Summer Share Four June 18th & 20th 2019
- This is an even week distribution; next week (Share Five) will be an odd biweekly distribution.
- We will be extending the season by one week as we cancelled last week’s share.
- If anyone is interested in a tree fruit share please let us know. Payments are due before July 1st.
Farm News from Jane
Well we are “back in business”! Thanks again for your patience and understanding as the unusual weather has put crops in slow mode this spring. The crops are beginning to pick up speed in their growth patterns. The peas look really lush and we’re hoping for a bumper crop this year. No one can ever get too many peas… The season is quick and the heat changes them by the hour when they are ready for harvest. Because we live in an agricultural state there are lots of peas cultivated locally; especially in Genesee County. We hear the pea harvester go down the road at any hour of the night as once the harvest begins the machines run 24/7. There was an interesting article in last week’s Buffalo News discussing the topic of over-time pay for farm labor. Farmers know that a forty-hour week is not a reality or possible during the growing season. After all that’s the only time plants grows in WNY!!! That’s why the work is “seasonal”. Americans have the idea that their food should be the smallest part of their budget and that drives the industry to keep food prices down. The boxes and cans get smaller and they try to keep the prices almost the same. In Europe the world wars especially caused widespread crop devastation and famine. People actually died of starvation. And there they have so much more respect for their food and their farmers. They have many policies affecting family farms and price support. We import so much produce and have little respect for where our food comes from or for the people who grow it. That is why we are so grateful to our members that support us, our farm and our livelihood. I was at a family member for lunch and was served pickles form Vietnam. I wondered what was in the soil where they were grown…
So even though the weather has been a bit unusual we are still very blesses and thankful to live in an area where we have wonderful growing conditions and an abundance of food! So, enjoy this week’s crops and get your favorite recipes around for beets and summer squash which are coming. Did you know that we are now at 15 hours and 20 minutes of daylight for over a week? And hopefully we’ll enjoy clear skies for the full moon rising a few evenings; have your chiminea ready for even more ambience. Enjoy a summer solstice celebration on Friday and get ready for a great summer! Jane
Produce: Fennel Swiss chard Garlic Scapes Asparagus
Green onions (scallions) Salad greens
– Swiss chard: Because we received over two inches of rain the last week, the stalks were quite muddy. It is necessary to bunch them before washing so the stalks are still somewhat dirty. You can quickly and easily remove any remaining soil by holding the stalks under running water and rubbing or brushing the remaining soil off them. Our apology; it is usually ready for cooking! It is best used fresh but will keep longer if bagged leaves first and refrigerated. It also freezes well; Blanch chopped leaves for 3 minutes, rinse under cold water to stop cooking process, drain, squeeze lightly, and place in an airtight container such as a zip-lock freezer bag. It is a great addition to soups. Beets evolved from the chard plant and is high in vitamins A, E, and C, and minerals like iron and calcium. Minerals are more easily absorbed form chard than spinach as it contains no oxalic acid, an element present in spinach that tends to bind minerals and render them unavailable during digestion.
– Garlic scapes: Scapes are the seed stalk that the plant sends up to produce seed. We “pull” these out of the garlic plants before the seeds are formed so that the bulb will grow larger. Enjoy them as you would the bulb or the green stage! Garlic scapes are great fresh as well as sautéed, roasted or grilled. We love them prepared with our asparagus and olive oil. One restaurant we ate at last season served deep fried scapes. Perhaps that’s worth a try as they are so tender early in the season! They are great in egg dishes also. I think I’ll add them to deviled eggs I’m making; a slight crunch and a great garlic flavor… And don’t forget that they easily substitute for cloves in recipes; just use double the amount. See recipes for suggestions for scape use.
– Scallions (aka green onions): are often an ingredient in a favorite recipe. The only trouble is that they are only available in early summer! Enjoy then in a salad or sauté. Or dip them in salt like my father-in-law does. He even has individual salt dishes!!! Years ago, salt was thought needed to be limited. Of course, then more people worked up a sweat “working”!
– Fennel: Fennel belongs to the Umbel family, it is related to carrots, celery, parsley, dill and anise. Store fennel in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Substitute fennel for celery in recipes. Try cutting fennel into quarters, drizzle with olive oil, and bake until tender, about 35 minutes. Fennel “fronds” (the feathery tops) can be used as a fresh herb for seasoning. It is excellent on baked or broiled fish on really good roasted with pork. Add to soups or sautés. The flavor mellows greatly when cooked.
