Welcome to FOOD & FELLOWSHIP: Old & New Recipes from the Green Acre Kitchen. Each week we will share three recipes, both old and new. When the day comes—and it will—that we can sit at a table and break bread together again, perhaps we will all have a few new dishes to share.
In New England, asparagus appears in our local farmers markets in May and June. Look for spears that are brightly colored and have compact, tightly closed tips. Although it is available year-round in the supermarket, take advantage of when it’s in season and support your local farmers.
Grilled Lemon Asparagus
Asparagus is a great grilling vegetable, quick and simple. To prepare the asparagus, snap it in the lower third of the stalk. They should break at the junction of the tender and woody parts of the stem. If you’d prefer use a knife.
1 pound fresh asparagus
1 clove of garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Rinse and dry asparagus before prepping. Smash a clove of garlic with the side of a chef’s knife. Sprinkle on a little salt and work into a paste. Add to a prep bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir and allow to sit for a moment. In a bowl mix the asparagus with the garlic oil, salt and pepper. Cut lemon in half.
On a hot gas or wood grill put half of the lemon cut side down. Allow the lemon to cook and begin to caramelize before putting on the asparagus stalks. Put on the asparagus, turning as they begin to color. Test for doneness as they begin to soften quickly. Be careful not to overcook as the asparagus will continue cooking after being removed. Put the grilled asparagus on a warm platter. Remove the lemon from the grill with tongs and squeeze the hot juice over the asparagus.
Roasted Asparagus and Scallion Quiche
Servings: 6 servings
In this recipe from Martha Rose Shulman, asparagus is roasted first before going into a quiche recipe. Roasting makes the flavor of the asparagus both more intense and complex and proves a superior method to steaming.
¾ pound thick asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, minced
2 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1 (9 inch) pie crust, fully baked and cooled (see Issue XXVIII)
⅔ cup milk
½ cup Gruyere cheese, grated
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Freshly ground pepper
Trim or break off woody portions of the asparagus. Cut into ½ to ¾ inch pieces and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in a 425F oven for 12 minutes, turning half way through. Place in medium bowl.
Turn oven down to 350 degrees. Sauté scallions in skillet in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl with asparagus. Add tarragon and parsley. Toss.
Put pie crust in a tart pan and brush bottom with some of the beaten egg. Bake for 5 minutes and cool.
Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk in ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and milk.
Spread the scallions and asparagus on the pie crust. Stir together the cheeses and spread on evenly. Slowly pour on the milk and eggs. Place on baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until just beginning to color. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
Cream of Asparagus Soup
This classic spring soup is simple and quick to make. Serve with a fresh salad and top with homemade croutons. Bon Appetit!
2 pounds green asparagus
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 cups vegetable broth
½ cup crème fraîche
¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Cut the asparagus stalks in ½ inch pieces, reserving ¼ cup of the tips for a garnish.
Soften the onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a medium pot over moderately low heat, stirring often. Add asparagus, salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add 5 cups broth, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Purée soup using a hand blender until smooth. Stir in crème fraiche and more broth until you reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and garnish with asparagus tips. Let the asparagus tips sit in the hot soup for several minutes before serving.