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David Ross

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  1. So simple. Just make dashi, then add as much miso as you'd like. I blanced the asparagus separately, but you could also cook it in the broth. Then just a cube of firm tofu. I thought about adding green onion or maybe a fried onion garnish, but thought it best to leave it bare to highlight the asparagus.
  2. A simple asparagus dish I did last night. I've been making a lot of miso soup in the past year. Starting with a basic dashi broth and then adding miso, I found it a quick and deeply flavorful soup that adapts really well to all sorts of additional ingredients. And while I was recovering from two orthopedic surgeries it was easy to make, yet far more satisfying than terrible frozen dinners. Last night was simply homemade dashi and some white miso. The white miso was what I had in the fridge but sometimes I use red miso. Then blanch asparagus and a square of firm tofu. Really brought out the texture and fresh flavor of the asparagus.
  3. Delicious and now I've got that on my asparagus recipe list!
  4. And I thought I couldn't get any luckier. Today this fresh WA asparagus was in the market for $ 1.46lb. Last week it was $1.79. It's been harvested about a 2-hour drive from where I live down in the Columbia Basin area that stretches from Walla Walla over to the Tri-Cities area. It's been delicious and I've never seen the price this low. But low price hasn't meant poor quality this season.
  5. Shelby I make the same salad. Sometimes I'll scatter some fried onions or bacon over the egg. Delicious.
  6. The crop of morels was very good two years ago, and fairly good last year. Up here we always go by the previous wildfire season. If the fires are especially bad, the spores travel through that hot wind and find a new home in another part of the forest. We should have asparagus into June and then it will trail off. Sometimes I'll freeze some to use in a creamed soup. I also use asparagus soup as the base for a nice pasta sauce.
  7. Going through some of my archived food photos to get some ideas on asparagus dishes, I found this forgotten gem that I crafted as a spring dish with a Pacific Northwest theme-crispy-fried oysters, asparagus and wild morels (all from our region), along with fava beans, crispy prosciutto and celery leaf. (Needed more dressing as I see it). Asparagus isn't the only main attraction here, but it sure plays a big role.
  8. This is an asparagus appetizer dish I did for Easter. Simple blanched asparagus with sliced cucumber, then some lox-style salmon. Lemon mayonnaise dressing. The little pastry in the upper right corner is a savory gougere made with parmesan and then filled with a smoked salmon mouse. Without the asparagus it would be pretty bland.
  9. Speaking about phyllo or puff pastry. I've done a sort of asparagus napoleon with layers of pastry, then a thick mayonnaise accented with tarragon, poached asparagus and off it goes with a few more layers. It's good just like that, but I've also added an herb salad on the side. I've even had a version of this type of dish at a fussy wedding reception. Well, the wedding was fussy but the asparagus was good.
  10. I have fried it but it was years ago. Did it in a tempura batter.
  11. This is another dish I found in my asparagus files that I did a few years back. And I'll do a new variation of it in the coming days for our cook-off. It shows how well asparagus pairs in a salad. I had cured some wild spring salmon gravlax style, then paired it with some dark dye croutons, shaved asparagus and tips, some chive blossoms from my garden, lemon zest and olive oil. It's a nice lunch or starter for a bigger dinner. Lox is good on its own, but the asparagus brings in that woodsy, herbal flavor. Delicious. I love a good omelet stuffed with asparagus and I'll be making a dish with asparagus, prosciutto and honeydew.
  12. I've found some good asparagus from Mexico in the supermarkets this spring, but nothing beats our local asparagus when it comes into season, yet it's just not the same as our local asparagus. Right now we're at the $1.79 per pound mark and it may go a little lower depending how the season shapes up. We're also blessed with wild morel mushrooms this time of year. Last spring I found some for $7.99 a pound, foraged wild and sold at both a grocery store and the local farmers market. Both an incredible buy for asparagus and wild mushrooms that have a short growing season in these parts.
  13. Sounds delicious!
  14. I've been going through my recipes in preparation for our celebration of all things asparagus. I thought I'd start with a Chinese-style asparagus dish. I think the first time I made it I probably surprised a few folks who typically only make steamed asparagus. They'd never imagine asparagus paired with Asian flavors. Sometimes I trim the stalks using a vegetable peeler, which makes the asparagus more tender to the bite. In this case I cut the asparagus stalks in half, giving a mix of the crunchy stalk with the inner, softer core. A quick blanch in boiling water. I usually add a few dashes of "Fruit Fresh" (basically ascorbic acid), which keeps the asparagus bright green. I don't need to pull it from the hot water and then plunge it into an ice bath to get the same effect. Then into a hot wok with some sesame oil, a spoon or two of chili, garlic, black bean sauce I buy at the Asian market, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and there we are.
  15. We were driving through Southeast Washington when suddenly Marnie shouted, "look, there it is, stop the car!" Needless to say, we were all a bit stunned and thought there must have been some critter scooting across the highway. And then I saw it for the first time: asparagus. It was decades ago, but every spring I relive the memory of seeing asparagus growing for the first time. Our family had been at a horse show in Pasco, a town in the Columbia River basin in South-Central Washington. We decided to drive over to Walla Walla, the heart of Washington's asparagus fields, to visit Whitman College. Mother had graduated Whitman in 1946, and we were taking our family friend Marnie to visit campus where she would start her freshman year in the full. It was then that I fully understood why asparagus--seasonal, local asparagus--is a prized delicacy of spring. I had the idea it grew on a bush. Or maybe it grew in some sort of cluster, cloaked within a heavy blanket of outer leaves like cabbage or cauliflower. Yet there it was, one stalk at a time, bursting up through the rich soil fed by the Columbia River. Rows and rows of single stalks of asparagus standing in a perfect line. Given Mother's ties to Whitman College and Walla Walla, the role that asparagus would play in shaping our family's tastes for this special vegetable should have been easy to predict. (As an aside, Walla Walla is also the home of the "Walla Walla Sweet" onion. Mother used to tell us she loved a raw Walla Walla sweet sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise). Now I'm sure you've got your own culinary memories and favorite asparagus dishes to tempt us. So today we'll begin eG Cook-Off #77: Asparagus, the Spear of Spring. (See the complete eG Cook-Off Index here.)