What's In Season: AsparagusApr 20, 2018 03:41PM ● By Cale Finta
What’s In Season
Spring is the season of green. As the warm weather approaches and produce begins to reach peak, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and restaurant menus are packed with fresh greens, like asparagus. Fabulous in stir-fries, chowders, wrapped in prosciutto, or roasted with lemon zest, asparagus is loaded with potassium, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, and C.
ASPARAGUS CHICKEN STIR FRY
BY WC DOWNTOWN FARMERS’ MARKET
1.5 lb. boneless chicken thighs or breast, cut into bite size pieces.
½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
2T. soy sauce
1T. light oil
½ tsp. grated ginger
5 green onions, sliced
1 basket of cherry tomatoes, about 2 cups
Prepare sauce: Combine broth, soy sauce and cornstarch; set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry until cooked completely. Remove from skillet, reserving oil in pan. Set chicken aside. Add ginger to hot oil and cook for 15 seconds, add asparagus and onions. Sauté until asparagus is crisp-tender and bright green, about five minutes. Add chicken and sauce to pan. Cook until thickened. Add tomatoes, serve with rice.
ASPARAGUS SOUP WITH SOUR CREAM LEMON SAUCE
BY CHEF DEBBIE SHAVAR, BUTTERCUP GRILL & BAR
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
Cut off tough ends of asparagus spears and discard. Slice top inch off asparagus tips, then slice diagonally into thin slivers. Reserve. Cut remaining stalks into 1 inch lengths.
Heat olive oil in 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 blender
only 1/3 of the way up because heat causes soup to expand.) Transfer to 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 soup pot and simmer until tips are
tender 3-5 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with lemon sour
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 EGG SALAD WITH HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE
BY DIABLO VALLEY FARMERS’ MARKET AT SHADELANDS
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 T. fresh lemon juice
1.5 cup neutral oil, like sunflower, grapeseed or refined peanut oil
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp. salt
Asparagus & Egg
1 dozen eggs
1 lb. asparagus
1 T. dill
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Mayonnaise: Place egg yolks in a food processor or blender. Add mustard, lemon juice and salt. Pulse ingredients until well combined. With motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream (mixture should become thick and emulsified). Refrigerate in airtight container, up to one week.
Asparagus Egg Salad: Place eggs in pot covered in cold water; cook on medium-high heat until boiling. Remove from heat and let stand 8 minutes. Flush eggs with cold water (and ice cubes) for 10-15 minutes. Cool completely, peel, and dice. Prepare asparagus by snapping off hard ends or cutting off with knife. Chop off tips and cook separately, reserving for garnish. Slice stalks into thin rounds, then blanch in boiling salted water for 20 seconds. Blanch larger tips for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until tender but not mushy. Cool in cold running water. Drain and mix with the diced eggs, dill, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Top with tips for garnish.
ASPARAGUS AND GOAT CHEESE QUESADILLA
2 T. 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) green chili corn or desired tortillas
4 oz. herbed goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, and cook asparagus for about 2 minutes, then 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 goat cheese. Place 1/2 asparagus and 1/2 green onions on each tortilla, and fold tortillas in half over contents to form quesadillas. Brush the outsides of the quesadillas with remaining oil. Place quesadillas in a skillet over medium-low heat, and cook 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Cut in half to serve.