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You're going to pick up a bundle of fresh spring asparagus, we all know that. So follow the "what grows together, goes together" philosophy and also pick up some rosemary and bay leaves to make Patricia Wells' Asparagus Braised with Fresh Rosemary and Bay Leaves. With a few more ingredients (see below), you'll set yourself up for a week of good meals.
I know, I know, it seems a bit bonkers at first thought. But once you follow Patricia Wells' easy braising technique (seriously, less than a half hour of cooking and just four steps), you'll end up with a pure, sweeter tasting asparagus that is amazing all on its own, but also adaptable enough to incorporate into a week's worth of more springy suppers. Here's how:
Over the weekend:
- Pick up a bunch of asparagus and spend some time braising the whole lot of it using Patricia Wells' Genius recipe. If you're feeling extra ambitious, use the unwanted woody bits to make a pureed soup or addictive snack.
- Make a big pot of quinoa or other grain
- Make a pot of beans, garbanzos perhaps
Then check your shelves and make sure you have these items on hand:
- Olive oil, vinegar, and mustard
- Bread, for toast and breadcrumbs
- Risotto rice
- Homemade or store bought stock
- Spaghetti or pasta of your choice
- Olives, nuts, and tinned anchovies
- Canned tuna or other fish
- Leafy greens and cucumbers
- Milk or cream and ricotta
- Peas and carrots
- Baby potatoes, radishes, onions, and garlic
- Any other herbs you like
Set the table and get ready for spring suppers:
- Asparagus is a natural friend of the ever-versatile egg, so make the most of this winning pairing. Fold your braised asparagus into an omelette, throw them in a spring frittata, or use them in a hearty quiche. Extra points if you take the somewhat fancier approach and serve eggs on top of your braised asparagus in a dish like eggs mimosa or pulling off something like this poached number.
- Purée your braised beauties, along with stock, onions, and milk or cream, then strain it for a smooth soup sort of like this.
- You can also use some puréed asparagus to make a pasta sauce to coat a mixture of spaghetti, lemon, and walnuts.
- Eat asparagus on toasts that have been slathered with ricotta and drizzled with olive oil.
- Incorporate braised stalks into a catch-all meal like seasonal panzanella, spring jumble, or a potato and vegetable hash.
- Use asparagus spears instead of green beans to change up a classic niçoise salad of canned fish, hard boiled eggs, olives, potatoes, and green salad fixings.
- Layer into a spring gratin topped with breadcrumbs (like this!) or some sort of other strata.
- Mix with beans and quinoa to make veggie burgers.
- Stir into a risotto and garnish with lemon, herbs, and salt; rejoice!
How do you eat all those asparagus stalks? Let us know in the comments.