Wednesday, August 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Asparagus worth waiting for

Those who love fresh asparagus may have to wait a while longer.
John Strang, horticulturist at the University of Kentucky, said asparagus came through the arctic vortex incursions without any problems, but it’s not quite ready yet.
“Due to our cool spring it is later than normal. Growers were able to harvest once or twice prior to the freeze this week,” Stang said, referring to the April 16 temperature drop in the eastern United States. “The freeze froze any exposed spears to the ground. We should be back in asparagus production in a couple of days.
“I expect an excellent crop this year as the rain last summer kept the plants growing and they were able to store a lot of reserves in the roots.”
Asparagus grows in thick and thin, and green, white, and purple varieties. When buying at farmers markets or at the supermarket, choose upright, firm-looking stalks and exam the tips, particularly if the asparagus is in a bunch. The tips are the best part and the part most likely to break or spoil. They should be closed and compact, appearing neither excessively dry nor damp, according to the California Asparagus Commission.
To store, remove any bands or wires from bundled asparagus. If it’s not to be eaten right away, keep it loose in a plastic bag in the vegetable bin for several days. Fresh picked asparagus should be set in a jar of water with the tops loosely covered with a plastic bag.
Because asparagus is grown in fine, sandy soil, it’s a good idea to soak it in a basin of water for 15 minutes before cooking to get any grit out of the tips.
To trim thin asparagus, hold the stalk with one hand at the bottom and the other hand a few inches away. Bend the asparagus gently and let it snap where the tender and tough parts meet. If it doesn’t snap, slide your hands upward a bit and try again. With thick asparagus, it’s best to cut it because it will break virtually anywhere on the stalk and you’ll end up wasting a lot of it. Cut it where you notice a change in the color in the stalk. Peel thicker stalks with a swivel potato peeler.
Asparagus is the first vegetable to appear in spring that most of us eagerly await. If you can find local asparagus, here are some tips to follow from “The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison.
When purchasing asparagus, allow 10 thin stalks and 5 or 6 thick stalks per person. Roasting asparagus is an easy way to prepare, and it partners well with butter, olive oil, toasted sesame and roasted peanut oils, Parmesan, fontina cheese, eggs, parsley, basil, fresh sage, chervil, mint, tarragon, lemon, orange, capers, ginger, soy, peas, leeks, green onions, artichokes, fava beans.
Here are some recipes to try.
___
CROUSTADE OF ASPARAGUS HOLLANDAISE
Ingredients:
2 pounds asparagus tips (thin if possible), trimmed
_ For the croustade:
3 cups soft white bread crumbs
1 \ cups cashews, finely ground in a coffee grinder (or use ground almonds or almond meal)
1 \ sticks butter
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely grated
1 cup pine nuts
5 teaspoons water
_ For the hollandaise sauce:
2 sticks butter, cut into chunks
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
Directions:
First, make the croustade. Mix together the bread crumbs, ground nuts, butter, garlic and onion by hand or in a food processor, then stir in the pine nuts and water and mix to make a dough.
Press the mixture down lightly into the bottom of a 12-inch shallow, ovenproof or pizza dish. Bake in a preheated oven, at 400 degrees, for 15 to 20 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Set aside.
Cook the asparagus in a little boiling water in a saucepan for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender, then drain.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt the butter gently in a saucepan without browning it. Put the egg yolks, lemon juice and some seasoning into a food processor or blender and process for 1 minute until thick. With the motor running, pour in the melted butter in a thin, steady stream _ the sauce will thicken. Let stand for a minute or two.
Pile the asparagus on top of the croustade, pour the sauce over it, and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
Source: “The Best of Rose Elliott, The Ultimate Vegetarian Collection”
___
ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH HAZELNUT PICADA
Ingredients:
\ cup stale bread cubes
\ cup shelled, skinned unsalted hazelnuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 bunches asparagus, bottom 1/3 trimmed with a peeler to achieve uniform thickness, about 2 pounds
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the bread cubes and hazelnuts in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, { teaspoon salt, { teaspoon pepper. Transfer the mixture to a sheet pan and roast until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with the thyme. Cool slightly before transferring to a food processor. Pulse into a crumble.
Meanwhile, toss the asparagus in a large bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, { teaspoon salt, and { teaspoon pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan and roast until bright green and lightly crinkled, about 4 minutes for pencil-thin asparagus or up to 10 minutes for jumbo spears. Serve the asparagus immediately with picada sprinkled on top. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Source: “Vedge” by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby

Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Ryde Hotel: A speakeasy from the past

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Walnut Grove shows a bit of historic Japan

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Walnut Grove: Fun facts, things to see

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Solano County supervisors get raise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A2, 5 Comments

Solano supervisors declare quake state of emergency

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Solano helps after Napa quake

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Weather for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B3

 
 
Solano promotes hand washing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Solano College to host college transfer fair

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

 
Golf tournament to benefit college sport’s teams

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

Man steals car from Fairfield resident

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6, 6 Comments

 
Learn about local travel opportunities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Pierce Brosnan thriller kicks off week’s new films

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
 
Museum guild schedules trip to historic San Francisco home

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A8

 
3 die in I-680 crash; 2 from Vacaville

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Obama defends handling of veterans affairs issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 3 Comments

Arab strikes in Libya show impatience with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
AP sources: US surveillance planes fly over Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 2 Comments

Napa quake stirs clamor for warning system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
American woman held hostage in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Putin and Poroshenko meet for bilateral talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Group files petition to idle coastal nuke plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Israel, Hamas agree to open-ended Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Los Angeles schools halt iPad deal amid criticism

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Report finds 1,400 children exploited in UK town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Police: Slain woman ID’d ex-deputy as her attacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Officials: Instructor accidentally killed by girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 10 Comments

 
Judges blast Indiana, Wisconsin gay marriage bans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Opinion

How to reduce taxes without busting the budget

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

 
Abandoned carts are everyone’s responsibility

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Editorial cartoons for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Question of the week: Is US policy on hostages correct?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Obama risks alienating Latinos from Dems

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

We were good parents. Why won’t our adult children help us out?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

Banishing the blues with healthy blueberry muffins

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B7

 
Choosing chutney

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Women talk about sports on CBS Sports Network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Miley Cyrus’ date wanted by Oregon police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NBC’s Emmycast logs robust 15.6 million viewership

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

US teen Bellis, 15, stuns Cibulkova at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders CB DJ Hayden to start season on PUP list

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers prepare for possible Aldon Smith suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Serena Williams beats American teen at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carter’s HR in 8th leads Astros over A’s 4-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Love struck: Kevin Love pledges commitment to Cavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sarkisian: USC looking into Shaw’s heroic story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Davis, US men beat Slovenia in basketball exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Latest Astrodome proposal: massive indoor park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bumgarner flirts with perfection, finishes with 1-hitter in Giants win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
No reason to feel sorry for Jim Furyk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

TMS 2015 schedule springs back to night race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

UN health agency urges crackdown on e-cigarettes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Survey: US consumer confidence near a 7-year high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Burger King buys, plans expansion of Tim Hortons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Frank W. Moy Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Lyle Cullum

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Gary Allen Person

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Florentino”Paul” Castaneda Bersola

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Nadine L Wetherell

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6