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Delectable Spring Asparagus Recipes

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

www.smittenkitchen.com

Makes 1 thin crust 12-inch pizza

1 recipe Really Simple Pizza Dough or your favorite pizza dough
1/2 pound asparagus
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded or cut into small cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Several grinds black pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Preheat your oven to the hottest temperature it goes, or about 500 in most cases. If you use a pizza stone, have it in there.

Prepare asparagus: No need to snap off ends; they can be your “handles” as you peel the asparagus. Holding a single asparagus spear by its tough end, lay it flat on a cutting board and using a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler works best here, but I only had a standard, old and pretty dull peeler and it still worked; a mandolin would also work, in theory, but I found it more difficult to do it that way), create long shavings of asparagus by drawing the peeler from the base to the top of the stalk. Repeat with remaining stalks and don’t fret some pieces are unevenly thick (such as the end of the stalk, which might be too thin to peel); the mixed textures give a great character to the pizza. Discard tough ends. Toss peelings with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and be sure to try one — I bet you can hardly believe how good raw asparagus can taste.

Assemble and bake pizza: Roll or stretch out your pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Either transfer to a floured or cornmeal-dusted pizza peel (if using a pizza stone in the oven) or to a floured or cornmeal-dusted tray to bake it on. Sprinkle pizza dough with Parmesan, then mozzarella. Pile asparagus on top. Bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, or until edges are browned, the cheese is bubbly and the asparagus might be lightly charred. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with scallions, then slice and eat.

Baby Greens and Asparagus with Almond Vinaigrette

http://marysueandsusan.com

Serves 6

18 asparagus spears (about 1 pound), trimmed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound white or oyster mushrooms, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound (6 cups loosely packed) baby greens, such as oak leaf, mache, and watercress
Almond Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Blanch the asparagus in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until bright green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl of iced water. Drain and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch-long pieces. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until very hot. Sauté the mushrooms just to soften, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and sauté briefly until the aroma is released. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly toss the baby greens with about half of the Almond Vinaigrette. Divide into 6 portions and place on serving plates. Divide the mushrooms and sprinkle across the top.

In the same bowl, toss the blanched asparagus with the remaining vinaigrette. Divide among the salads, fanning the spears across the top.

Almond Vinaigrette

Makes 3/4 cup

1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake until slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When the almonds are cool, transfer to a blender or food processor along with the remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth. Store in a container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.