Tag Archives: Asparagus

Recipe: Orecchiette Carbonara with Asparagus

This week’s recipe features a quick dinner with pasta and asparagus.  The picture makes me want to fix it right now for lunch.  It’s from Alexandra’s Kitchen, who got the recipe from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food.  As always, click on the picture to see the original post and more pictures.  We would probably use pancetta instead of bacon….

orecchiette carbonara with asparagus

Photo credit: Alexandra

 

Hello there. Just a quick midweek post here. Thought I’d share with you all how I’ve made my favorite easy weeknight dinner both more and less involved.

Let me explain. Adding asparagus to pasta carbonara adds about a minute more to your prep time but precludes the need to make any other sort of vegetable side dish — 3/4 of a pound of asparagus, for me at least, is enough roughage for one evening.

So there you have it. Fry some bacon. Sauté some onions. Cook some pasta. Blanch some asparagus. Whisk some eggs. Zest a lemon. Toss it all together, and watch how a no-cream light-on-the-cheese sauce transforms a simple pasta into a creamy-tasting, vegetable-loaded, one-dish dinner. Yum.

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 leeks* (white and light-green parts only) or spring onions*, halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound short pasta, such as campanelle or orecchiette
  • 3/4 pound of asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup), plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped (optional — I didn’t use them this time around)

*If you don’t have leeks or onions, any onion will do — finely chop about a half cup or more of whatever onion you have on hand.

Procedure

  1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. (I did not pour off any fat… it looked too good to discard.) Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until leeks are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add pasta to pot and cook according to package instructions. Meanwhile, cut asparagus into 1.5- to 2-inch long pieces. In the last three minutes of the pasta cooking time, drop the asparagus into the pot of water. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and lemon zest and juice. Whisk 1/4 cup pasta water into egg mixture.
  4. Drain pasta and asparagus and immediately add to egg mixture, along with bacon, leeks, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sprinkle with more cheese if desired and serve immediately. Note: If you’re nervous about the egg not cooking, just throw the whole mixture back into a large skillet over medium heat for a minute or two.

Notes

  • Serves 4
  • Prep time: 30 minutes

–posted by Steven

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Recipe: Shaved Asparagus and Mint Salad

Our mint dies back in the winter, and has been coming back for a few weeks now.  Young, tender, and very aromatic, we think it will add a great note to this salad.  This vegan recipe is by Meatballs&Milkshakes and is also from Food52.

Click on the picture to visit the website and see a great slideshow on the preparation.

Shaved Asparagus and Mint Salad

Photo credit: Sarah Shatz

Author Notes: I wanted to make a raw salad that would be a little different. I also had baby artichokes, but I liked the texture of the raw asparagus better for this.

It also makes fantastic leftovers the next morning, just put a little on top of a buttered, toasted piece of nice bread or brioche and top with a poached or fried egg and a little more of the vinaigrette.

Food52 Review: The bright woodsy flavor of asparagus is sometimes lost once it’s cooked — this salad preserves that flavor and the long ribbons give each bite a wholesome crunch. Get out your best vegetable peeler. It does double duty here: first with the asparagus and next with the parmesan cheese. The hazelnuts echo the richness of the cheese and mint gives the salad a little zing. We like zing!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 handful toasted, crushed hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • parmesan or pecorino shavings

Procedure

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus lengthwise to create strips. Toss with the hazelnuts and mint.
  2. Wisk together lemon juice, vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Pour over asparagus and mix with salt and pepper to taste. Shave parmegiano or pecorino on top.

Notes

  • YIELD: Serves 4

–posted by Steven

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Recipe: Oyster Sauce Glazed Asparagus and Mushrooms

Another vegan asparagus recipe.  This will be our Tuesday dinner at the farm.  We hope you give it a try.  It’s by monkeymon and is posted on Food52.

Click on the picture to visit the website.

