Posts Tagged "spring"

Asparagus Soup

Another favorite asparagus recipe. It’s the perfect spring soup.

Asparagus from: Northridge Organic Farm and Doran’s Farm (both at the Westerville Farmers’ Market).

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Start by cutting the asparagus into three pieces. The tough ends (the stalks), the middle, and the tips. I used about 3 large bunches of asparagus.

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Bring 8 cups of water to a boil (or a combination of water and chicken stock, or even all chicken stock), along with the asparagus stalks and some salt and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Next heat 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add 2 large onions, sliced. Sauté until soft, about 20 minutes. Don’t let them brown. If they do, add a touch of water.

Cut the middle part of the asparagus into one inch pieces and add to the onions. Season with salt. Let them sauté for about another 10 minutes.

Next take the pot with the water and asparagus stalks. Discard the stalks and add the flavored water (or stock) to the asparagus/onions. Let simmer about 30 minutes.

Then, using either an immersion blender or stand blender, puree the soup. Once smooth, add the asparagus tips to the soup, along with about 3 tablespoons of half and half (or heavy cream). Simmer on low for a few minutes until the tips are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

When serving, garnish each bowl with grated parmesan cheese, paprika, freshly ground pepper, and garlic croutons (homemade, of course). Enjoy!

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Roasted Asparagus

My favorite way to eat asparagus. Simple yet delicious.

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 10-12 minutes (or longer for fatter stalks).

Enjoy!

 

 

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Spinach, Arugula, and Ricotta Pizza

Another favorite spring vegetable: Arugula. It’s so peppery and adds a wonderful touch to salads, sandwiches, and pizza.

Local Produce Used:

Spinach from 2 Crows Farm

Arugula from Northridge Organic.

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Recipe (which is enough for three small pizzas):

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix:

1 small container of ricotta cheese

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

red pepper flakes, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

Spread this mixture on top of the pizza dough (make sure you leave enough for each pizza). Top with spinach leaves. Sprinkle the top of the pizza with oregano and parmesan or Romano cheese.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

When the pizza comes out of the oven, top it with the fresh arugula. The heat from the pizza will hit the arugula and give off the most amazing peppery smell. Give the pizza a few minutes to cool (if you can) and enjoy!

Photo before the arugula:

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Photo after the arugula:

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Another variation:

Add sliced mushrooms and gouda cheese on top before baking. (Photo taken before the pizza went into the oven):

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Gorgonzola Stuffed Artichokes

Artichoke season is here! I look forward to this season every year.

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Growing up, my family always served whole artichokes with melted butter to dip the leaves and heart in. In recent years, however, I learned a new way to enjoy artichokes: stuffed with a sinful amount of gorgonzola cheese (thanks for Giada de Laurentiis). It’s not often that I indulge in this much cheese at once, but trust me. This recipe is worth it.

First you must prepare the artichokes. Cut off the stem so that the artichokes can stand upright on their own. Some people also suggest cutting off the prickly tips of the leaves. I usually don’t do this and just try to be cautious when handling them. If serving guests, it might not be a bad idea.

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Bring a large pot to boil with just enough water in it to cover the artichokes about half way. Add a few lemon slices to the water, add the artichokes and steam/boil them for at least 40 minutes to an hour (depending on how big the artichokes are). When  you can easily pull a leaf off, they’re done. Drain them and set them aside to cool. You can do this step the day before, to save time.

Now to clean the artichokes. Once they’re cool enough to handle, open up the center leaves until you can see the little tiny purple leaves. Keep prying open the big leaves but don’t remove them! There’s a lot of meat on those leaves. Once you reach the tiny purple leaves, pull them out. At this point you’ll see a hairy substance (called the choke). The heart is underneath the choke. Gently scrap off the choke and discard. This is what your artichoke will look like at this point:

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And this is what the choke looks like. Don’t eat this:

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Now to prepare the stuffing, mix together:

about 8-10 ounces of Gorgonzola cheese*

2 tablespoons of half and half or heavy cream

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme

1 tablespoon of fresh parsley

a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper

Stuff this inside the artichoke (it should rest between the leaves and sit on top of the heart).

Bake the artichokes, uncovered, in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

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To eat, dip the leaves in the cheese and use your front teeth to scrap off the meat from each leaf. Once you get through all of the leaves, the wonderful heart will be at the bottom of the cheese, just waiting to be devoured.

*Not big on gorgonzola? My mom isn’t either. She’s tried this recipe using many different kinds of cheese and has yet to find one that melts as well as the gorgonzola. Goat cheese is doable, but it won’t be as creamy.

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