The Top Five ways to use fennel/fronds
Add the Leafy Fronds to Salads: Strip the fronds from the stalks and toss them in your next green salad. They’ll add just the faintest hint of licorice to each bite.
Make Fennel Pesto: As Sara Kate would be quick to point out, any green is pesto waiting to happen. Try tossing fennel pesto with pasta or rubbing it onto meat before roasting.
Use Stalks and Fronds for Cooking Fish: Fennel and fish have been best friends since the dawn of cooking. Whether you’re grilling, poaching, or steaming, laying a few stalks and fronds alongside the fish will infuse the fish with sweet fennel-tastic flavor.
Juice ‘Em Up: If you have a juicer, you need look no further. You won’t get a lot of juice from the tops (unless you have a lot of fronds!), but what you do get can be mixed with other juiced fruits and vegetables.
Save for Stock: If inspiration fails to strike, at the very least you can stick the stalks and fronds in the freezer and save them for the next time you make vegetable or chicken stock. It’s not for everyone, but I really like the sweet undertone that fennel gives to stocks. From the kitchn.com
CARROT FENNEL ORANGE SOUP
2 tablespoons butter or butter-flavored cooking spray; 4 cups water, vegetable broth, or chicken broth (or more for a thinner soup); 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced (reserve a few of the fronds); 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste; 4 cups sliced carrots (approximately 1 1/2 pounds) ; 1/3 cup orange juice; 1 garlic clove, sliced thin (you can add a couple of garlic scapes, if available); 1/4 cup sour cream
Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced fennel and cook, stirring often, until soft and beginning to turn golden. Add carrots and garlic; cook and stir for a minute or two. Add water or broth and salt; bring to simmer, cover, and cook until carrots and fennel are tender, about 20 minutes. Puree mixture in a food processor or blender, or with an immersion blender. Stir in orange juice and sour cream until smooth and creamy. Reheat on low heat, but do not boil. Serve each bowl garnished with fennel fronds. Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Edith Thayer, Vermont Valley Farm member
FRESH FENNEL BULB SALAD
One large or 2 small fennel bulbs; 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, partially thawed; 2 tablespoons white wine or red wine vinegar; 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard; 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; salt and pepper
Remove fronds from the fennel bulb(s). Cut away the root and slice fennel into very thin pieces (it can also be grated). Make dressing by combining vinegar, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and orange juice concentrate in a bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Pour over fennel and allow to marinate at room temperature 20 minutes or longer. Season to taste with pepper and additional salt.
Recipe from Jenny Bonde and Rink DoVee, Shooting Star Farm
FENNEL EGG SALAD
6 large eggs (not too fresh! they will be difficult to peel if very fresh); 1/3 cup finely chopped fennel stalk; 2-3 tablespoons chopped fennel leaves; 2-4 tablespoons finely chopped sweet red onion; 4 tablespoons mayonnaise; 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar; 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard; salt and pepper to taste
Place eggs in saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Turn off heat. Cover pan tightly and set timer for 9 minutes. When timer goes off, drain eggs and immerse them in ice water 10-15 minutes. Peel and quarter eggs; place in food processor and, using the pulse button, pulse until finely chopped, 8-12 times. Add remaining ingredients; pulse until ingredients are well blended, 3-6 more times. Use as a sandwich filling, a spread for crackers, a cold sauce for chilled asparagus, or a garnish for tossed green salads. Makes 2 cups. Recipe from MACSAC
PASTA WITH FENNEL
1 bulb fennel, trimmed & quartered; 1/2 lb. fettuccini; 1 Tbsp olive oil; Grated Parmesan cheese; Parsley (garnish)
Simmer fennel in 4 quarts salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Lift fennel from water and slice. Keep warm. In the fennel water, cook the fettuccini until al dente. Drain pasta. Add olive oil and fennel. Serve with sprinkle of Parmesan and parsley. Make 3 servings