Oyster Sauce Glazed Asparagus and Mushrooms

Photo credit: James Ransom

 

Author Notes: This dish falls into the asparagus comfort food category in my mind. Its flavors are sweet, salty, and deep. The mushrooms help it feel satisfying and filling. But the star is the green spring asparagus. Both the asparagus and the mushrooms are sautéed in a dry pan to get some caramelized edges while retaining their lovely textures.

Food52 Review: WHO: monkeymom is a scientist from the Bay Area. 
WHAT: The springest, most delicate stir fry you’ll ever meet. 
HOW: Saute asparagus, then mushrooms, then toss it all in their sauce. 
WHY WE LOVE IT: Turns out that oyster sauce is a perfect match for asparagus — who knew? This recipe is a new way to celebrate spring produce — the sauce has those stir-fry flavors we love, but is light enough to let the vegetables sing. The ridiculously quick cooking time is a bonus; we’ll be making this as long as asparagus lasts.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced (shiitake are my favorite, but buttons work fine too. You can add more or less depending on what you have on hand)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 ginger slice peeled and minced
  • pepper

Procedure

  1. Cut asparagus into 2 inch long pieces. Try the roll cut: slice on a diagonal, then turn the spear one quarter turn and slice on the diagonal again.
  2. Mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, and sesame oil until cornstarch is well dissolved. Set this seasoning sauce aside. Heat skillet to high and put a cup of water by the skillet (for thinning the sauce later if you need to).
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a nonstick skillet set on high heat. Add shallots and asparagus. Stir the vegetables around for about 5-7 minutes. You are looking to get some nice browning on the edges. Taste a bit as you go to make sure they get tender, but still have a little bite. Remove from pan to a bowl or plate.
  4. Heat 1 Tbsp oil and add mushrooms and some pepper. Stir mushrooms around on dry heat without adding any liquid. The mushrooms should shrink up and become browned.
  5. Add asparagus back to pan. Turn heat down to medium. Add 1 Tbsp more of oil and add garlic and ginger. Once you can smell the garlic, quickly add seasoning sauce. Stir to coat all vegetables in sauce. The sauce will reduce rapidly. You can add another tablespoon or two of water if you need to distribute the sauce better.
  6. Remove from pan and serve right away.

Notes

  • YIELD: Serves 4

–posted by Steven

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Recipe: Vegan Lemon Asparagus Risotto

Asparagus risotto is one of our favorites at the farm.  This one is nice for those who want to avoid using chicken stock.  It’s by Gena Hamshaw and is posted on Food52.  We would change the procedure just a little bit – cut the tips off the asparagus and cut the stalks to 1/2″ – don’t blanch – instead, add the raw asparagus (tips and cut stalks) about half-way through the cooking of the rice.  We rarely blanch our veggies as we think it loses too much flavor and nutrients in the blanching water.  Another option would be to blanch in the vegetable stock.

Click on the picture to visit the website.

Vegan Lemon Asparagus Risotto

Photo credit: James Ransom

 

This dish is bright and elegant, but it has all of the creamy comfort and heft you expect from a traditional risotto. If it’s your first vegan risotto, you’ll be amazed at how authentic it is — and how little you miss the dairy.

Ingredients

  • bunch of asparagus spears (15 to 20), trimmed and chopped into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • cup onion, diced
  • shallot, diced
  • clove garlic, minced
  • cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • tablespoons lemon juice
  • tablespoon lemon zest
  • cups low-sodium vegetable stock (you may not use it all, but have it handy anyway)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Procedure

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Add the asparagus spears and blanch for about two minutes, or until they’re tender but still have some crunch. Remove them from the pan and run under cold water to stop them from cooking further. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and onions and cook for four minutes, or until the onions are getting soft. Add the garlic and cook for another three minutes.
  3. Add the rice and heat it in the saucepan, stirring constantly, for about two minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low. Add the white wine, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and cook, stirring gently and vigilantly, till the white wine has been absorbed.
  4. Add a cup of stock to the pan and cook, stirring as needed, till the stock has been absorbed. Continue adding stock in 1/2- to 3/4-cup amounts, stirring each time until the stock is absorbed. You may not need all five cups of broth to make the rice creamy and soft, but you can expect to use most of it. When the rice is tender but still has some chew, stir in the nutritional yeast and thyme, along with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Stir the blanched asparagus into the rice and heat through. Serve.

