Creamy Sunchoke & Asparagus Soup

After many nights of heavy Passover foods, I was craving soup. Plus, I had stopped at one of our local orchards on my drive home from a client meeting and picked up some just-picked asparagus. Asparagus and my Jerusalem artichokes…a happy combo!

The soup looks rich and tastes rich, but is so light and healthy! Perfection!

Creamy Sunchoke and Asparagus Soup

Very slightly adapted from

1 pound fresh asparagus (from T.S. Smith & Sons)

1 large white potato, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice ~ 1 1/2 cups diced potato

1/2 pound Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice (from the garden)

2 large shallots, peeled and sliced

1/4 tsp Kosher salt

2 tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

3 cups chicken stock 


Slice off the tips of the asparagus about 1 – 1 1/2 inches long and reserve. Trim the woody ends and discard. Cut the remaining spears into 1″ pieces and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and salt. Cook until the shallots soften and become translucent – do not brown the shallots.

Add the asparagus, potato and Jerusalem artichokes to the shallots. Add stock, cover and bring just to a boil. Turn down the heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring a cup of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath by adding 1 cup of ice and 1 cup water into a bowl and set aside.

Add the asparagus tips to the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes until just tender. Use a slotted spoon or spider to transfer the asparagus tips from the boiling water to the ice bath to shock them and stop the cooking. Set aside until ready to serve.

When the vegetables are tender, use an immersion blender and puree until smooth. Season as necessary with the kosher salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and swirl a teaspoon of olive oil over each bowl. Divide the asparagus tips among the bowls and float them in the soup. Enjoy!

Serves 4.


Categories: Asparagus, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Soup, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Asparagus, Mushroom & Tomato Galette

With the crazy weather we are having, I am not sure how long the local asparagus will last.  Right now only 1 farm has any, so I will be taking advantage if it being here and making a couple of asparagus dishes this week.

I also am on a mission to use as much of the flour in my house as I can before Passover. I was able to use the rest of my whole wheat flour in cheese pie crust for this asparagus, mushroom and tomato galette.

What a fun way to eat your veggies for dinner!

Asparagus, Mushroom & Tomato Galette

Cheese Crust

6 Tbsp cold butter, cut small

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

4 – 6 Tbsp cold milk and/or water


1/2 lb asparagus, shaved (I used a mandolin, very slowly and painstakingly) (locally grown)

4 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced (locally grown)

2 tomatoes, sliced and seeds removed

1 egg, beaten (locally raised)

Coarse sea salt


Heat the oven to 400F.

Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the flour until the size of peas.  Mix in the cheese.

Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together.

Roll out to a large thin circle-ish shape. Layer on the fillings, leaving a 2-inch border.

Fold the sides of the pastry up and over, folding as you go around.

Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle the entire galette very lightly with the coarse sea salt.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, til the crust is golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4 as a main dish.

Categories: Asparagus, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 3 Comments

Garden Fresh Fried Rice

I was not in the mood to fuss over dinner tonight. I didn’t even want to cook, but I had a lot of fresh veggies calling to me:  broccoli and bok choy from my garden, asparagus from Filasky’s Produce, and sundry other veggies including carrots, celery, and onions. I decided on a stir fry, the next best thing to not cooking. What’s more, the colors always make me happy.


I decided to try a different sauce combination (soy sauce, red wine vinegar, honey and tomato).


Then my 6 year old came in, he wanted eggs, so the plan changed to accommodate all of us.  Now I would make a very veggie fried rice.


By the way…we really liked the new sauce.  It gave the fried rice a great flavor.

Garden Fresh Fried Rice

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp honey (local)

1 ripe tomato, chopped

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced (from the garden)

1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces (from Filasky’s Produce)

1 medium or 2 small heads of broccoli, cut into small cluster and the stems sliced (from the garden)

2 carrots, sliced on the bias

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

Leaves from 1 baby bok choy (from the garden)

1 egg, beaten (from Farmer Kim)

3 cups cooked brown rice


Mix together the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, honey and tomato.  Taste and adjust if necessary. Set aside.


Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds, then add in the asparagus, broccoli, carrots, celery and onion. Stir fry for 3 – 4 minutes. Add bok choy, stir fry for 1 minute.


