Asparagus Puff

This is from Patricia Wells The Provence Cookbook – it’s perfect for lunch or a light dinner.

  • 1 lb asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, lightly steamed
  • 4 oz Pancetta, cooked crispy and drained
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c whole milk
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Butter the inside of a 10 inch round dish.

Whisk eggs and milk, season with salt and pepper, add asparagus and pour 1/2 in the round dish. Sprinkle Pancetta over eggs, pour remaining egg mixture.

Bake for 40 – 50 minutes until set and golden on top.

Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 6.

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Asparagus Soup

It’s spring and the Hayward Farmers Market is brimming with load of gorgeous limited time produce, which means I buy things that aren’t on my list, and I end up with too many veggies at the end of the week. This week I turned all the spring extras into this heavenly soup. If you don’t have spring onions, use a like white onion, if you don’t have green garlic, use a couple cloves of garlic, just remove the green germ (it makes the garlic taste bitter). It’s cooking so have fun! If you want to be fancy steam the tips and serve them on top of the soup with a dallop of creme fraiche.

  • 3 – 4 spring onions, sliced thin
  • 3 – 4 bulbs green garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 – 3 thin leeks, sliced thin
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bunches of asparagus, sliced thin
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 2 c water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Truffle oil

In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat, add onions, garlic and leeks, sauté until soft, adding addition olive oil if needed. Stir in asparagus, stock, water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 30 – 40 minutes, until asparagus is soft. Use an immersion blender to purée. Drizzle with a little truffle oil and voila!

Serves 4.

Baked Risotto with Asparagus and Spinach

This is such an easy risotto recipe – if your vegan just leave out the cheese.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced thin
  • Salt
  • 1 c arborio rice
  • 2 c veggie broth
  • 4 c spinach
  • 10 Spears Asparagus, cut unit 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium pot heat oil over medium heat, add onions and cook until soft. Add rice and stir to coat. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring a few times.

Pour into a soufflé dish, cover and make for 35 – 40 min until all the liquid is absorbed. Top with a little more parm and serve.

Serves 4.

Pasta with Asparagus and Saffron

Another winner from Diana Henry. 

Ingredients:
Large pinch of saffron
1 tbsp butter
2 shallots, minced
3 1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 c chickeb stock
4 oz proscuitto, torn
1/2 heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice
6 oz pasta
1 1/4 c asparagus, sliced thin

Put saffron in a cup with 3 tbsp hot water, set aside.

Cook pasta according to package. Add asparagus for the last 3 minutes.

Melt butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, add shallots and cook till soft. Add the vermouth and boil until reduced to 3 tbsp. Add saffron water and stock and boil till reduced by 2/3. Add cream and boil until it costs back of a spoon, stir in lemon and remove from heat. Stir in drained pasta and asparagus.

Serves 4.

Asparagus, Ricotta Pasta

Super quick and easy. 

Ingredients:
1 bunch of asparagus, steamed ans chopped into bite size pieces
1 c ricotta cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp aleppo pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz pasta cooked according to pasta

In a12 inch skillet combine asparagus, ricotta, garlic, aleppo and olive oil overlow heat. Cook for 5 minutes then add the pasta and a little pasta water if the sauce is too thick. 

Serve in shallow bowls.

Serves 4.

Asparagus Quesadilla

Another winner from Nopalito! These may be the best ‘Dillas I’ve ever had. Perfect for lunch!!

Ingredients:
1 onion, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeño, mined 
salt
1 binch of asparagus, sliced into thin coins
Corn tortillas
12 oz shredded Oaxacan or Jack cheese
Queso fresco, crumbled
Cilantro leaves
Salsa

In a large pan heat 1 tbsp oil over medium cook the onions, garlic and jalapeño until soft, stir in the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes or until bright green.

Prepare a griddle or large pan, spread 1/3 c Oaxacan cheese on a tortilla, top with Asparagus filling top with a little more cheese and a tortilla. Cook on each side until cheese is melted.

Top with cilantro, queso fresco and salsa.

Serves 4.

Farro with Asparagus, Pea Pesto and Cured Olives

This spring on a plate!!

Ingredients:
3/4 c pearled farro
1 bunch of asparagus
1/2 c pea pesto
2 c arugula
Salt and Pepper
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c pine nuts
1/2 c oil cured olives, chopped
1/4 c chives, chopped

Pea Pesto:
1 c peas
3 tbsp olive oil
2 c basil leaves
2 oz parmesan
1/4 c walnuts, toasted
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp salt

Comine all pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Cook farro according to package.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook Asparagus for 3 minutes until bright green. Plunge in an ice bath and slice thin on the diagonal.

Combine the asparagus, farro, olives, cheese, chives, Pesto and pine nuts.

Serves 6.