Spring Asparagus & Mint Pesto with Chive Blossoms & Smoked Gouda

May 1st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 ½ cups pesto

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed (½ inch off only) and chopped
½ cup fresh mint leaves, stems removed and chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup raw almonds
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons salt

Baguette
Smoked gouda
Chive blossoms

Directions

Place all ingredients, except the oil, in food processor and pulse until chopped pretty fine. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the top until the pesto reaches desired consistency. Add more for a “looser” pesto and less for a “chunkier” version. Season to taste with a little more salt if needed.

Slice baguette and toast in the oven. Spread pesto on toasts and top with smoked gouda and chive blossoms.

*Store pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Asparagus and Ramp Zeppole with Minted Honey

April 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20-30 small zeppole

Ingredients

1 pound fresh ricotta, drained
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup flour
1 cup shaved and chopped asparagus
½ cup ramps, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
Oil for frying
Minted Chili Honey*

Directions

In a large bowl whisk together the ricotta, eggs, salt, cayenne pepper, baking powder and flour until combined. Mix in the asparagus, ramps and mint leaves and mix again until the batter is thick. Refrigerate the batter for one hour. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or fry pan making sure that there is at least 2 inches of oil in the pan to a temperature of about 375 degrees. Once hot, drop small spoonfuls of the batter in the pan and fry until golden brown, making sure to flip for a total of about 3-4 minutes. Take out and drain on paper towels. Serve with Minted Honey.

*Minted Chili Honey – Combine 1 cup honey with ¼ cup chopped fresh mint and 1 teaspoon chili flakes and put over heat at a temperature just before boiling for about 4 minutes. Take off heat and allow to come to room temperature.

Asparagus & Mint Pesto

April 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 2½ cups

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed (½ inch off only) and chopped
½ cup fresh mint leaves, stems removed and chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup raw almonds
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons salt

Directions

Place all ingredients, except the oil, in food processor and pulse until chopped pretty fine. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the top until the pesto reaches desired consistency. Add more for a “looser” pesto and less for a “chunkier” version. Season to taste with a little more salt if needed.

*Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Spring Vegetable Minestrone with Herb Pesto

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

For spring vegetable minestrone

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
3 carrots, chopped medium
3 celery ribs, chopped medium
5 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup fresh English peas
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups arugula leaves, chopped

For the herb pesto

1 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add vegetable stock, thyme, carrots, celery, asparagus, and green beans. Season with salt. Increase heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are almost soft, about 20 minutes. Add peas, beans and tomatoes and cook 10 minutes more. Add arugula and cook just until wilted. Serve soup drizzled with herb pesto.

For the herb pesto

Place all ingredients, except olive oil, in blender. Stream in olive oil while blending and combine.

Roasted Spring Vegetable Salsa and Whole Wheat Chips

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

008

Makes 2-3 cups salsa

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 small spring onions, chopped fine
½ cup fennel bulb, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped fine
3 spears of asparagus, chopped fine
½ cup fresh peas
½ cup carrots, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon chopped chives, chopped fine
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili flakes
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon maldon salt
Whole Wheat chips (Recipe Follows)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 425° F. Place the garlic, onions, fennel, red pepper, asparagus, peas and carrots on a line baking sheet and roast for about 10 -15 minutes or until all vegetables are beginning to brown and char. In the mean time whisk together the fresh herbs, lemon zest lemon juice, chili flakes and olive oil. When roasted vegetables come out of the oven immediately place in a bowl and drizzle with dressing. Mix well and season with salt. Serve with whole wheat chips.

Lemony Whole Wheat Chips

Serves 4

Ingredients

10-12 whole wheat tortillas, cut into 3 inch triangles
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut tortillas and place in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl mix the parsley, oil, lemon juice and salt, mix well and then toss over tortillas. Lay tortillas flat on a baking sheet (lined with parchment) and place in the oven and cook for about 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Spring Vegetable Salad

May 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 pounds beets
1 fresh bay leaf
4 spears asparagus, cut into 1-inch spears
1 orange, segmented, juices reserved
1 small red onion, half moons
1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼ inch lardon (optional)
8 ounces baby arugula
½ teaspoon spring garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs thyme

Directions

In a stock pot, place beets, bay leaf and one sprig thyme. Cover with water by at least 1 inch. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender and the beets can slide easily off a knife. Once finished, cool just enough to touch and peel skins off. Cut into ½ inch cubes.

