pot if you have removed things for blending

-At this point you can add dairy to make your soup as creamy as you would like. Sometimes I leave it as it and just serve it with a spoonful of yogurt or sour cream. If you are on a diet, low fat yogurt can add a nice thickness of flavour to the soup. Don’t care about the calories? A half a cup of cream will do nicely. Worried that you’ll do the wrong thing. Take a small scoop out of the pot, and try it with a little yogurt. Is it nice? No, try some with a little milk, or some cream, or some sour cream, or some creme fraiche. It’s your soup, make it how you like it.

-Taste your soup. Is it bland? Does it need more pepper? Is there a spice that you have a thought that might go well with this vegetable puree soup that you have made? I like to add some ginger to my carrot soup, sometimes corriander, sometimes I add some curry powder to my butternut squash or carrot soup. My mom likes to throw grated sharp cheddar cheese into everything (you can’t really disagree with a move like that).

Once you get the hang of it, you can churn out a pot of soup in half an hour while doing 5 other things. It’s really that easy.
Serve with toasted Ciabatta, or Alpine grain bread and tada! Lunch is served.