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David Ross

eG Cook-Off #77: Asparagus, the Spear of Spring

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I bought my first local asparagus yesterday.  This was a side dish for our dinner tonight.  Roasted asparagus sprinkled with lemon juice, and panko crumbs toasted in browned butter and harissa.

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It's also good with some crispy prosciutto.  Just take a slice of prosciutto and crisp it in a non-stick pan.  Sort of like incredibly thin bacon.  Then either lay it on the tart or crumble it on top. 

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I found another asparagus dish from a discussion thread we had back in 2011 talking about Copper River Salmon.  It's a dish with a lot of ingredients and steps, but on occasion I'll go all out like this.  But you can also just take a few of the elements to make the prep easier and gets just as good of a result.  The salmon and Asparagus Veloute along with Asparagus Salad and Vinaigrette would be delicious.

 

Copper River Salmon, Asparagus Veloute' , Shaved Asparagus Salad, Hazelnuts and Oil, Apple Cider Vinaigrette. 

Salmon with Asparagus.jpg

 

 

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Asparagus season is well underway here in Eastern Washington and it's been a very good crop so far.  The price at our local markets is $1.79 a pound.  Granted I live in Spokane and our asparagus is harvested just a couple hours drive away in the Pasco-Walla Walla area.  With that, it reminded me of our asparagus cook-off.  I'll be sharing a few of my newer dishes, but in the meantime, anyone been cooking with this years asparagus?

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I made asparagus soup the other day. It was delicious. My photographs didn't do it justice, though. I posted about it here on the dinner topic. I'll make it again and post a better photo later. In the meantime, I want to recommend the recipe for Asparagus Soup, courtesy of @JAZ and @Dave the Cook: Asparagus Soup.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I posted this over in the dinner topic, but it's proper home is right here.  This is a more chunky type of cream of asparagus soup.  The recipe calls for cream, but I've made two batches this spring, the first one using cream.  Then for the second batch I used half and half which I preferred over full cream.  I think half and half lets more of the asparagus flavor come through.

Cream of Asparagus.JPG

 

Ingredients-

1 lb. fresh asparagus

1/2 cup chicken stock

3/4 cup cream

1 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

dash cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

blanched asparagus tips and sliced asparagus for garnish

 

Instructions-

Heat 4 cups salted water to a boil in a heavy stockpot. Cut the white stalk ends off the end of the asparagus. Add the asparagus and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the asparagus and drain.

Reserve some of the asparagus tips and slice some asparagus to garnish the soup.

Cut the asparagus spears into 1" pieces and place in a blender. Add the chicken stock and start the blender on low speed. Add the half and half and continue to blend, then add the tarragon and lemon juice. Continue to puree the asparagus soup, adding more half and half to your desired consistency. Season the soup with cayenne pepper and salt and pepper.

You can store the cream of asparagus, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just before serving heat the cream of asparagus in a saucepan over medium heat.

Ladle the cream of asparagus into bowls and garnish with asparagus tips and sliced asparagus.

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One of my favorite dishes, if you can find a good cantaloupe at the same time you can get good fresh asparagus, is to roast the asparagus with salt, pepper and olive oil and arrange in a circle on a big plate. In the center of the circle, put a mix of cubed cantaloupe and cubed fresh mozzarella, dressed with a viniagrette of lemon juice, white balsamic and neutral oil and sprinkled with fresh herbs of your choice -- I like tarragon, parsley and basil. You can add chunked grilled or poached chicken to make a nice light entree for a warm day.

 

My daughter's mother-in-law served this at a luncheon for her baby shower. Not sure where she got the recipe.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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39 minutes ago, kayb said:

One of my favorite dishes, if you can find a good cantaloupe at the same time you can get good fresh asparagus, is to roast the asparagus with salt, pepper and olive oil and arrange in a circle on a big plate. In the center of the circle, put a mix of cubed cantaloupe and cubed fresh mozzarella, dressed with a viniagrette of lemon juice, white balsamic and neutral oil and sprinkled with fresh herbs of your choice -- I like tarragon, parsley and basil. You can add chunked grilled or poached chicken to make a nice light entree for a warm day.

 

My daughter's mother-in-law served this at a luncheon for her baby shower. Not sure where she got the recipe.

That just reminded me of a dish I did years ago, and I'll search for the photo.  It was a Midori melon sorbet I made with the Japanese liquer Midori.  Then Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.  Sort of my take on prosciutto wrapped in melon. Your dish above sounds delicious.

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Tonight we had asparagus with sweet and sour gochujang sauce.  Really good.  I saved the tough asparagus bits and put them in the freezer.  When I have enough I'll use them as a base for soup.  Happily, the local asparagus season has just started 

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