1 large fennel bulb, including the greens; 1 tbsp unsalted butter; 1/2 tbsp olive oil; sea salt and freshly ground pepper; grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon; 1/2 garlic clove, minced; 1/4 to 1/2 pound fettuccine; Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Peel or discard, if badly bruised, the tough outer layers of the fennel, then quarter the bulbs, setting aside the greens, and slice thinly. (The core will cook to tenderness.) Heat a large pot of water for the pasta. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with the olive oil in a wide skillet. Add the fennel and sauté over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned in places, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Toss with the lemon juice, and then add 1 cup water. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, until the liquid has evaporated. Add another 1/2 cup water and continue cooking in this fashion until the fennel is very soft and deep gold in color, about 25 minutes in all. Season with pepper. Chop a handful of fennel greens-enough to make about Y3 cup-with the garlic and lemon zest and set aside. Add salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook until the pasta is al dente. Scoop it out and add it to the pan with the fennel and the chopped greens. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve with the cheese, finely grated or thinly shaved over the top. serves 4 to 6
1/2 cup butter or other shortening; 1 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar; 2 eggs; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 2 teaspoons minced fennel, separated; 1 Tablespoon milk; 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour; 1 teaspoon baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon soda; 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup of sugar until well blended. Add eggs, vanilla, 1 teaspoon fennel and milk. Mix well. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture, mixing well. Pour out onto a well-floured sheet of wax paper turning over once. Form I-inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Press down with a fork. In a small dish, combine 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon fennel. Sprinkle on cookies and bake in a 3750 oven for 8-10 minutes. Makes 4 dozen. Recipe from Especially Herbs
FENNEL AND LEMON BUTTER
1 stick lightly salted butter, softened; 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds; grated zest of half a lemon; a little freshly ground black pepper
Put the butter, fennel, lemon zest, and pepper in a bowl and beat them until the butter is evenly speckled green. Pat it into a roll, cover with plastic wrap, and chill. Makes about 1/2 cup Recipe from a handful of herbs.
POTATO FENNEL SOUP
1 tbsp butter or oil; 4 cups thinly sliced onions; 2 tsp salt; 4 medium potatoes, sliced into thin pieces 1-2 inches long; 1 cup minced fennel bulb; ½ tsp caraway seed; 4 cups water; white pepper to taste; sour cream and fennel fronds for garnish
Melt the butter or heat oil in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add the onions and 1 tsp of salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are very soft and lightly browned. Add the potatoes, another ½ tsp salt, fennel and caraway seeds. Sauté over medium heat for another 5 minutes, then add the water. Bring to a boil, then partially cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt; add white pepper. Serve hot topped with sour cream and fennel fronds. Serves 6. Recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook.
1 tablespoon olive oil; 1/2 cup finely chopped onion; 1/2 cup finely chopped celery; 1/2 cup finely chopped peeled carrot; 1 cup finely chopped fennel bulb; 1 cup quinoa, rinsed; 1 1/2 cups water; 1/2 cup finely chopped black olives; Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer over medium-low heat until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in the olives, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot. Serves 6-8
Recipe from The Big Book of Vegetarian
GARLIC SCAPE PESTO
8 oz. scapes cut in 1 in. pieces and processed with 1 cup Olive oil, 2 cups Parmesan cheese and ½ cup lemon juice.
