Asparagus Pasta with Asparagus Pesto

This is from Opray’s new cookbook inspired by Jean George. It is a bit of work and worth it!

Pesto:
18 medium asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off and discarded
1 c fresh mint leaves
1/4 c olive oil
2 tbsp cold water, or as needed
1 clove garlic
1 green Thai chile
1/4 tsp salt

Fill a large bowl with water and ice to make an ice-water bath.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Salt the water, then add the medium asparagus and cook for about five minutes, until tender. Remove the asparagus from the water using tongs (do not drain the water), then shock in the ice-water bath until fully cooled. Remove from the ice-water bath and blot dry with paper towels.

Chop the asparagus and place in a blender or food processor. Add the mint, oil, cold water, garlic, chile, and salt and process until smooth, adding more water if the mixture is too thick. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Pasta:
1 1/2 c morel mushrooms
12 jumbo asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 pz angel hair pasta
8 mint leaves, cut thin
2 oz pecorino, grated
6 lime wedges

Rinse the morels in several batches of water to clean. Dry and cut into quarters, lengthwise.

Bring a pot of of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package. Adding the asparagus noodles in the last 30 seconds.

Cut tips off the asparagus and shave into thin strips on a mandoline.

In a large pan, heat oil and cook motels for 5 minutes. Add pasta to the sauce, toss to cook adding a little pasta water if needed. Toss with pesto, serve with cheese and lime wedge.

Serves 6.

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Asparagus with Miso Butter

This one is from the NYT and it is delicious! The butter and white miso paste give this dish a wonderful flavor. Top with a poached egg and you can’t go wrong.

1 tbsp oil
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 bunch of garlic scapes
Salt and pepper
¼ c white miso
¼ c unsalted butter
1 tsp sherry vinegar
2 poached eggs

Preheat oven to 400.

Toss Asparagus and scapes with a olive oil and roast for 10 – 15 minutes until they start to brown, stir a couple times.

Meanwhile, over low heat in a small saucepan, warm and whisk together miso and butter, so they combine, and butter softens but does not melt. Whisk in vinegar and keep warm.

When asparagus is done, put some miso butter on bottom of serving plate, top  with Asparagus and a poached egg.

Serves 2.

Miso Crusted Halibut with Asparagus and Shitake

Roasted veggies and fresh fish so good! This is a quick meal perfect for a crazy weeknight. If you can get Garlic scales they are a great addition to this dish. 

1 bunch of asparagus
1 bunch of garlic scapes
6 oz shitake mushrooms, halved
4 tbsp butter, melted
4 tsp miso
Zest of one orange, then quarter the orange
2 halibut fillets
1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with foil. 

Mix butter, miso and orange zest until smooth. 

Place the asparagus on the baking sheet and halibut on the other end. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle halibut with miso mixture, then use remaining to toss with the asparagus and garlic scapes. 

Combine the panko and 1 tbsp of olive oil and press into the halibut.

Toss shitakes with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the baking sheet. 

Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until the fish is cooked through. 

Serve with a squeeze of orange.

Serves 4.

Steak and Spring Vegetables

This is an easy weeknight meal chock full of spring veggies. If you don’t have access to green garlic – sub in 4 cloves garlic, green onions can stand in for spring onions and peas for pea shoots. I served this dish with a little buttered fregola pasta.

Ingredients:

1 lb New York Strip Steak
1 bunch of green garlic, sliced 1/2 inch pieces
1 bunch of garlic scapes, sliced 1/2 inch
1 bunch of spring onions, sliced 1/2 inch
1 bunch of asparagus, sliced 1/2 inch
1 clove garlic
1/3 c dijon
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 c olive oil
1 tbsp water

Combine garlic clove, Dijon, sherry vinegar, honey, olive oil, cayenne and water and blend together with an emersion blender until smooth.

Heat grill over medium high. Season steak with salt and pepper and rub with a little olive oil. Grill 3 – 5 min per side until internal temp of 120. Let rest.

In a large skillet heat 2 tbsp olive oil and add all the veggies excep that pea shoots and cook for about 7 minutes until Asparagus is crisp tender. Stir in pea shoots and season with salt and pepper.

Slice steak thin and drizzle with sauce. Serve with veggies.

Serves 4.

Crispy Tacos with Avocado and Grilled Asparagus 

This is one of those recipes that happens when it’s the end of the week and there are only few thing left in the fridge. I used TJs crispy taco shells.

4 taco shells
12 spears grilled asparagus, grilled
1 avocados, mashed
Queso fresco
Hot Sauce

Warm the taco shells in the oven at 300 for 5 minutes.

Spread a healthy scoop of avocado in each shell. Top with 3 Asparagus spears an sprinkle with queso fresco. 

Serves 2

Asparagus Salad with Eggs and Proscuitto 

This salad is quick and easy and oh so delicious!

Ingredients:
1/2 lb asparagus
4 eggs
4 slices proscuitto
1/4 c basil
Espelette
1/4 c toasted panko

Vinaigrette:
1/4 c tarragon
1/4 c grated parmesan
1/4 c white wine vinegar
2 tbsp dijon
1 tbsp honey
Salt
Pepper
1/2 olive oil

Combine all Vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor and run until smooth.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cool asparagus 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water. Then pat dry and divide amount 2 plates. Top with Proscuitto.

Add eggs to the boiling water and cook for 6 minutes then transfer to ice water.

Careful peel and cut eggs in half, they will be just slightly runny, place on top of Proscuitto. Drizzle with vinaigrette, bread crumbs and basil.

Serves 2 as main, 4 as a side.

Pressure Cooker Barley Risotto with Asparagus

This is a quick side when you cook it in the pressure cooker. Perfect paired with rack of lamb. To make it even quicker use a good store bought pesto.

Ingredients:
7 c vegetable broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 1/2 c barley
1/2 c dry white wine
1/2 c ricotta salata
1/2 lb asparagus
1/2 c pesto sauce

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook asparagus for 2 min and move to an ice bath. Cut into 1 inch pieces.

In a multicooker on medium sauté, add onions and cook until soft. Add barley and garlic, stir to coat. Add wine and stir till absorbed. 

Close lid and cook on Risotto mode for 6 minutes. (High pressure for 6 min).

Stir in asparagus, pesto, cheese and pepper. 

Serves 4 – 6.