Spring Stalks!

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Asparagus, ramps and rhubarb.     Their appearance heralds the beginning of spring cooking.

Out with mounds of snow, icy sidewalks and bone-tingling temperatures.    In with warmer days (and evenings), chirping birds and budding trees.

 From the thawing tundra, the first produce of spring is making an appearance, almost begging to be picked and turned into one of the first recipes of a new season.

To help you get on your culinary way, try one of my spring recipes listed below.    If you want a little more help (and a lot of fun!) join me at a spring cooking class.     

Want to know about more classes and events?   Sign up for my e-list mailings and be the first to get my class schedule.   Fun food updates are posted on my Facebook page!     Looking for a book on using foraged ingredients?   Try the  cookbook Wild Table !

SPRING PRODUCE RECIPES……..

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Spring Salad of Shaved Asparagus, Beets and Goat Cheese
Recipe and how-to video

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Fresh Rhubarb and Strawberry Shortcake with
Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

imagesRhubarb Upside Down Cake
Always delicious, get creative with your rhubarb placement to make this woven design!

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Asparagus Gruyere Puff Pastry Tart
Use pre-made puff pastry to make this spring tart recipes in a snap!

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Wild Halibut with Asparagus and Ramps
Fresh morels are also a great addition to this recipe!

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Ramp, Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Crepes
The crepes can be made ahead and stuffed right before finishing.

strawberryrhubarbtart1Rhubarb and Strawberry Tart with Streusel Topping
Make one large 9-inch tart or several individual tartlets.   Serve with homemade rhubarb ice cream if you like….recipe is above!

Arugula walnut pesto tossed in pasta

Ramp Pesto
Freeze the pesto in ice cube trays to use year-round!
A fast and easy way to make a pasta dish.

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Pickled Ramps
 Store in the refrigerator for up to a month, or can the pickled ramps for future use!  Great in salads and cocktails.

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Read more about asparagus and ramps in my Edible Door article….plus a few more recipes!

 

Posted in Desserts, Entrees, Holiday & Entertaining, sides, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , ,

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

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Tender spears of asparagus are lined up and placed on top of grated Gruyere cheese.   Use purchased puff pastry and this tart can be made fairly quickly for a terrific summer first course or luncheon entree.

Asparagus and Gruyere Puff Pastry Tart
Makes one tart serving 8

Approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to instructions on box
5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds thin to medium asparagus spears, cleaned and dried

Approximately 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for sprinkling over final tart
Salt and white pepper pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly flour a work surface.   Roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges.   Use a ruler and a pizza cutter to create nice, straight lines on your puff pastry.

Lightly spray a baking sheet pan with non-stick food spray.   Place pastry on parchment paper lined baking sheet.   If the sheet pan has sides, use the reverse side to place the parchment paper and pastry.   This will make it easier to slide off the finished tart.

With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals.  Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

Remove pastry shell from oven.   Sprinkle with the Gruyere cheese. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with olive oil and season lightly with salt and white pepper.   Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Store-bought puff pastry works well in this savory tart; thaw it according to package instructions. Emmentaler or Fontina cheese can be substituted for the Gruyere.

 

Posted in Appetizers, Entrees, Recipes, Vegetarian | Tagged ,

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

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A sure sign of spring are the leaves of the rhubarb plant popping out of the ground.

Get into the swing of spring by making this delicious rhubarb upside down cake inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe.  The sour cream in the batter gives the cake a great consistency.

RHUBARB UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

ingredients
Topping
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
coarse sea salt
cake
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (divided) plus a little more to butter the cake pan
1 pound of fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a diagonal into 1/2-inch thick pieces
1 3/4 cup sugar (divided)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Make the topping by combining 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of sea salt.   Combine until crumbly.

Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.   Dot the bottom of the pan with 4 tablespoons  (1/2 stick) butter.    Toss the rhubarb with 3/4 cup sugar and let stand for 2 minutes.   Spread into the prepared pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.   In a mixer, beat the remaining stick of butter with the remaining 1 cup of sugar.   The mixture should become pale and fluffy.   Add the zest, vanilla and orange juice.   Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Scrape down the sides of the pan.

Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, until smooth.   Spread evenly over the rhubarb.   Crumble the topping evenly over the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1hour.   Let cool for 10  minutes.   Run a knife around the edge of the pan.   Invert onto a wire rack and cool for one hour.

TIP – it is important to flip the cake out of the pan within 10 minutes.   The rhubarb tends to stick to the pan if the cake sits too long in the pan.

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For an interesting look, cut the rhubarb into longer pieces.   Toss in the sugar as directed, but put the
rhubarb in a “weave” pattern in a square pan.  You will need 27 pieces of rhubarb just under 3 inches in length.

 

 

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