BUTTERMILK GARLIC DRESSING
1-2 medium garlic cloves; 4 tablespoons minced leeks; 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar; 1/2 cup buttermilk; 1/3 cup sour cream; large pinch sugar; 1/2 cup olive oil
Mince garlic; mash to a paste with fork or back of knife. Whisk garlic, leeks, vinegar, buttermilk, sour cream, and sugar in bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Makes almost 11/2 cups. Recipe from MACSAC
BRAISED GARLIC WITH CREAMED CHEVRE
24 cloves garlic; 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), cubed or sliced; 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil; salt and freshly ground pepper; a few sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried; 1/2 cup dry white wine; 8 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temperature; 1/4 cup heavy cream; baguette or peasant bread
Heat oven to 275 degrees. Place cloves in casserole dish. Dot with butter and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stick thyme sprigs here and there throughout garlic. Bake uncovered for a half hour, basting occasionally. Add wine, cover, and bake another hour or until cloves are soft. Mix goat cheese and heavy cream. Serve braised garlic and creamed goat cheese with slices of good bread. Makes 6-8 appetizer servings; Recipe from Lucy Ifo; Harmony Valley Farm member
1/2 cup butter; 2 garlic scapes, minced; 1 Tablespoon parsley; 1/2 teaspoon oregano
Soften butter to room temperature. Combine other ingredients, mixing well. Use with meats, breads, and vegetables. Yields 1/2 cup
ZIPPY GARLIC DRESSING
2/3 c. salad oil; 1/4 c. wine vinegar; 1 tsp. sugar; 3/4 tsp. salt; 3/4 tsp. dry mustard; Dash freshly ground pepper; 1 garlic scape, minced
In a screw-top jar, combine all ingredients; shake well. Chill thoroughly before serving. Makes about 1 cup
ALICE WATER GREEN GARLIC SPAGHETTI
1-pound spaghetti, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 heads green garlic (or 4 cloves regular garlic), thinly sliced, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, small pinch of red pepper flakes
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the spaghetti. Cook until al dente, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water before draining. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large (3-quart) saucepan over medium heat until shimming. Add the garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and sweat, stirring occasionally, until soft, adding more water if necessary, to keep the garlic from caramelizing too much. Add the cooked pasta to the garlic mixture and toss well to combine. Add some pasta cooking water if necessary, to bring the dish to a creamy consistency. Serve with more olive oil and the minced tops of the green garlic, if desired.
SWISS CHARD BREAKFAST BURRITOS
Approximately 3 cups cooked and seasoned Swiss chard*; 2 cups milk; 1 tablespoon flour; 6-8 flour tortillas; 1 teaspoon mustard powder; 2-3 cups shredded cheese (like cheddar or Swiss), divided; salsa; sour cream; 4 eggs, beaten
Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Divide cooked chard down center of tortillas. Sprinkle each pile of chard with 3 tablespoons cheese. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down in prepared pan. Mix eggs, milk, flour, and mustard powder. Pour over tortillas. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. The next day, let burritos come to room temperature. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until eggs are set, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese of). Top and cover for last 5 minutes of baking. Serve with salsa and sour cream. This recipe can be adapted to use a variety of seasonal vegetables. Makes 4-6 servings. *It’s best to start by sautéing some onions and garlic; then add Swiss chard, cook it, and season it with salt, peppers, and fresh herbs (dill is delicious).
SWISS CHARD OMELET WITH MIDDLE EASTERN SAVOR
For each omelet: 1-2 teaspoons olive oil; 3 eggs, beaten; 1/2 cup chopped, cooked chard leaves and/or stems, warm or at room temperature; 1 tablespoon currants; 1 tablespoon finely chopped kalamata olives; I tablespoon toasted pine nuts; lemon juice; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; herb sprig (rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.)
Heat olive oil in small nonstick skillet over high flame. Add beaten eggs-they will immediately begin to set on bottom of pan. With a spatula or nonstick egg lifter, pull the cooked egg from outer edges of pan toward center. The uncooked egg will spread and cook. Use spatula to help spread the liquid egg off top of cooked egg and onto exposed sections of pan bottom. Continue to do this until nearly all the liquid egg is set. Reduce heat to very low. The egg will continue to cook as you layer the following across the omelet: chard, currants, olives, and pine nuts. Sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, hold a plate close to the edge of skillet and, shaking skillet slightly, slip omelet onto the plate, either rolling it into a cigar shape or folding it over into a half-moon. Serve immediately. (Or, since this entire process takes only 2-3 minutes, you can keep the omelet warm in the oven while you make more of them.) Garnish with an herb sprig. Makes 1 serving. *This is best if the chard has been cooked with garlic and onions.
Suggested Tweaks: Though I love the resolute simplicity of this dish (there’s not even Parmesan), some might want more flavor in the base. Waters has a few suggestions: adding anchovies or olives, using more herbs, or even some cherry tomatoes. I also suggest finishing it with fresh, fruity olive oil at the end.