Stir in sauce mixture and cook for 1 more minute.  Remove to a bowl.


Place the other Tbsp of oil in the pan and heat over medium high heat. Add the egg and stir until just cooked.  Add the rice and stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes.


Add the vegetables back in and stir until heated through.


Serve and enjoy!


Serves 3 – 4.                 

Categories: Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrot, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Penne with Asparagus, Snap Peas and Kale

My garden is planted! Still some more mulching to do, but otherwise it is done. Now the fun starts…weeding! IMG_9861

This year we have, from bottom to top: strawberries (outside the picture), garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, parsley, bok choy, leeks, red Russian kale, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, tarragon, broccoli, okra, some weird heirloom kale, basil, edamame, jalapeño, eggplants, tomatoes, parsley, a weird heirloom zucchini, purple pole beans, butternut squash, watermelon, and cucumbers. Elsewhere are sugar snap peas and raspberries. Lima beans get added later in the month, once I harvest the spinach. I am happy!!!

As a sign of it truly being spring, we had a very green dinner.  Local asparagus, snap peas and lacinato kale to have with our pasta.


Cooked quickly and simply, it was delightful.  Everything was that perfect balance of tender and crispy.  I can’t decide which was the highlight – the snap peas, kale or asparagus?!


Penne with Asparagus, Snap Peas and Kale 

8 ounces penne or other pasta

1 lb asparagus (locally grown), cut into 1″ pieces

1/2 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half.

1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed  (ok to leave the leaves whole or halved)

juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 – 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano, large grate


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  In the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the snap peas, asparagus and kale.


Drain and transfer to a large bowl.


Add the lemon juice and zest, olive oil and half the cheese.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve and top with the remaining cheese and enjoy!


Serves 4,


Categories: Asparagus, Kale, Kosher, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 4 Comments

Asparagus, Tomato & Fontina Frittata

I am happy to say that it is still asparagus season in Delaware.  So when I was at the farm market today, I bought about 3 lbs!  Get ready for a few asparagus posts – if they turn out well, that is.


I love asparagus frittatas. This on is a slight riff on Giada De Laurentiis’ Frittata with Asparagus, Tomato & Fontina. I typically am not a fan of tomatoes in eggs, but this was delicious. Even Cam (now 6 years old), who usually will not touch asparagus, declared that it tasted good and ate his whole dinner.


Oh, and that was the last of the almond challah.  So sad to see it done, but looking forward to making a the next challah.

Asparagus, Tomato & Fontina Frittata

Very slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis 

6 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 lb asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces (locally grown)

1 tomato, seeded, diced


3 ounces Fontina, diced


Preheat the broiler.

Whisk the eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Set aside.


Heat the oil and butter in a 9 1/2-inch-diameter nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and saute until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.


Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the tomato and a pinch of salt and saute 2 minutes longer.


Pour the egg mixture over the asparagus mixture and cook for a few minutes until the eggs start to set. Sprinkle with cheese.


Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the frittata is almost set but the top is still runny, about 2 minutes.


Place the skillet under the broiler. Broil until the top is set and golden brown on top, about 5 minutes.


Let the frittata stand 2 minutes. Loosen the frittata from skillet and slide the frittata onto a plate. Serve and enjoy!


Serves 4 – 6.

Categories: Asparagus, Breakfast, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Quick Braised Asparagus, Green Beans, Edamame and Spinach

Spring has finally arrived in Delaware! And with it, the ability to get my garden tilled and ready for the main spring planing. My husband spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine while the tiller shook his arm so much that his fitbit thought he did 27,000 steps!


While he was busy in my garden (ok, our garden), I accompanied Cam to his first official race, a 1/4 mile race for kindergarteners and 1st graders.  Part of the Healthy Kids Running Series – what a great event this was.  He absolutely loved it. And announced that he would practice running in our neighborhood so he can get faster.


Spring also means that my local farm market is now open, so I now had green beans and asparagus from Fifer Orchards.  I decided to combine them with some edamame I had in the freezer and baby spinach as a side dish to have with our dinner.