Notes

  • YIELD: Serves 4

–posted by Steven

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Recipe: Wild Rice and Brown Rice Salad With Walnuts and Asparagus

Linda fixed this dish for our contribution to dinner at a friends yesterday.  It was really good (and, we have lots of leftovers).  She sprouted the brown rice, but you certainly don’t need to.  It’s from the New York Times, and is from Martha Rose Shulman.

Click on the picture to visit the website.

Photo credit: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

I love the contrast of textures and colors in this salad. The wild rice is earthy, and the brown rice nutty; both are chewy in different ways. Walnuts and walnut oil not only add perfect complementary flavor and crunch, but also contribute healthy omega-3 fats to the mix.

Ingredients

For the walnut vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced or pureed
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:

  • 5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in 1-inch pieces and steamed 4 minutes
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as chives, dill, tarragon or marjoram
  • 1/3 cup shelled walnuts
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups of the stock or water to boil. Add salt to taste and the wild rice. When the water returns to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 40 to 45 minutes, until the rice is tender and has begun to splay. Drain and transfer the rice to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine the brown rice, the remaining water and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 35 to 40 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat. If any liquid remains in the pan, drain. Add to the wild rice.
  3. While the rices are cooking, make the dressing. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, salt, mustard and garlic. Whisk in the oils, taste and adjust seasonings. Toss at once with the warm rice. Add the asparagus and the remaining ingredients, and toss together. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.

Notes

  • YIELD: Serves 6
  • Advance preparation: You can make this up to a day ahead of time, but don’t add the asparagus and herbs until shortly before serving.

–posted by Steven

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Recipe: Spring Pasta

Here’s a basic recipe for spring pasta.  We suggest using this week’s asparagus and sugar snap peas (if you haven’t eaten them all coming back from picking up your box).  The recipe is from 101cookbook.com.

Click on the picture to visit the website.

Spring Pasta

Photo credit: 101cookbooks.com

I had thin [cooked] egg noodles leftover from some Pasta al Limone I made the night before, and decided to throw this together. Noodles, whatever quick-cooking market vegetables were in the fridge, egg, and a bit of avocado. Worked out great. You might add some toasted nuts or breadcrumbs for crunch, or chopped olives, or a swirl of harissa, or lots of chopped herbs…similar to the quesadillas, there are a hundred ways to approach this. I can imagine a version made with soba noodles too.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces / 225 g cooked, leftover pasta
  • 2 eggs
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 big handfuls of sliced asparagus, and/or pea shoots, or tiny broccoli trees, or shredded greens – anything quick cooking and fresh
  • chopped avocado
  • chopped herbs

Procedure

  1. Use your fingers to fluff up the leftover pasta a bit, so its not clumpy or stuck together. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl crack the eggs and beat them really well with a pinch of salt.
  3. In a big skillet melt the oil and butter over medium high heat. If you’re using a vegetable that might take longer to cook than others, add those to the pan – for example, asparagus or broccoli. Add a couple pinches of salt, stir, cover, and cook for a couple minutes. Until the vegetables are bright, and just cooked. Now stir in anything that just needs a quick flash of cooking – in this case pea greens, but chopped greens would go in at this point if you’re using those. Stir, and cook just until tender – a minute or so. Pull about 1/3 of the vegetables out of the pan and set them aside.
  4. Now, add the pasta to the skillet, and toss well. Once the pasta is hot, turn down the heat, wait a moment, then quickly stir in the eggs. Stir well, then cover the pan, remove from heat, and let everything sit for a minute. Uncover, give everything another toss, the egg should be cooked through. Taste, and adjust the seasoning before dividing between two plates. Top with the reserved vegetables, and some chopped avocado.

