Spring Vegetable Pasta Risotto Style

6 07 2011

This was an interesting way of cooking pasta which I found in a Cook’s Illustrated magazine. Basically the pasta is cooked in the same fashion as risotto. I found it to be very flavorful and not too heavy. Try it with farfalle, penne, or campanelle.

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Lemon Thyme Risotto with Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Ragout

18 05 2011

3/4 oz. dried porcini mushrooms

8 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

8 1/2 cups vegetable stock

2 cups boiling water

1 lb medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal

1/2 small onion, finely diced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups Arborio rice, rinsed

1/2 cup dry white wine

2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tbsp fresh thyme,  minced

zest of 1 lemon

1 stick unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup frozen baby peas

1 tbsp minced chives

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Asparagus Salad with Pine Nuts

16 04 2010
We are into asparagus season. I love it and am always looking for new ways to make it. I tried this recipe, and I thought the dressing had a nice little kick to it. This is very easy to make.

2 bunches asparagus

½ cup raw pine nuts

3 tbsp oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup fresh orange juice

3 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar

1 tbsp agave

1 tbsp dark sesame oil

1 tsp Asian chile sauce

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

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Cream of Asparagus Soup

20 03 2010
I had two pounds of asparagus sitting in my refrigerator and some homemade vegetable stock, so Voila, Cream of Asparagus soup. Also, I wanted to play with some flavored olive oils I have from EVOO marketplace in Denver to see what kind of hit flavor combinations I could create. Last night we splashed in oils like Persian Lime and Meyers Lemon as finishing touches. We stirred them in and ate right away. The flavors were subtle but distinguishable. We tried a stronger flavor like White Truffle, and found that it made a nice contrasting accent to the asparagus, especially if you like truffles. I was going for a more complimentary and blended flavor with the Persian Lime. So this morning, I whisked in a tablespoon of the Persian Lime oil into about 3 cups of leftover soup. I reheated it and then let it sit for a few hours. I have to say, the Lime flavor was more prevalent and was a wonderful accent to the asparagus. Just letting the soup absorb the flavor of the oil over time made a huge difference. Of course, this soup is fantastic even if you don’t have fancy specialty olive oils. This would make a wonderful starter to an Easter dinner.
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