Fill a sauté pan with water, about halfway, bring water up to a simmer, season with a pinch of salt and add the asparagus. Blanch for about one minute, until tender, but with a little “snap” left in the center. Remove asparagus and place into an ice bath (shock).

To make the vinaigrette, take a small bowl, add garlic, reserved orange juice, extra virgin olive oil and 1 sprig of thyme (leaves only). Season to taste and whisk together.

In a medium salad bowl, toss together beets, onions, and asparagus with some of the vinaigrette. Add in baby arugula and the orange segments. Toss together gently, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

If using bacon, you can do this step instead of blanching. Bring a sauté pan up to a medium heat and add the bacon. Render bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and reserve. Using only some of the bacon fat left in the pan, add the asparagus and roast until tender.

Recipe Property of Brendan McDermott

Asparagus Spear & Wild Mushroom Pilaf

May 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
1 medium shallot, chopped small
1 cup mixed fresh wild mushrooms (morels, chanterelles, etc)
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup white wine
¼ cup vegetable stock
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

Directions

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add butter and olive oil. Cook the onions and shallots for a few minutes or until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, nutmeg, and asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half then stir in the cooked brown rice. Fluff mixture with a fork and sprinkle herbs into pilaf. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Creamy Asparagus Soup

May 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 cups asparagus stems
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves
4 cups vegetable broth (preferably onion-herb or neutral based)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup heavy cream
Salt
Black pepper

Directions

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add butter. Cook the onions and shallots for a few minutes or until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and sauté a few minutes. Add the lemon thyme and sauté until the asparagus is soft. Add the vegetable stock, lemon zest, and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree into a smooth soup. Slowly blend in the heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Perfectly Steamed Asparagus with Citrus-Garlic Salt Butter

May 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound (about 30-40 medium spears) fresh green asparagus, ends trimmed
1 teaspoons lemon zest, plus 2 teaspoons extra
Salt
¼ cup butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Maldon salt

Directions

Bring 2 inches of water in a large skillet to a rapid boil. Toss in 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Toss in asparagus making sure they are fully submerged in the water. Cook the asparagus for about 2-3 minutes or until bright green and just tender. Remove asparagus from the pan and immediately submerge in a big bath of ice water. Plunge the asparagus in the ice water until the asparagus is no longer hot but warm or tepid. In a small sauce pan heat the butter, olive oil, garlic, zest and coarse salt until just melted. Drizzle on asparagus and finish with a pinch of Maldon salt.

Panko Crusted Asparagus Spears with Citrus Aioli

May 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons citrus champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 bunches (about 12 pieces per) asparagus, ends trimmed
1 cup white Japanese-style breadcrumbs (Panko)

Directions

Preaheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, mustard, cayenne and salt. Place the trimmed asparagus in a shallow baking dish and pour the lemon mixture over, making sure to cover the asparagus completely. In a second shallow baking dish, add the breadcrumbs until evenly distribute at the bottom. Taking one spear at a time, roll the asparagus in the breadcrumbs until evenly coated, then place on a lined baking sheet. When all the spears are coated, place the baking sheets in the oven and bake until the breadcrumbs are browned and the asparagus are tender, about 20 minutes.

Citrus Aioli

Makes approximately ½ cup

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Coarse sea salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon canola oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place garlic, lemon juice and zest, lime zest, egg yolk and Dijon in a blender and puree. Season with salt. Slowly stream in oils until creamy and everything is emulsified.

