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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Put your spring asparagus to good use.
Put your spring asparagus to good use.

What to do with all this asparagus ...

There are so many different ways to cook asparagus. Most people enjoy grilling, sauteing or even topping it with a poached egg. When I was a child I remember my mother making for breakfast asparagus and egg patties, sprinkled with parmesan and in focaccia.

Well, I thought you might enjoy a Wisconsin-inspired recipe on what to do with asparagus, as the market season is about to begin.

Asparagus Golabki

Serves four to six people

  • 4 green cabbage leaves, blanched and shocked in ice bath
  • 12 ounces spring asparagus risotto (see recipe)
  • 2 ounces tomato mint vinaigrette (see recipe)
  • Lemon zest

Asparagus Risotto

  • 1 ounce butter
  • 1 ½ ounces yellow onion, minced
  • ½ ounce roasted garlic paste
  • 1 cup Carnaroli rice
  • 1 ½ ounces white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 6 cups vegetable stock, hot
  • 1 bunch of local asparagus, peeled and blanched, sliced into thin coins

On med-low heat, sweat onions in melted butter until translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook being careful not to brown.

Add rice and stir to coat with butter. Add bay leaf and thyme. Deglaze with the white wine.

Add stock a little at a time while constantly stirring. When stock has been absorbed by the rice, add more until the rice is finished cooking. Make sure to keep stirring the entire time (this will make the risotto creamy).

When the risotto is cooked, add the asparagus. Finish by stirring in the olive oil and spread on a sheet tray to cool.

Tomato Mint Vinaigrette

  • 2 ounces Banyuls vinegar (or high quality champagne vinegar)
  • 2 ounces organic tomatoes, small diced, and seeded
  • ½ ounce mint, chiffonade
  • 2 ounces Lucini olive oil
  • 2 ounces vegetable stock

Slowly whisk olive oil into vinegar. Add tomatoes and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To prepare Golabki:

Roll three ounces asparagus risotto into each cabbage leaf.

Place in pan with vinaigrette, heat in a 350 degree oven for ab…

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Celebrate spring in the kitchen with spring green garlic soup.
Celebrate spring in the kitchen with spring green garlic soup.
Spring green garlic is springing up locally at farms like Pinehold Gardens.
Spring green garlic is springing up locally at farms like Pinehold Gardens.

Spring hasn't committed yet, but local farmers have ...

It seems spring hasn't fully committed yet, but we are starting to see some local spring green garlic.

Pinehold Gardens, run by farmers David Kozlowski and Sandra Raduenzis, is already harvesting some. It produces 12 different varieties of garlic and has more than 12,000 bulbs! It offers many different varieties of produce to restaurants, markets and the members of its CSA.

I encourage you to join Pinehold's Community Supported Agriculture. It's a fall harvest CSA, so expect to read some blogs with recipes featuring whatever we receive this fall. I can't wait! A CSA is a great way to support local farms, your community and your dinner table.

And if you really want to treat yourself, you'll find many menu items featuring Pinehold Gardens produce on La Merenda's menu.

Enjoy this spring-"inspired" weather and in the meantime, here is a recipe for a tasty soup featuring one of my favorite ingredients.

Chef Jason Gorman's Spring Green Garlic Soup with Rock Shrimp and Hungarian Sausage

Serves four

4 tablespoons chopped spring green garlic
2 each Hungarian sausage
4 ounces rock shrimp soup
4 tablespoons local butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 quart heavy cream
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 bottle of your favorite local craft beer
1 teaspoon of salt

Preparation:

In a medium pot combine butter, spring green garlic and Hungarian sausage. Cook over medium heat.

Whisk in flour, 1/4 of a bottle of local beer and cook for about three minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Best if made the day ahead.

For more information, here is a link to Pinehold Gardens and to La Merenda Restaurant.

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