Tag: green asparagus

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Raw Asparagus Salad with Basil and Pink Peppercorns

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

Whenever I buy a new appliance for my kitchen, a bigger wardrobe for our bedroom, or a more powerful driller for the tool box, I always ask myself how I managed before the new purchase entered our home. I’m totally fine with having to deal with limited space or less satisfying equipment in the house, but give me the comfort of improvement and I’m hooked for life.

This is exactly how I felt when I got my new fridge last December. It’s only the third fridge I have ever owned and although I can’t really complain about its predecessor – it did a decent job for more than 15 years – it drove me crazy at times. Mainly because the space it offered and the food I tried to put inside it did not match at all. I love fresh food, I buy a lot of fruit and vegetables every week at the farmers’ market, and all kinds of cheese, olives, capers, prosciutto … and wine of course. There are only two people to feed but our food needs space. Thinking back, I don’t know how I managed to store all the greens in my old fridge while I was working on my book a year ago, I have no idea. It worked, but now it’s different, now I actually enjoy my fridge. A few days ago I came into my kitchen with lots of bags and baskets full of rhubarb, berries, asparagus and other spring produce and everything fit. I looked at this silver beauty and couldn’t help but say “I love my fridge!”. When Samsung offered me their Chef Collection for my kitchen, I was over the moon and I still feel the same. When you love food and cooking you truly appreciate having the right equipment.

So when I took a look at all the vibrant colours in my fridge, I came up with a salad that looks and tastes as bright and fresh as this season. I cut raw green asparagus very thinly and mixed it with a handful of arugula and canned chickpeas. A few fresh strawberries on top and a light vinaigrette made with orange juice drizzled all over and it was almost done: Some pink peppercorns added subtle spice and their distinct aroma. It was a very satisfying spring creation.

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

 

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Raw Asparagus Salad with Basil and Pink Peppercorns

Serves 2

For the dressing

olive oil 3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 2 tablespoons
white balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon
fine sea salt
ground pepper

For the salad

young green asparagus, trimmed, 4 stalks
arugula leaves, 1 large handful
drained canned chickpeas, 2 handfuls
fresh strawberries, cut into quarters, 6
a few fresh basil leaves
a few pink peppercorns

For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, orange juice, and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut off the heads of the asparagus and cut them in half lengthwise. Using a mandoline, a cheese slicer, or a sharp knife, cut the asparagus stalks into long, very thin slices.

In a large bowl, arrange the arugula, asparagus, chickpeas, and strawberries in layers and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with pink peppercorns and basil and serve immediately.

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

 

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

 

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

 

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

 

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Raw Asparagus Salad with Peach, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

Asparagus Salad with Pear, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

I had lots of asparagus in my kitchen this year but, unfortunately, no time to try many raw recipes. I needed green and white asparagus for new recipes for my cookbook which I’m very happy with. Since late March, a quick combination of Asparagus with Balsamic Bacon and a Tortilla joined the eat in my kitchen recipe collection but there was no salad with the raw green stalks, that changed last week.

My Mediterranean version with tomatoes and Parmesan inspired by my mother introduced me to the pleasures of raw asparagus for the first time, followed by a Nordic salad with hardboiled egg, lemon yoghurt dressing and chives. This year, I felt like a fruity take on this dish, thinly sliced green asparagus with honey sweet white peaches, young pecorino and a refreshing dressing made with freshly squeezed orange juice and orange blossom water. Enjoyed with a glass of chilled rosé and a crunchy loaf of rustic French bread I didn’t even mind that the cool temperatures couldn’t keep up with this summery dish.

Asparagus Salad with Pear, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

 Raw Asparagus Salad with Peach, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

For 2 you need

The asparagus should be very fresh and not woody.

raw green asparagus, the bottom cut off and the lower part peeled if necessary, about 10 stalks
flat white Donut (or Saturn) peaches, sliced thinly, 2
young Pecorino (or Parmesan), sliced thinly, about 50g / 1 3/4oz

For the dressing

olive oil 3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 2 tablespoons
quality orange blossom water (preferably organic) 2 teaspoons
a pinch of sugar (or honey)
salt and pepper

Cut the asparagus’ heads off and in half, cut the stalks into slim slices, this works best with a mandolin or cheese slicer. Arrange the asparagus and peaches on plates. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing and season to taste, sprinkle over the salad and finish it off with the Pecorino.

Asparagus Salad with Pear, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

 

Asparagus Salad with Pear, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

 

Asparagus Salad with Pear, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

 

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Asparagus with Crisp Balsamic Bacon

Asparagus with Crisp Balsamic Bacon

All you need are 6 ingredients: green asparagus, bacon, Balsamico vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper! This is one of the easiest asparagus recipes we’ve had on our table this spring and I’m sure I’ll cook it a few more times during this season. Its comforting heartiness combined with the vegetable’s crunchy freshness is all I need when I sit at the kitchen table after a long day of work.

