Thursday, April 22, 2010

Asparagus digest (ba-dum)

Here are a couple of really good asparagus dishes we made from the last week or so.

The first was a delicious spinach-asparagus-pesto pasta from Super Natural Cooking that Kristen made. The pureed asparagus gets a little bit lost in the spinach pesto, so we found it nice to have a few pieces of whole blanched asparagus on top, which also made for a pretty nice photo, if I do say so myself.

Next a super simple potato-asparagus frittata based loosely on this Bittman recipe. Mark used the microwave liberally in this recipe which is not something I am used to, but it definitely sped the process up.

Potato-asparagus Frittata
Serves: 3-4

6 medium eggs
2 red potatoes
large bunch of asparagus
1 medium onion
feta cheese (we used goat feta)

Preheat the oven to 400. Microwave (believe it or not) the potatoes for 4 minutes until they are nearly cooked through. When they've cooled, remove as much or as little of the peel as you want and cut into largish cubes. Brown the potatoes in a skillet over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil

Put the asparagus in a dish with a little water and sprinkled with a good amount of salt and pepper. Microwave (again?!) the asparagus for 2 minutes. Chop the asparagus into 2" long pieces and set aside.

When the potatoes are nice and brown, remove them from the pan, and sautee the diced onion (no need to clean the pan) for a few minutes until they start to turn translucent, then add the asparagus and continue to cook it until it's just cooked (a little bit tender). Add the potatoes, onion, and asparagus to a 8" pie dish. If you have a skillet that can go in the oven, transferring to another dish here isn't necessary.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a little salt and pepper, and then pour them over the potato and asparagus. Bake for ~15 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Top with a little bit of the feta and enjoy!

One thing I really hate about asparagus is that it seems like about one in three times I buy it, it costs $6 or more for a small bunch. Has everyone had this experience? By and large, I believe we should care more about food, and be willing to pay a little more for better food that isn't round-up ready or chemically ripened. And I am definitely a huge fan of organic foods and buy them whenever possible, but let me say this: if your budget gives you a choice between organic asparagus and conventional potatoes and organic potatoes and conventional asparagus, go for the organic potatoes!

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