Raw Asparagus & Arugula Salad

May 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

raw apsaagus salad

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch asparagus, sliced at an angle
1 bunch arugula or rocolla (about 2-3 cups) chopped
½ cup parmesan, grated finely
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, combine the asparagus, arugula and parmesan, and mix well. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the top, and combine well. Season with salt and pepper, and mix again.

Steamed Asparagus with Citrus Salt & Olive Oil

April 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 pound (abut 30-40 medium spears) fresh green asparagus, ends trimmed
1 teaspoons lemon zest, plus 2 teaspoons extra
Salt
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon maldon salt

Directions

Bring 2 inches of water in a large skillet to a rapid boil. Toss in 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Toss in asparagus making sure they are fully submerged in the water. Cook the asparagus for about 2-3 minutes or until bright green and just tender. Remove asparagus from the pan and immediately submerge in a big bath of ice water. Plunge the asparagus in the ice water until the asparagus is no longer hot but warm or tepid. Place the asparagus on a flat plate and drizzle with olive oil and garlic. In a small mixing bowl combine the zest and the maldon salt and mix well. Sprinkle desired amount on the asparagus and let it sit for about 3-4 minutes before serving.

Spring Vegetable Minestrone with Herb Pesto

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For spring vegetable minestrone

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
3 carrots, chopped medium
3 celery ribs, chopped medium
5 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup fresh English peas
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rined
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups arugula leaves, chopped

For the herb pesto

1 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add vegetable stock, carrots, celery, asparagus and green beans. Season with salt. Increase heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are almost soft, about 20 minutes. Add peas, beans, and tomatoes and cook 10 minutes more. Add arugula and cook just until wilted. Serve soup drizzled with herb pesto.

For the herb pesto

Place all ingredients, except olive oil, in blender. Stream in olive oil while blending and combine.

Asparagus Salad with Mimosa and White Wine Vinaigrette

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 pound thin asparagus, 1 inch trimmed from the bottoms
Sea salt or kosher salt
4½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced scallion (white part only)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
18 teaspoon honey
4½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Mimosa (optional)
1 hard-cooked egg
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

DIRECTIONS

Fill a bowl with water and ice. If you have time, peel the lower 2 inches of the asparagus stalks, which makes the salad greener and more tender.

In a ten-inch sauté pan or saucepan wide enough to accommodate the asparagus, bring six cups of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt. When the water returns to a boil add the asparagus and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain the asparagus and transfer immediately to the ice bath until chilled. Drain well and blot thoroughly dry with paper towels.

In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, scallion, mustard, and honey. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the oil until smoothly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus with the vinaigrette and arrange on a platter. Chill for 30 minutes to allow the asparagus to absorb the vinaigrette.

If making the mimosa, press the hard-cooked egg yolk through a wide mesh sieve into a bowl. Finely chop the egg white, and add it to the yolk, along with the chives. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the egg yolk and white together with chives and season with back pepper and a little salt. Sprinkle the mimosa over the asparagus just before serving.

Recipe Property of Peter Berley

Fritto Misto of Ramps, Asparagus and Fiddleheads with Citrus Mint Aioli

April 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 cups canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lime
½- 1 cup ice cold club soda, diluted with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ to 2 pounds mixed fiddleheads, ramps (or green onions) and asparagus, cleaned and dried
Maldon salt, to season
Citrus Mint Aioli, to serve (recipe follows)

Directions

Place the oil in a 6- to 8-quart pot and heat it to 375ËšF.

In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder. Add salt and citrus zest and mix well. Slowly add in water or club soda until the consistency is like a loose pancake batter.

Once the oil has come to temperature, working with a few pieces of the vegetables at a time, dip them into the batter, coating them well and letting the excess drip off, before adding to hot oil. Working in batches, place vegetables in oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot and fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables and place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with maldon salt. Hold in a warm place while frying the rest of the vegetables. Be sure to bring the oil back up to temperature before adding the next batch. Serve warm with the citrus mint aioli.

Citrus Mint Aioli

Makes approximately 1 cup

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Juice and zest of 1 lime
½ cup canola oil
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Place garlic, salt, egg and egg yolk in a blender and blend until smooth. Add mint and combine. Slowly stream in half the oil and then add citrus juice and zest and then continue to add the rest of the oil until thick and emulsified. Adjust with salt, if needed. Serve with fritto misto.