Notes

  • SERVES: 2
  • PREP: 5 mins
  • COOK: 5 mins

–posted by Steven

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Recipe: Two Asparagus Recipes

We will have asparagus for several more weeks, and you may be looking for some ideas to vary the preparation.  Here are two we think are pretty good.  They are both from Food52.com.

Couscous with Asparagus, Chervil + White Wine

Click on the picture to visit the website.

Couscous with Asparagus, Chervil + White Wine

Photo credit: Caroline Wright

 

Author Notes: This couscous recipe is a poor man’s risotto — an apt, if even paradoxical descriptor — that focuses on the cozy side of green, spring flavor. Israeli (or “pearl”) couscous is a lentil-sized pasta with an equally diminutive cooking time, so it cooks quickly in the reducing stock. Finished with salty cheese and the delicate licorice-flavored chervil, this recipe brings a bowl of yielding, soft flavors and textures of spring. (less) – CarolineWright

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup Israeli or pearl couscous
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 12 ounces asparagus (3/4 bunch), trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios, toasted if desired
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped chervil leaves

Procedure

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add couscous and cook until partially toasted, 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, until almost evaporated, 2 minutes. Meanwhile, heat broth in a second saucepan until warm.
  2. Add 1 cup broth to couscous and quickly simmer over medium-high heat until the couscous is silky and the liquid has nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining 2 1/2 cups broth, adding a cup at a time and cooking until each addition has nearly evaporated. Before the last addition, add asparagus to remaining hot broth (about 1 1/2 cups). (Stir asparagus into couscous with last cup of broth.)
  3. Once couscous is tender and all the broth has been added, stir in Pecorino, pistachios, chervil and remaining butter. Sprinkle servings with additional Pecorino, pistachios and chervil, if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Serves 4

Absurdly Addictive Asparagus

Click on the picture to visit the website (there’s a nice slide show there).

Absurdly Addictive Asparagus

Photo credit: Food52

Author Notes: I guess there’s a reason Vosges Haut-chocolat Bacon and Chocolate bars are growing in popularity…it just seems that when you add bacon to almost anything, the salty smokiness heightens the other ingredients. Bacon may rule, but its Italian cousin, Pancetta, is also a contender for the crown. Take a garden fresh ingredient like asparagus and pair it with pancetta and you instantly get Snap, Crackle, Crisp all in one bite. There’s something about the bite-size pieces of tender crisp asparagus, buttery leeks, crackly pancetta, and delicately crunchy pinenuts that make it somehow hard for me to stop eating this easy to prepare dish. I tried adding Parmigiano Reggiano at the end, but it overpowered the citrus. After testing the delectable sugar cookie finalist recipes with MonkeyMom tonight, I have to wonder if the number 52 will be even more symbolic when it represents the number of pounds we’ve gained by the end of the year. Apparently, Asparagus isn’t the only thing I’m addicted to— Food52 is rapidly becoming a habit, too.  – kaykay

Food52 Review: The title pretty much says it all. With her recipe, kaykay takes an already promising set of ingredients and artfully combines them in such a way that the resulting dish exceeds the sum of its parts. 2-inch lengths of asparagus, crisp-tender to the bite, take center stage in a savory tangle of leeks, pancetta, garlic, orange zest, parsley and pine nuts. The rendered fat from the pancetta, along with a knob of butter, is just enough to keep the vegetables from being dry without smothering the fresh flavors. The recipe is supposed to serve 4, but we could easily imagine polishing off an entire pan by ourselves.  – A&M

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces pancetta, cut into 3/8 inch to 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed and sliced into 2 inch pieces on the bias
  • 1 1/4 cup leek, thinly sliced crosswise (white and pale green parts only)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1-2 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Procedure

  1.  In a large non-stick pan, sauté pancetta, stirring frequently, over medium heat, until crisp and lightly golden.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to pan. Add asparagus pieces and leek and sauté until asparagus is tender crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, lemon and orange zest, toasted pine nuts and parsley and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Serves 4

–posted by Steven

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