Asparagus

Wheat Berries with Asparagus, Kale, Peas, Feta and Fried Egg.

Yes, it’s that time again… Kale bouquets!

If you are new to my blog, let me explain… I harvest my kale in the morning when it is cool and stick the leaves in a vase or glass of water to keep the kale fresh and crisp. And, it is fun to look at in my kitchen all day.

The other stars of this dish are the asparagus, the wheat berries (I love wheat berries) and, of course, Farmer Kim’s eggs. Each gets cooked on its own and then are brought together to make a delicious light and fresh dinner.

Oh, of course, I shouldn’t forget the feta.  We all agreed that our favorite part was when we would get a burst of feta flavor – it brightened everything!

Wheat Berries with Asparagus, Kale, Peas, Feta and Fried Egg.

Inspired by Yasmin Fahr’s Warm Farro Salad with Asparagus, Peas, and Feta

8 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (from Fifer Orchards)

Pinch dried red chili flakes, or more as desired

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup wheat berries

1 quart vegetable stock

1 cup frozen peas (or fresh if you can get them)

1 bunch kale, center stalks removed and cut into 2-inch ribbons (from the garden)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup slivered almonds (or chopped, blanched almonds)

4 scallions thinly sliced, white and light green parts only

1/2 cup crumbled feta

4 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven until shimmering. Add 2 cups of asparagus and chili flakes, and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pot and set aside.

In the same pot, add the wheat berries and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until wheat berries are tender, about 20-30 minutes (check them after 20 minutes, you don’t want to overcook them and end up with mushy wheat berries).  Drain the wheat berries and transfer to a large bowl.

While the wheat berries are cooking, in a medium bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons olive oil along with the lemon juice and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.

Put the peas and kale in the pot with about a teaspoon of olive oil and cook over medium-high heat tossing, until the kale is wilted and peas are tender.

Fold vinaigrette into wheat berries, add the kale, peas, asparagus, almonds, scallions, and feta. Let stand while you cook the eggs.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the last 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  Fry the eggs until the yolks are just cooked.  To help the yolks cook a bit faster, you can spoon some of the hot oil from the skillet onto the yolks. Serve the wheat berry salad topped with an egg and enjoy!

Serves 4.

Categories: Asparagus, Kale, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe | 2 Comments

Asparagus Fries

I do love asparagus season! We have been eating it almost every day. But the boy is not yet a fan, so I keep trying different ways of serving it and having him try it.  I will admit that I only half-heartedly push him into eating it; if he doesn’t then there’s more for the rest of us!

This one is a gluten-free approach to asparagus fries – using almond meal in the coating. Also garlic powder, parmesan and oregano.

Good just as is or with a dip.

Asparagus Fries

adapted from Buzzfeed.com

1 lb asparagus (locally grown)

1 cup almond meal

1/3 cup parmesan, finely grated

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Snap off the tough end of the asparagus (about 1-2 inches from the thick end).

In a flat bowl, combine the almond meal, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper.

In a second flat bowl, whisk eggs.

Dip asparagus in eggs, coating evenly, then coat with the almond meal mixture. Place on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 20 minutes, flipping the asparagus over half way.

Serve and enjoy!

Serves 3 – 4

Categories: Asparagus, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Roasted Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

Local asparagus is in!!! To me, this is the real sign that spring is here. We will be obsessively eating asparagus for the next few weeks, it’s one of our traditions… “When they pick it, we will eat it”

We also still have some matzoh left over, so I decided to make the romesco sauce as I would have if it was during Passover. That means using matzoh in place of bread. This results in a sauce that is not quite smooth, it remains slightly chunky.

The roasted asparagus is great on its own, but it is even better with the romesco. A happy flavor combo in your mouth.

Roasted Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

Roasted asparagus from Ina Garten, Romesco Sauce from Joy of Kosher

Asparagus

2 lbs fresh asparagus (locally grown)

olive oil

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Romesco Sauce

1 cup whole or sliced almonds

1 sheet of matzoh or 1 slice bread

8 oz jar roasted red pepper

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 plum tomato, quartered

1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Asparagus

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they are thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer an sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Roast the asparagus for 25 minutes, until tender but still crisp.

Romesco Sauce

Toast the almonds in a medium skillet over medium heat until they are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. If using bread, toast it.

Rip the toast or break the matzoh into a few pieces and put in the bowl of a food processor. Add the toasted almonds, red peppers, garlic, red wine vinegar, tomato, salt and pepper.

Start processing; pour the olive oil in in a steady stream while the machine is running. Process until all the ingredients are ground and the mixture is pretty smooth (the bread will get smoother than the matzoh will).

Serve the sauce on the asparagus and enjoy!

Serves 8.

Categories: Asparagus, Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

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 GarlicandZest.com

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 

Directions

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

Galette

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

Directions

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.

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

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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.

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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

Directions

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

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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.

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

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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.

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Add the vegetables back in and stir until heated through.

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Serve and enjoy!

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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.

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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?!

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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

Directions

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.

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Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

Salt

3 ounces Fontina, diced

Directions

Preheat the broiler.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

Directions

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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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

Directions

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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