Local Asparagus is GOOD!
Cooking demo for Seniors at TenBroek Commons, Lake Katrine, NY
I love cooking for seniors in assisted living centers---(I'm almost there myself!) For a group that is currently being fed processed hospital food, they really get the Local food thing. It is how they grew up. The whole thing has come around.
It is that time of year! Asparagus is in full swing on the Hudson Valley.
Consodered a luxury vegetable, asparagus is very heathly and actually is known as an aphrodisiac!
My pals at Ten Broek--a few napping, buy respectful nonetheless!
Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
It is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
Asparagus is also packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals.
Eat your grass!
Hudson Valley Asparagus from Gill's Farm, Marbletown,NY
This recipe can be make super low fat by omitting the dairy and going easy on the oil, or you can get all luxurious on yourself by spooning in a dollop os mascarpoe or a chunk of butter at the end of cooking. A little truffle oil drizzle at the end is also a nice option!
- 2 qts of store bought vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/2 stick butter (optional)
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 onion – very finely chopped
- 4 peeled cloves garlic – finely sliced.
- 1 lb risotto rice (Arborio or Carnoli)
- 1 small glass of white wine
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- juice of one lemon
- 2 bunches of asparagus
- Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
- mascarpone cheese or heavy cream (optional)
- Freshly chopped basil – optional •
- Truffle oil - optional
- Prepare the asparagus. Snap each stalk to find the breaking point. Reserve hard parts to your stock pot. Chop the middle sections into small rounds, and reserve the tips for finishing the risotto.
- Chop the hard stems up and add to a blender with the some of the stock. Puree well and strain it out, discarding the fibers and keeping the flavorful juice.
- Heat about ¼ of the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Add the finely chopped onion and sweat until soft and translucent. Now add the garlic. Saute intil lightly colored. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Now add the mid pieces of the asparagus.
- Now add the rice and stir until well coated. Pour in the glass of white wine, zest and lemon juice. Allow it to reduce until there is no liquid in the pan. Stir continuously.
- Add a ladle of vegetable/asparagus stock, stirring continuously. As soon as the liquid is absorbed add another ladle-ful of stock and continue this until the rice is cooked. Stir continuously.
- The rice should be slightly 'al dente' but soft and loose. When you are happy with the consistency, stir in the Asparagus tips and basil
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the rest of the butter and the mascarpone cheese
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper
9. drizzle with a little truffle oil and more cheese
Get more of Ric’s Recipes at www.ricorlando.com Ric is Chef of New World Home Cooking in Saugerties and New World Bistro Bar in Albany, NY and is a two time Food Network CHOPPED CHAMPION!!
Asian Asparagus Salad
This easy-peezy salad is a great way to showcase the delish texture of asparagus!
We are going ot feature shaved raw and lightly cooked asparagus in this dish
I bunch asparagus
1 carrot, grated
1 small bunch scallions or garden chives
a handful of micro greens, sprouts or baby lettuces
a small amount of enoki, beech or hon shimenji mushrooms ( or regular while mus
1 Tbls soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbls rice vinegar
1 Tbls sesame oil
1 Tbls mirin
Start by snapping the asparagus at the breaking point. Discard the steams or save for stock.
Using a peeler, shave enough asparagus to yield 1 packed cup.
Use a large skillet here. Fill about halfway with water. Salt the water generously, but not over the top!.
Bring to a boil. Lay the asparagus in the pan in a layer.
Boil for 30 seconds and turn off the heat. Let the asparagus steep until it is just perfectly cooked, not chalky, still green, but tender.
Rinse under cold water until cool.
Whip up the dressing using equal parts soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar and mirin.
Toss the shaved raw asparagus, carrots and scallions with enough dressing to coat.
Place the cooked asparagus on a plate. Top with the tossed veggies. Spring with sesame seeds and drizzle any remaining dressing on each pate