Recipe from MACSAC
GRILLED GREEN GARLIC
1 bunch green garlic, oil, ground cumin, salt, pepper
Wash the green garlic. Cut off the roots and the tough ends of the leaves. Dry on a paper towel. Lay the whole garlic pieces on a baking sheet. Toss with a bit of oil. Sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper. Lightly oil your grill pan or the outside grill. Place on the hot grill and cook until tender and starts to brown. Turn the garlic halfway through cooking. A few pieces of the roasted green garlic can be served on each plate or it can be roughly chopped and served as a side dish. Roasted green garlic can be added to any recipe. Tastes great with any chicken or meat dish. Recipe from kachiskitchen.com
SWISS CHARD QUICHE
1 lb. Swiss chard or spinach, cook and drain thoroughly; 4 eggs, beaten; 1 cup milk; 1 cup Swiss cheese shredded; 1 cup bread cubed; 1/2 cup sliced green onions; 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated. Combine all ingredients with cooked greens. Pour into 2 qt. baking dish. Cover and bake in 3750 oven until set, 25-30 min.
RAINBOW SWISS CHARD APPETIZER
3 tablespoons butter; 2 tablespoons minced shallots; 4 stems chives, chopped; 1/4 teaspoon dried, ground thyme; 1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard (about 10 stalks), finely chopped (use the greens for another recipe); cream cheese, softened; toasted, sliced French bread or gourmet whole wheat cracker
Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 2 minutes. Add chives, thyme, and chopped chard stalks; sauté until stalks are tender, tossing to coat with butter. Transfer to bowl and let cool, patting it with paper towels to soak up excess butter. Spread cream cheese on toasted bread or crackers. When chard is cool, spoon some onto each cracker. Makes about 4 servings.
1 bunch Swiss chard, cleaned; 1 tablespoon peanut oil; 1 tablespoon minced garlic scapes; 1 tablespoon soy sauce; freshly ground black pepper
Cut off and discard thick stem ends of chard. Cut out ribs; chop ribs into 2-inch pieces; set aside in a pile. Stack the leaves in small piles; coarsely chop them. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high flame. Add ribs; toss and cook 1 1/2 minutes. Add leaves and garlic; continue to cook, tossing often, until chard begins to wilt, 2-3 minutes. Stir in soy sauce; cook until chard is tender, 1-3 minutes longer. Add pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Makes 2-4 servings. Recipe from MACSAC
SWISS CHARD NOODLE BAKE
1 lb. fresh Swiss chard, cooked just until wilted, drained and chopped; 1/2 lb. penne or ziti noodles, freshly cooked and drained; 1/2 pound ricotta cheese; 1 15-ounce jars marinara sauce; 2 eggs, lightly beaten; 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley; 1 tsp salt; 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 3-quart casserole or baking dish. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and blend thoroughly. Turn into prepared dish and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. 4 servings
CHARD SOUP WITH CREAM CHEESE “CROUTONS”
3 packed cups finely chopped chard leaves; 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed and at room temperature; 4 cups chicken broth; salt (if necessary) and pepper
Combine chard and chicken broth in a pot. Bring to simmer and cook until chard is wilted and tender, about 6 minutes. You may leave it as is or puree it with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender. Reheat if necessary. Season to taste with salt (if you’ve used canned stock, you may not need to add salt) and pepper. Divide the cubed cream cheese into 3 or 4 soup plates. Pour the hot soup over the cream cheese and serve immediately. Makes 3-4 servings. Recipe from MACSAC
EASY THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING
Makes about 1 cup (eight 2-tablespoon servings)
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt; 2 tablespoons minced onion; 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise; 1 tablespoon bottled sweet pickle relish; 1/4 cup bottled chili sauce; 1/4 teaspoon salt
Whisk al1 ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
SALAD GREENS WITH CHINESE SALAD DRESSING
1/3 cup sesame or olive oil; 1 teaspoon minced garlic, pressed to a paste; 1-2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot or 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger; dash of cayenne; 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice; 1 teaspoon sesame seeds; 1 tablespoon chopped green onion, salad greens or Chinese cabbage.
Mix all ingredients (except greens); toss with greens. This is also good with bok choy, snow peas, or cucumbers. Makes 1/2 cup dressing. Recipe from Oak Ridge Farm
SALAD GREENS WITH JOHN’S OIL AND VINEGAR DRESSING
1 cup red wine vinegar; 1 tablespoon honey; 1 cup olive or canola oil; 1 pinch salt; 1 tablespoon horseradish mustard; 1 pinch pepper; 5 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste); salad greens
Mix all ingredients (except greens). Toss with greens. This recipe was inspired by Rob Summerbell.
