tender grassiness of just picked asparagus is what
we're longing for after the darker, heartier foods of
winter. Here, Asparagus and Parmesan Pastries.
the season for brighter, fresher flavors. The tangy
sweetness of strawberries, the tender grassiness of just
picked asparagus, the refreshing sharpness of sorrel and the
spice of young garlic and onions are just what we’re
longing for after the darker, heartier foods of winter.
an age-old craving, this desire to indulge in the tonic
vegetables and fruits of spring.
Thorpe, founder of Vegetable Husband, finds the arrival of
spring has some of her customers thinking of tomatoes and
other summer crops. She has to explain that tomatoes are
going to be hitting their stride in late July. Instead, she
tempts them with strawberries, our first local fruit of the
summer will mark the fifth anniversary of Vegetable Husband,
an online service that allows customers to order baskets of
organically grown produce. Customers can start and stop
their deliveries at anytime.
have commitment issues. When I joined my first
community-supported agriculture program and wrote a check
for hundreds of dollars, I was scared to death. I had no
idea what I was going to get over the 16 weeks of the
program or whether it would be a good investment for
me," Thorpe said.
decided that she wasn’t alone in those fears and created
Vegetable Husband to make it convenient for people to
support local farmers and enjoy organically grown food.
Place an order online and the following Wednesday, a
fabric-lined bushel basket with eight or so produce items
will be delivered to your door.
goes out early Wednesday mornings gathering produce from
local farms within about an hour and a half of Atlanta.
"I think about cooks when I’m selecting our produce.
I always look for one component like an herb, fennel or
garlic that I think of as the flavor of the week. If fruit’s
in season, I include at least one. And then I round things
out with dark leafy greens or other nutrient-rich
vegetables, always making sure we’re not giving you too
much of one thing or another," said Thorpe.
done, she heads to East Point, where she and volunteers hand
pack the week’s baskets, arranging the contents so they’ll
arrive in good shape, and always keeping aesthetics in mind.
Then the volunteers fan out over the city making their
deliveries. "We time it so our baskets arrive at the
end of the business day. That way they’re not sitting
around all day on someone’s porch, waiting for them to get
home," said Thorpe. Generally they deliver about 60
baskets each week.
says her customers are as excited about the arrival of
strawberries as she is. "If there are children in the
family, they see those strawberries and you’d think we had
put a chocolate Easter bunny in there. It’s great to have
something you can enjoy right out of the basket," she
those who want to invest a few minutes of preparation in
their strawberries and are thinking beyond dessert, chef Ron
Eyester of Rosebud and the Family Dog demonstrated three
fast strawberry recipes at the Morningside Farmers Market
made strawberry syrup, steeping the strawberries in a sugar
syrup with cloves, cinnamon sticks and cayenne. The result
was eerily reminiscent of cinnamon Red Hots. Eyester’s
suggestion for serving is to combine the syrup with a glass
of ginger ale or champagne.
tossed other strawberries with roasted beets, thinly shaved
fennel, Marcona almonds and arugula, then dressed everything
with lemon olive oil, sweet chile sauce and red wine vinegar
for a colorful salad. Finally Eyester sauteed strawberries
with sorghum syrup, sherry, balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle
of black pepper and served the result over grits.
provided no recipes, just inspiration to create similar
dishes at home.
the spring vegetables available at the farmers market,
sorrel may be the least familiar. "I’ve only been
eating sorrel for the last five years. One of my farmers
introduced me to it," said Thorpe.
appreciates the tart, lemony flavor which is somewhat of a
surprise from what looks like a leaf of lettuce or arugula.
She adds a little chopped sorrel to her salads but she
really loves sorrel pesto, which she adds to eggs, spreads
on sandwiches and uses as a base for a variety of crostini.
Like strawberries, sorrel is rich in vitamin C, just what we’re
craving after all the vitamin K and calcium of our winter
time to celebrate the arrival of our prettiest season and
treat yourself to a bite of spring.
on: 30 minutes Total time: 30 minutes Makes: 6 cups
delicious soup is adapted from one provided by chef Ian
Forrest of FLIP Burger Boutique. There’s a reason this
recipe is a classic. "I especially love sorrel because
(it’s) super easy to grow at home. This soup is one of the
easiest, and most delicious, ways I have found to
incorporate this local and seasonal ingredient," said
Forrest. Homemade chicken stock will make for the thicker,
most luxurious soup.
prepare the sorrel, rinse the leaves and remove any tough
stems. Thorpe likes this soup with the addition of roasted
potatoes. She cuts young fingerling potatoes into small
chunks, rubs them with olive oil and then roasts in a 400
degree oven until golden brown and tender, about 20 minutes.
