Monday, May 16, 2011

Garden to Table Challenge - Week 3

This week's recipe comes (again) from the Food Matters Cookbook. I'm starting to feel a little Julie & Julia-esque, except that I'm serving Mark Bittman recipes every night instead of Julia Child. I suppose I could rename these posts "Julie & Mark"... except that reminds me too much of my ex-husband, and that creeps me out.

So we'll stick with The Garden to Table Challenge.

In keeping with the Bacon Makes Everything Taste Better theme, I present to you:

Asparagus Gratin.

It's wild asparagus season again. We're lucky in that we can spend twenty minutes driving down a country road and come home with enough asparagus for two meals. Tonight's original meal plan was grilled snow-goose breast with wild rice and steamed asparagus, but after an afternoon spent thinning carrots and weeding in the hot sun, and Daddy not being home for dinner, I decided to go for something lighter and simpler.

Asparagus Gratin (I'm not copying this word for word because the book is in the other room and I'm lazy.)

1 1/2 lbs asparagus (I did about half a pound for the girls and I.)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (I used fresh. Well, garlic from last year's garden, which isn't actually fresh, I suppose, but seems to be holding on pretty well after being stored for nearly a year.)
3/4 c homemade breadcrumbs

Roast the asparagus in a couple tablespoons of the olive oil and some salt and pepper. The book says 400 degrees, but I had potatoes in the oven at 350, so that's what I did and it worked. While the asparagus is roasting, cook the bacon in the last tablespoon of olive oil til crisp. Then add in the garlic and breadcrumbs and cook and stir until golden.
When the asparagus is tender, sprinkle the topping on it, then broil it for a couple of minutes until the topping is nice and toasted.

I served this with Parmesan Potato Rostis.

I'm not going to give you that recipe because it has absolutely nothing to do with local, seasonal food, and honestly I'm feeling a little bit funny sharing so many of Bittman's amazing recipes here on my blog. Once again, check out his book. I realize that rostis and asparagus gratin probably don't go together. But I promised The Oldest that I'd make rostis again sometime this week because they are her New Favorite Food.

And for dessert:

Homemade vanilla pudding with fresh fruit. In addition to it being strawberry season, raw milk is also in abundance at our house. Pudding uses it up nicely, and is a little more of a treat than plain yogurt. I had no idea how easy it really is to make pudding from scratch until I gave it a go. Try it. You'll give up Snak-Paks for good, I promise.

I used this recipe I found on and was really happy with it. It doesn't involve egg yolks, which was a plus.

What are you cooking this week? If it's from your garden, or is local and seasonal, Wendy wants to hear about it at the Garden to Table challenge. Come join in the fun!


Roditodie2 said...

Those potatoes look awesome! Just curious, why no egg yolks is a good thing? Right now I am begging for recipes with too much milk & eggs. I am drowning in both...

Wendy said...

We've also been having lots of strawberries, kiwi, and asparagus. I like the looks of anything gratin and will have to try that recipe (and book) (no, don't do Julia and Mark). No wild asparagus for me though, so I'll have to do what I usually do - save my spears two at a time until I have enough to reasonably call a side dish - a fine-dining sized side dish. Love that rosti - will have to try it!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, pudding sounds good... and friends are coming over who are allergic to eggs. I'm 'gonna go take a peek at that recipe-- thank you!

Mama Kautz said...

thank you for posting the pudding recipe...I was going to ask :)