Spring Spelt Ratatouille With Roasted Tomato Sauce

March 31st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

Olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
2 medium spring onions, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 medium carrot, chopped medium
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 cup snap peas
1 cup asparagus spears
½ cup fresh fava beans (shelled, cooked and subskins removed)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper, cracked finely
1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
¼ cup of each of the following fresh herbs : parsley, cilantro, mint and tarragon, chopped fine
â…“ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
¼ – ½ cup of white wine (the wine you choose for the pairing)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups spelt pasta, spirals, twists or shells, cooked
Roasted Tomato Herb Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions

In a heavy bottom stew pan over medium heat add olive oil. Cook garlic, onions and lemon zest for about a minute or two until slightly translucent. Add the carrots and sauté another minute or two. Add the fennel, snap peas, favas and asparagus spears and sauté a few more minutes. Add salt and pepper and stir well, add chili flakes if desired and half of all the herbs. Add the wine and mix well, turn down heat to low, lemon juice and let simmer stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes. Add the remaining herbs and take off heat and toss together with spelt pasta and roasted tomato sauce, sprinkle in the remaining herbs just before serving.

Roasted Tomato Herb Sauce

Makes about 2 cups of sauce

Ingredients

8-10 small vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered
6 cloves garlic, sliced
½ cup fresh herbs of your choice, torn into pieces
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Cracked black pepper
½ cup Kalamata olives or green olives, pits removed and halved
¼ cup olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 275°F. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Place in a pre-oiled shallow baking dish and drizzle with more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 1 hour or until bubbly hot.

Tofu and Asparagus Spears With Fresh Herbs, Ginger & Lemon Zest

June 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 1 – 2

INGREDIENTS

8 oz. firm tofu, cubed
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 spears asparagus, washed, bottoms removed
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh Thai basil, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
½ lemon, zested
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350ËšF degrees

Place tofu a bowl and marinade in soy sauce for at least 15 minutes.  Add asparagus, sesame oil, Thai basil, lemon juice, lemon zest and ginger to tofu, toss and let sit for another 10 minutes.  Transfer tofu and asparagus mixture to prepared foil.

Wrap and bake for 15 minutes, so asparagus still has a slight crunch and is not overcooked.

Pickled Asparagus with Mint & Lemon

November 5th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

In a world where dinner parties, picnics, holiday & religious gatherings, and lazy Sundays still prevail, a beautiful glass jar of homemade pickled vegetables or fruits makes a unique and thoughtful gift. So gather up some pretty glass jars, get your children together or throw a “pickling party” and get started on your creative journey, we are sure you will be “pickled pink”!

Makes 1 bunch pickled asparagus

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and ends trimmed
1 lemon juiced
1/2 cup champagne vinegar (lemon flavored if possible)
1/2 cup sparkling water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8-10 mint leaves
1/2 lemon sliced

PREPARATION

In a steamer or medium pan steam asparagus until cooked to not quite tender, approximately 5 minutes. Take of burner and blanch in ice cold water to stop cooking process. in a medium mixing bowl combine lemon juice, vinegar, sparking water, salt & sugar and stir well. addmint leaves and lemon slices. Place asparagus in a flat baking dish and pour vinegar mixture over it, cover and refrigerate for approx 30 minutes to 2 hours until desired flavor and consistency. Discard mint leaves as they will turn brown in the marinade.

Mushroom Herb Asparagus Risotto

October 31st, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Follow the basic risotto recipe and add the ingredients listed below during the sauté stage and the fresh herbs at the end.

INGREDIENTS

2 c aborio rice
1 c crimini mushrooms sliced thick
1 bunch asparagus chopped in 1 1/2 inch sections
½ c chopped shallot
1 c dry white wine
¼ c butter
¼ c asiago cheese
¼ c each of the following herbs chopped fine: basil, chives, tarragon, and thyme

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