tablespoons unsalted butter
chopped leeks, green onions or ramps
tablespoons all-purpose flour
chicken stock, preferably homemade
chopped sorrel (about 3 small bunches, 6 ounces)
Pesto, for garnish (see recipe, below)
potatoes, if desired (see note, above)
medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the leeks,
green onions or ramps and reduce the heat to low. Cover the
pot and cook gently 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir in flour,
stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Remove from heat.
the onions are cooking, in a large sauce pot, bring stock to
a low boil. Add sorrel and reduce heat so liquid is
simmering. Cook until sorrel is mostly wilted, about 2
minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot and cook
10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover soup and stir in
cooked onion mixture. Stir together and taste for seasoning.
small bowl, whisk cream and egg yolks together. Add a ¼ cup
hot soup to cream mixture and whisk together. Add another ¼
cup of soup, whisk and repeat once more. Pour the hot cream
mixture back into the pot of soup, continuing to whisk. Make
sure soup is just below simmering and cook 5 minutes. Serve
immediately garnished with sorrel pesto and roasted potatoes
from a recipe by Chef Ian Forrest of FLIP burger boutique.
1-cup serving: 165 calories (percent of calories from fat,
65), 10 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber,
14 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 104 milligrams
cholesterol, 62 milligrams sodium.
on: 10 minutes Total time: 10 minutes Makes: ¾ cup
is very forgiving. Substitute any nut or seed you’d like.
For a vegan version, use an equal amount of nutritional
yeast instead of Parmesan. This pesto is so good, you’ll
use it as a sandwich spread, mix it with yogurt for a veggie
dip, stir it into scrambled eggs or mix it into a salad
dressing. To prepare the sorrel, rinse the leaves and remove
the stems. This recipe comes from Becky Striepe who blogs
1-teaspoon serving: 35 calories (percent of calories from
fat, 81), 1 gram protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber,
3 grams fat (trace saturated fat), trace cholesterol, 11
& STRAWBERRY SALAD
on: 10 minutes Total time: 10 minutes Serves: 4
recipe may remind you of those spinach-strawberry salads
with poppy seed dressing that were popular a decade ago. As
a matter of fact you can make this salad with lettuce,
spinach, arugula, tender young Swiss chard leaves or
whatever leafy green you prefer, alone or in combination.
addition of other spring greens and walnuts and the lighter
dressing update this gorgeous salad. Roasted fresh beets
would be another springtime addition.
teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
stalk green garlic, thinly sliced
bunch small green onions, thinly sliced
(2 ounces) shaved and crumbled Parmesan
teaspoon freshly ground pepper
teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
butter lettuce, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
small dry skillet, toast walnuts over medium-low heat,
stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
Transfer walnuts to a salad bowl and allow to cool.
same skillet, heat one teaspoon olive oil over medium heat
and add green garlic. Saute just long enough to bring out
the aroma, about 1 minute, and add to the walnuts in the
medium bowl, combine strawberries, green onions, Parmesan,
pepper, salt, vinegar and remaining 3 ½ teaspoons olive
oil. Toss gently to combine.
greens on serving platter. Top with strawberry mixture and
sprinkle with walnut/green garlic mixture. Serve at once.
from a recipe provided by Margie Thorpe, .
serving: 220 calories (percent of calories from fat, 67), 9
grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 17
grams fat (3 grams saturated), 8 milligrams cholesterol, 257
AND PARMESAN PASTRIES
on: 25 minutes Total time: 50 minutes Makes: 48
or two-bite appetizers are always a little fiddly, but worth
it for the pretty presentation. The asparagus cooks
perfectly here, slightly crisp but completely tender. No
likes this recipe served alongside a salad. "Spring
harvests are so abundant in salad greens; it is extra
exciting when the asparagus patches start producing. This
recipe is a nice way to not overcook your prize spring
harvest and have an appetizer or a side dish that looks like
you spent all day preparing," said Thorpe. Dill patches
are just sending up tendrils at this time so they taste of
spring, too, but substitute basil or another herb if you
grated Parmesan, divided
part skim ricotta or Neufchatel (about 2 ounces)
tablespoons chopped fresh dill
of ½ lemon 48 stalks asparagus, tough ends snapped off
(14.1-ounce) package prepared pie crusts
oven to 350 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with
small bowl, stir together ¼ cup Parmesan, ricotta or
Neufchatel, dill and lemon zest. Cut asparagus spears on the
diagonal into 3 pieces. Reserve bottom third of asparagus
for another use.
out one pie crust to a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Spread half
the cheese mixture over crust. Cut crust into squares, about
2 ½ inches per side. Working with one square at a time,
arrange 2 pieces of asparagus including one tip diagonally
on each square. Fold one corner of pie crust over asparagus,
then fold opposite corner over and press lightly to seal.
Asparagus ends should be peaking out. Arrange on prepared
baking sheet. Repeat with remaining squares.
process with remaining crust, ricotta mixture and asparagus
and arrange on second baking sheet. Brush all pastries with
egg and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake pastries
until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
from a recipe by Margie Thorpe,