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Walnut Creek Magazine

What's In Season: Asparagus


ASPARAGUS SOUP WITH SOUR CREAM LEMON SAUCE

BY CHEF DEBBIE SHAVAR, BUTTERCUP GRILL & BAR

Ingredients:

3 lbs. asparagus, tough ends removed and discarded

2 T. olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

6 cups chicken broth

2 T. lemon juice

Salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup sour cream

Fresh herbs for garnish

Directions: Cut or break off tough ends of asparagus spears. Slice top inch off asparagus tips, then slice diagonally into thin slivers. Reserve. Cut remaining stalks into 1 inch lengths.

Heat olive oil in a pot, add onion. Cook until translucent. Add cut asparagus stalks and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender. Cool soup for 15 minutes, then carefully process in a blender. (Fill only 1/3 of the way up, heat causes soup to expand.) Transfer to a pot and add 1 T. of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. If soup is too thick, add broth to thin. Add asparagus tips to the pot and simmer 3-5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with lemon sour cream sauce.
Sour Cream Lemon Sauce: Mix sour cream and remaining 1 T. of lemon in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and thin with 1- 2 T. of water.

ASPARAGUS CHICKEN STIR FRY

BY WC DOWNTOWN FARMERS’ MARKET

Ingredients:

1 lb. asparagus spears, cut into bite-size pieces, woody ends discarded

1.5 lb. boneless chicken thighs or breast, cut into bite-size pieces.

½ cup vegetable or chicken broth

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. cornstarch

1 Tbsp. light oil

½ tsp. grated ginger

5 green onions, sliced

1 basket of cherry tomatoes, about 2 cups

Directions: Prepare sauce: combine broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch; set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry until cooked completely. Remove chicken from skillet, reserving hot pan. Add ginger to the pan and cook for 15 seconds, add asparagus and onions. Sauté until crisp-tender and bright green, about five minutes. Add chicken and sauce to pan. Cook until thickened. Add tomatoes, serve with rice.

 ASPARAGUS AND GOAT CHEESE QUESADILLA

 BY CHEFALISONNEGRIN.COM

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

4 oz. fresh asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

½ tsp. chopped fresh garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

2 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas

4 oz. herbed goat cheese

1/4 cup chopped green onions

Directions: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, add asparagus and cook about 2 minutes. Add chopped garlic, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is tender and lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Spread one side of each tortilla with 1/2 of goat cheese. Place 1/2 asparagus and 1/2 green onions on each tortilla, and fold in half to form quesadillas. Brush outsides with remaining oil. Place quesadillas in a skillet over medium-low heat, and cook until lightly browned. Cut in half to serve.