The preparation takes around 10 minutes which is also quite convenient. Green asparagus only needs a few minutes until it’s cooked al dente and the bacon bites fried to salty crispiness don’t take much longer. I deglazed the meat with a little white Balsamico vinegar which brings out its sweet side and fits so well with the green stalks. It’s such an easy spring comfort dish!

Asparagus with Crisp Balsamic Bacon

Asparagus with Crisp Balsamic Bacon

For 2 people you need

green asparagus, the bottom part cut off, 500g / 1 pound
bacon, cut into tiny cubes, 80g / 3oz
olive oil
white Balsamico vinegar 25 ml / 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper

Blanch the asparagus in salted water for 3-4 minutes or until al dente, drain and rinse with cold water for a second to keep its fresh colour.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan and fry the bacon for a few minutes on medium heat until golden brown and crisp. Deglaze with the vinegar, add the asparagus, stir gently and season with salt and pepper to taste, serve warm.

Asparagus with Crisp Balsamic Bacon

 

Asparagus with Crisp Balsamic Bacon

Asparagus Tortilla with Grilled Mountain Cheese and Tarragon

Asparagus Tortilla with Mountain Cheese and Tarragon

My first asparagus of the year found its way into my kitchen and I’m as excited as a kid on Easter morning. This is just the start, the beginning of the new season! I can’t help thinking of all the other delicious goods which are soon to follow: the first ramp leaves spreading their garlicky aroma in a bowl full of pesto, crunchy fava beans mixed with parmesan in a creamy risotto, juicy spring cucumber, so concentrated in flavour that some sour cream and dill is enough to throw a quick salad together and enjoy the purest and most simple pleasures of nature’s annual awakening. I don’t even want to imagine ripe tomatoes dripping juice, I’ve been missing them for so long and it’ll still be a little while before I can savour them. For now I’m just over the moon to have the pretty slim stalks of green asparagus back in my pan.

So two things were on my mind in the past few days which filled me with excitement in the kitchen: the first asparagus of 2015 and my brave decision to make a tortilla after I failed miserably at my first and last attempt more than 20 years ago. My potato omelette was burned on the outside and undone in the middle, a complete kitchen failure created at the beginning of my active culinary journey. Somehow it had an intimidating effect on me considering how long it took to give this dish a second chance. But now I felt ready to give it a go again, my asparagus and some fragrant tarragon at hand to vary this rich Spanish potato classic with some green freshness and a little grated mountain cheese (Swiss Appenzeller) to add its hearty flavours to the vegetables. It’s not as big a deal to get the potatoes right as I had imagined (or feared), the only trick is to find the right setting on your cooker. They should cook in the pan on medium heat while covered with a lid without turning black or mushy. It takes about 15 minutes and once they are done, you add some fried onions, eggs and asparagus and let the tortilla cook for a few minutes. I finish it off under the grill to melt the mountain cheese which created a smokey crust on the asparagus. It worked so easily, my tortilla kitchen trauma is finally solved!

Asparagus Tortilla with Mountain Cheese and Tarragon

 

Asparagus Tortilla with Mountain Cheese and Tarragon

 Asparagus Tortilla with Mountain Cheese and Tarragon

For 3-4 people you need

green asparagus, woody bottoms cut off, 400g / 14 ounces
medium sized waxy potatoes, peeled, 450g / 16 ounces
medium sized onion, cut in half and thinly sliced, 1
organic eggs 4
hard mountain cheese (like Appenzeller or Gruyère), grated, 60g / 2 ounces
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
olive oil
fresh tarragon, a small handful, to serve
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar, to serve

Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes or until just al dente. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.

Slice the potatoes very thinly with a cheese or mandoline slicer, spread them between kitchen paper and pat them dry.

In a heavy pan (ovenproof, about 25 cm / 10″), heat a splash of olive oil and cook the onions on medium heat for a few minutes until soft, take them out of the pan and set them aside. Put the pan back on the heat and add a generous splash of olive oil. Spread the potato slices in the pan, close with a lid and cook for about 12 minutes on medium heat. Check the potatoes with a fork after 5-7 minutes by lifting them a little from the side, mind that they don’t burn and adjust the temperature if necessary. After 12 minutes, carefully turn the potatoes with a spatula (like a pancake) and spread the onions on top, give them another 2 minutes. Whisk the eggs with 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and nutmeg and pour over the potatoes, close with a lid and cook for 2 minutes. Arrange the asparagus on top of the eggs, close the lid again and cook for about 4 minutes or until the egg is set. Lay the grated cheese on top of the tortilla and put the pan under the grill for just a few minutes until the cheese starts to bubble. Sprinkle with tarragon and crushed black pepper before serving.

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Asparagus Tortilla with Mountain Cheese and Tarragon

 

Asparagus Tortilla with Mountain Cheese and Tarragon

 

Asparagus Tortilla with Mountain Cheese and Tarragon