Quick Braised Asparagus, Green Beans, Edamame and Spinach

Adapted from Curtis Stone’s Quick-Braised Spring Vegetables

4 scallions, trimmed and sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (from my garden)

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth

8 ounces asparagus, woody ends trimmed, stalks cut into 1 1⁄2-inch pieces

1 cup green beans trimmed and halved crosswise (from Fifer Orchards)

1 cup shelled frozen edamame

4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground citrus pepper (or black pepper)

Kosher salt


In a large heavy skillet, combine the scallions, garlic, oil, and broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook for about
2 minutes, or until the scallion softens.

Add the asparagus, green beans, and edamame, cover for one minute, then uncover and sauté for about
2 minutes, or until the beans and peas are heated through.


Add the spinach and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until the spinach wilts and the asparagus is crisp-tender.


Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serves 3 – 6.

Categories: Asparagus, Edamame, Green Beans, Kosher, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Cabbage Leek Latkes topped with Asparagus and Eggs

It is always fun when leftovers turn into a tasty new meal.  I had planned on a Passover meatloaf for dinner, but the meat was not yet defrosted, so I checked my vegetable bin – half a cabbage and 1 leek unclaimed for any other meal. Add an egg and some matzoh meal, and I’d have cabbage leek latkes.


We had also stopped at Fifer Orchards for some fresh asparagus (one of my favorite foods they grow) and added local eggs for a tasty dinner stack.


Cabbage Leek Latkes topped with Asparagus and Eggs

3 cups of finely shredded cabbage

1 leek, white and light green parts, cut into matchsticks

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs, locally raised

1/4 cup matzoh meal

Canola oil

1 lb asparagus (from Fifer Orchards)

6 – 8 eggs


Place the cabbage and leek in a bowl. Mix in matzoh meal and eggs and season with salt and pepper.  The mixing is really best done with your hands.


Heat 1 – 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

For each latke, pile about 1/3 cup of the mixture onto the skillet.  Press down to form patties.


Cook until browned, about 4 minutes.  Turn and cook until the other side is browned – between 2 – 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel and keep warm in the oven.


Meanwhile, steam the asparagus for about 4 minutes.  Then pan sear in the same skillet used to cook the latkes.  Remove from skillet and add to the tray with the latkes to keep warm in the oven.

Cook the eggs to your liking, I did fried eggs, but poached, sunny-side up, or over easy all would work well.  Season to taste.

To serve, place a latke on the plate, top with asparagus and then the egg or eggs.  Enjoy!IMG_9669

Serves 4.



Categories: Asparagus, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Leeks, Main Dish, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 2 Comments

Grilled Asparagus & Avocado Quesadilla

Farmers market asparagus is the highlight in this interesting and tasty quesadilla that was inspired by a taco recipe in Runners World magazine.  That said, I am not sure what my favorite part is, the homemade white refried beans (made with oregano from my garden),


the grilled asparagus,


or the grilled avocado.

20140615-205258-75178344.jpg The flavors all blended so well, especially with some cheese (I used a salsa monterrey jack) and pico de gallo.  My local store makes a very good pico de gallo, so since my tomatoes are not ripe yet, I opted to use theirs.


The next day I brought the leftover refried beans, pico de gallo and avocado as my work lunch to each with some tortilla chips…yum!

Grilled Asparagus & Avocado Quesadilla

For the refried beans:

1 cup dried white northern or cannellini beans

2 quarts water

1 serrano chili, minced

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1/2 onion, minced

1/2 tsp dried oregano (from the garden)

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

For the quesadilla:

8 small whole wheat flour tortillas

refried beans (see recipe)

1 lb asparagus, grilled and cut in half (from Beechwood Orchards)

2 avocados, cut in half and grilled (oil the avocado so it does not stick to the grill or grill pan), then sliced

4 ounces grated cheese (monterey, pepper, or salsa jack)

pico de gallo


Make the refried beans:

Bring the water to boil in a large pot.  Pick over the beans to remove any discolored or shriveled ones.  Add to the water with the serrano pepper, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.

20140615-205255-75175942.jpgCook for about 1 hour 45 minutes, until the beans are tender. Reserve some cooking liquid, drain and roughly mash with a potato masher.


In a saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat.  Saute the onion and oregano for about 10 minutes. Add the mashed beans, 1/2 Tbsp oil, and saute for about 10 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper.  I like the beans with some texture.  If you desire a smoother mixture, you can transfer it to a food processor and process until smooth.


