HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Asparagus with Lardons, a Fried Egg and Zen-sational Seasoning


         A few weeks ago, I told you about Pollen Ranch Spices (http://www.pollenranch.com), a remarkable company in the picturesquely named town of Lemon Cove, California.   My initial introduction to the company was their Fennel Pollen, a key ingredient in a recipe for Porchetta that I posted on Chewing the Fat.  Here’s the link: http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2010/07/porchetta-slow-roasted-pork-shoulder.html.  Along with the hand collected organic fennel pollen, came a second tin of something called “Zen-sational”.  Pollen Ranch calls it ‘your secret ingredient'.  It’s a secret I’d latch on to if I were you.  It gave this simple Asparagus dish a great new taste. And exactly what is “Zen-sational”? 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A melange of Asparagus and any Green Spring Vegetable you'd like


        
Asparagus season is here and we can’t get enough of the stuff. I’ve already served it in last year’s spicy stir-fry with chiles. http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2011/05/spicy-pork-with-asparagus-and-chile.htmld. And then as a dinner salad that makes a meatless meal  http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2011/05/spicy-pork-with-asparagus-and-chile.html and then of course, there’s roasted asparagus which can be served as a side dish,an appetizer or, adding an egg, a light supper: 
http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2011/06/roasted-asparagus-with-lardons-and.html.  Now to add to our collection of asparagus recipes, comes this symphony of green.  It combines not only tender asparagus spears but Spring’s green beans or haricots verts, Fava beans or Edaname, baby peas—even lettuce if you’d like.  It started off as a recipe in La Cucina Italiana magazine entitled “Primizie verdi con scamorza e olio picante” or Green Spring Salad with Scamorza and Spicy Olive Oil.  You’ll notice there’s not one word about Asparagus in the name of the recipe.  But on closer inspection,
Asparagus was a key ingredient among several others. At a recent dinner party we gave, instead of offering up steamed, boiled or roasted asparagus exactly like everyone’s been eating it since asparagus season began, this gave us the chance to introduce it with several other Spring vegetables. The result is a side dish that looks like you went to an inordinate amount of trouble to make.  In fact, it’s amazingly easy.  And what I also discovered was this is an incredibly adaptable recipe and that you can use virtually any green vegetable you’d like.