recipes and talk about:
natural foods
whole grains
local foods
the heirloom garden

May 31, 2010 in sides, vegetarian1 comment

asparagus risotto

asparagus risotto

Rice is born in water and must die in wine. – Italian proverb

Mm, risotto. The creamy arborio rice dish accepts all sorts of additions, especially vegetables of all kinds. One of my favorite risottos, right up there with mushroom, is asparagus risotto. When the asparagus season wanes and we’ve had our fill of steamed or pan-roasted, or oven-roasted, or with-an-egg-on-top asparagus, I like to make this risotto before the weather turns too hot to want to attend a stove for half an hour or more. Read more on asparagus risotto…

roasted red pepper and kalamata olive pasta sauce

nom nom nom

Sis and Mom were thrilled with the dinner party. “You can do this anytime,” they cooed conspiratorially, and they began plotting holiday schedules. “Thanksgiving, Christmas…no, Mom will still do Christmas…Easter….”

calm before the PARTY STORM

I hadn’t hosted an event of this magnitude before. A bit over a month ago my sponsor, Foodbuzz, contacted me with the offer to host a pasta and wine-pairing dinner party using free coupons supplied by Buitoni Riserva. That shit’s expensive, so I jumped at the chance. Read more on roasted red pepper and kalamata olive pasta sauce…

May 17, 2010 in sides, vegetarian3 comments

pan-roasted asparagus

pan-roasted asparagus recipe

Everyone knows that a little fat in cooking is a Good Thing. Butter or olive oil brings out flavor, coats food, and makes it glisten and look pretty. What I want to know is the name of the god person who got the brilliant idea to use both at once.

butter and olive oil, together at last

butter, olive oil, salt, and garlic

The plain, quick-simmered aspargus I slapped up earlier is a homey preparation, perfect for quick weekday suppers. This asparagus, cut the same into 1-inch niblets, is fried in olive oil, butter, salt, and garlic for about 8 minutes or so. Infused with flavor, it works when you have company, or a bit more time to hover over the stove with the asparagus. Wait, what was that above? Let’s reiterate. Read more on pan-roasted asparagus…

April 23, 2010 in sides, vegetarian2 comments

how to prepare the first asparagus of the season

*this* is what you do with the first asparagus of the season

Do you have an asparagus patch or access to one? If you have any bit of yard at all and you like asparagus, there’s really no reason not to put some in. Asparagus is a perennial, takes up little room, and requires practically no care. Seriously. Mow or cut it down in the fall after it’s gone to seed, and that’s about it. This is one vegetable that absolutely weighs in on the positive end of the scale of labor cost v. return on investment.

the asparagus controversy: fat or thin stalks?

asparagus: nice first of the season fatties

Nearly every cookbook I’ve ever seen that talks about asparagus says the thinnest stalks are tenderest and most flavorful.

And nearly every cookbook is wrong.

Read more on how to prepare the first asparagus of the season…