Makes about 3 cups dressing. Recipe from Zephyr Community Farm
ASPARAGUS AND MIXED GREENS SALAD
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; 1 pound asparagus, cut on the diagonal into I-inch pieces; Salt and ground black pepper; 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar; I small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons); 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves; 6 ounces mixed greens (about 12 cups); 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped medium
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke. Add the asparagus, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; cook until browned and tender crisp, about 4 minutes, stirring once every minute. Transfer to a large plate and cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, the vinegar, shallot, tarragon, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a medium bowl until combined. In a large bowl, toss the greens with 2 tablespoons of the dressing and divide among salad plates. Toss the asparagus with the remaining dressing and place a portion of it over the greens; sprinkle the chopped eggs evenly over the salads and serve. Serves 4-6
BACON & ASPARAGUS FRITTATA
12 ounces bacon, 2 cups sliced fresh asparagus (cut in 1/2-inch pieces), 1 cup chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 10 large eggs, beaten, 1/4 cup minced parsley, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 large tomato, thinly sliced, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. In a 9- or 10-in. ovenproof skillet, heat reserved drippings on medium-high. Add asparagus, onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender. Crumble bacon; set aside a third. In a large bowl, combine remaining bacon, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture into skillet; stir. Top with tomato, cheese and reserved bacon. Cover and cook over medium-low until eggs are nearly set, 10-15 minutes. Preheat broiler; place skillet 6 in. from heat. Broil until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings. Recipe form tasteofhome.com
CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP WITH GARLIC AND PARMESAN
4 cups low or no-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, 2 Tbsp. butter, 1 small onion, 2 lbs. asparagus, 4 cloves garlic, ½ tsp. salt, 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Measure the broth into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put a large pot or Dutch oven over low heat. Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the pot. As it melts, peel and chop the onion. Add the onion to the butter. Stir and cover. Increase heat to medium. Trim the tough ends off of the asparagus as described in the blog post above. Discard ends. Chop remaining asparagus into small (1/2-inch) pieces. Add to the onions. Stir and cover. Peel and mince the garlic. Add it to the asparagus along with the salt. Stir. At this point the broth should be finished heating. Add it to the asparagus. Cover. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook until asparagus is tender, 2-3 minutes. While it cooks, shred the parmesan. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add the cream and heat through over medium heat but do not bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.
SPRING VEGETABLE PASTA WITH LEMON AND PARMESAN
Cook 1 lb. rotini pasta in lightly salted water according to pkg directions, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high. Add 2 large thinly sliced shallots (1 cup) and sauté 3 minutes. Add 1 large clove chopped garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add 1 heaping cup fresh or frozen peas, 1 large bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces, and 3/4 tsp kosher salt. Sauté until asparagus is tender, 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add pasta, reserved pasta water, 1/2 cup chopped mint, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir well. Familycircle.com
ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH PARMESAN BREADCRUMBS
2 bunches asparagus (about 2 pounds). Trimmed, 2 T olive oil divided, ¼ t salt, ¼ t pepper, ¼ C grated parmesan cheese, 1/3 C whole-wheat panko bread crumbs, 3 T toasted hazelnuts, chopped, 2 t lemon zest
Positions racks in center and upper levels of oven; preheat to 4250. Toss asparagus, 1 T oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the center of the oven until tender, 10 -12 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 T oil with the parmesan, breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, and lemon zest. Remove the asparagus form the oven. Turn the broiler to high. Sprinkle the topping on the asparagus. Broil in the upper third of the oven until lightly crisped, 1-2 minutes.
Serves 4; recipe from Eating Well magazine
SPRING VEGETABLE SOUP
2 T unsalted butter, 6 scallions (green onions) or green garlic, 4 C chicken broth, 1# small red potatoes, 1# asparagus cut into ¼ in slices on a bias, 1bunch of spinach or Swiss chard stem removed and torn, 2 C fresh or frozen peas, salt and pepper, 2 T fresh dill or cilantro. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add green onions or garlic whites and cook until softened about 4 minutes. Add broth, 4 C water, and potatoes to pot. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Add asparagus and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in chard or spinach and peas and cook until wilted and peas are heated through, about 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper and stir in dill or cilantro and scallion greens before ladling into bowls. Recipe form Sarah Carey editor in chief of Everyday Food