Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cooking Finds From The Green City Market

Saturday, when I was at Green City Market, I found some great white oyster mushrooms, beautiful purple and green asparagus and a whole slew of fresh organic herbs.
I love an asparagus salad. This can be served on top of grilled meat but I like it as a side. As always, only use the freshest ingredients.

This is a recipe that can be switched up. I have used crunchy radishes in place of the tomato and have also added avocado when I have one to use up.

Shaved Asparagus Salad

1 large bunch of fresh purple and green asparagus, mixed. Use the larger diameter spears.

Small box cherry tomatoes

2 tsp fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice

4 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp fresh ground pepper

Shaved parmesan

Trim off the bottom of the asparagus. Cook in microwave with water for one minute until slightly cooked but still crunchy. Shave or cut thin the asparagus very thin. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Arrange on plates. Top with fresh cilantro or parsley. In a small bowl, add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk well. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a sprinkle of shaved parmesan cheese.

Poached Egg with Asparagus and Prosciutto

A poached egg on a pile of tender steamed asparagus is a healthy meal; a shaving of hard aged cheese, such as Parmesan, is an added indulgence. I sometimes have this for dinner when I am in the mood for a light meal.

You’ll love the combination of the eggs with the salty prosciutto and asparagus. I use purple asparagus when I can find it because it is sweeter, more tender, and milder in flavor than the customary green variety.

Serves 4

16 asparagus spears, trimmed

4 large eggs

4 wide slices parma prosciutto

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Parmesan cheese, thinly shaved

Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Tie asparagus into a bundle using kitchen twine. Place in the basket of an asparagus pot filled with 1 inch water. Cover, and bring water to a boil. Steam asparagus until tender, 2 to 6 minutes or you can do it the easy way like I do. Put with a little bit of water and cook in the microwave for 1 – 1 ½ minutes.

Fill a large saucepan with 4 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. When water is barely simmering, break 1 egg into a small heatproof bowl. Gently tip bowl, sliding egg carefully into water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cook until whites are set but yolks are soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels, and drain briefly.

Divide asparagus among 4 plates and wrap each bunch with a piece of parma prosciutto and top with an egg. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper.

Asparagus Frittata

1 TB of olive oil

6 eggs

3 TB milk

½ cup of mozzarella

½ cup of chopped asparagus (cut into ½ in pieces)

½ cut red pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet or frittata pan. Add asparagus and red peppers and cook a few minutes . Combine the eggs, milk, and half of the cheese, then add the egg mixture to the pan. Top off with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

White Oyster Mushrooms

I bought the oyster mushrooms because one of the chefs at the NRA Show told me she loved their rich flavor. She saut├ęs them on the stovetop with a little garlic. I added a bit of shallot because I had one to use up. She was right – these mushrooms are really delightful and a great side dish to chicken.

Feeds 2-4

extra-virgin olive oil

½ pound oyster mushrooms, cut up into chunks

½ shallot, chopped

5 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped

salt and pepper

Pour the olive oil into a large heavy-bottomed frying-pan or casserole pan. Heat on a low flame, add the mushrooms, shallots and garlic and season well with salt. Cook the mushrooms for 4-5 minutes. Taste a slice and if you think it tastes cooked, remove from heat, otherwise give them a few minutes longer. The cooking time will depend on the age and quality of the mushrooms you have found. When they are ready, pour into a deep serving plate or bowl, complete with all the garlicky juices for bread-dunking.

Bon Appetit!