For the quesadilla:

Spray a 10-inch non-stick pan with olive oil.  Heat over medium-high heat.

Build the quesadilla by placing one tortilla on a plate.  Spread with a couple of tablespoons of refried beans.  Top with asparagus and avocado slices, sprinkle with about 1 ounce shredded cheese.


Top with a second tortilla, transfer to the heated pan. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until the bottom tortilla is browned.  Flip and cook another 2 – 3 minutes until the other side is browned and the cheese is melted.


To serve, transfer to a plate and cut into sixths, top with pico de gallo.


Repeat the process to make 4 quesadillas. Enjoy!20140615-205300-75180389.jpg

Categories: Asparagus, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Sesame Asparagus Stir Fry

We are now in the height of asparagus season.  I went to Fifers farm market and picked up some thin asparagus for stir fry and thick asparagus for roasting.  The asparagus was beautiful.


I also picked up some snap peas, mushrooms and carrots.  These are what I used for my stir fry, you can add other vegetables, such as tomatoes, peas, or whatever you like in your stir fry.  I found some organic cremini mushrooms – so they just had to go into the stir fry.


This is a nice sauce, you can adjust the heat with how my sriracha you use, it doesn’t take much.


Sesame Asparagus Stir Fry 

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 to 1 1/2 lbs asparagus (from Fifer Orchards)

4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced (locally grown)

3 carrots, sliced on the diagonal

4 ounces sugar snap peas, cut into thirds

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

A touch of sriracha, to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced (from the garden)

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 Tbsp sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

1 Tbsp cornstarch

Hot cooked rice


Snap off the thick bottoms of the asparagus, cut into approximately 1 1/2 inch pieces. 


Prepare the sauce:  Stir together the wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, garlic, onion  powder, ginger and sesame seeds.  Adjust to taste.  Stir in the cornstarch.

Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat.  Add the oil and vegetables.  Stir fry for 5 to 8 minutes, then cover the pan and steam the vegetables for 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove the cover and continue to stir fry until the vegetable are crisp-tender. Add the sauce and stir fry for another minute until the sauce thickens and coats all the vegetables.


Serve with rice. Garnish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Enjoy!


Serves 3.








Categories: Asparagus, Carrot, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Pasta with Asparagus and Eggs

My husband and I really enjoy fresh asparagus, so asparagus season (aka early Spring) is very much enjoyed in our house.  But I fear that I will be traveling for a good part of this asparagus season, so I am rushing to fit in as many asparagus dishes as I can before I leave.


We were in Philadelphia for the Hot Chocolate 15K last weekend, and stopped at the farm store on the way home for some fresh asparagus.  Pasta with Asparagus and Eggs was a great post race dinner for me – replenished both my carbs with a good splash of protein.


I made some very slight adaptations from Penne with Asparagus and Eggs in Mediterranean Harvest by Martha Rose Shulman, just simply to meet our taste preferences.  We also used eggs from Farmer Kim and garlic from our garden.


Pasta with Asparagus and Eggs

Very slightly adapted from Penne with Asparagus and Eggs in Mediterranean Harvest by Martha Rose Shulman

Kosher Salt

1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths (locally grown)

2 Tbps olive oil

2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed (from the garden)

1 14-oz can tomatoes, crushed

Freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

3/4  lb shaped pasta, such as penne or wheels

Crushed red pepper


Bringa large pot of water to a boil and add a generous amount of salt.  Add the asparagus and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, until tender.  Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water.  Cool, then drain and set aside.


Cover the pot and bring the water back to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic together in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until the garlic begins to color.  Remove the garlic and add the tomatoes.  Cook, stirring frequently, until cooked down slightly and fragrant, about 10 minutes.


While the tomatoes cook, cook the pasta according to package directions.

Also, beat the eggs in a large pasta bowl and add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, stir in half the cheese.


When the tomatoes are finished cooking, stir in the asparagus, season with salt and pepper and keep warm.


When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and toss immediately with the eggs.



Add the hot tomato sauce and toss again.



Serve at once, passing the remaining cheese and crushed red pepper.  Enjoy!


Serves 4



Categories: Asparagus, Kosher, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

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