Cane Creek Asparagus
& Company CSA
With its spicy peppery flavor, arugula is a great addition to any salad mix. But it also makes a great "bed" for anything from chicken to a stack of eggplant parmesan. If the thought of this does not motivate you to stash a few stacks of eggplant parm in the freezer later this summer, I don't know what will . . . Pictured: Roasted chicken breast on a bed of arugula, German Noodles, roasted bell peppers (from the freezer compliments of last season's harvest).
No matter what recipe you deem to make, you will first probably want to skin the beets. Begin by washing them (only slightly) and boiling them in covered pan in water which covers the beets. Bring the water to a fast boil and then simmer until they are fork tender. It make take over twenty minutes. After removing from the heat, dump the water and pour cold water over the beets to begin to cool them. After a couple of minutes, gently "rub" the peel off of the beet. I suggest you do this under running water unless you want beet stained fingers! And if you do end up with red fingers, use some salt to rub the color away.
Beets can be sliced, diced, or left whole and served with butter alone. I have a hard time getting to even the butter stage when I am preparing fresh beets and have been known to even eat them raw—so sweet! And actually, a raw beet is a beautiful addition to any salad or coleslaw when shredded on top!
ATTENTION: Beet Juice will stain anything it touches! To remove the pinkish stain from your fingers, try rubbing with salt or lemon juice.
REMINDER: To store beets, cut off the leaves about one inch ABOVE the top because when stored in the refrigerator the leafy greens will draw the moisture from the root greatly reducing the flavor and, eventually, causing the veggie to which they are attached to become rubbery. Of course, it is much better to eat than to “store” your CSA veggies! And do not discard the beet tops which can be braised or tossed into a salad adding flavor and nutritional value.
Mix ½ cup vinegar with ¼ cup sugar, dash of salt, and 1 TBSP Pickling Spices Mix. Bring to a boil and cook slowly for 10 - 15 minutes. Strain out pickling spices. Pour liquid over about two cups of sliced cooked beets. These beets can be served at room temperature or cold as a side dish or in a salad. They will last several days in the refrigerator.
Beets can also be marinated in fresh lemon juice, olive oil and fresh herbs.
Place peeled, hard-boiled eggs into the leftover liquid from pickled beets, and let them set in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 days. This will preserve them so they will keep longer. And yes, the white part of the egg will turn pinkish around the yolk! Don't forget to stir them once or twice a day for an even color.
Slice in half and serve on top of greens or beets for a pretty dish!
Wash beans (small Blue Lake beans or yellow beans) and remove stem end. Blanch in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Remove and immediately place into iced water to stop them from cooking AND to retain the bright green color. In a pan over a medium heat, place 2 TBSP Smart Balance. Add the green beans and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup sliced almonds and continue to stir fry another 2 minutes to toast the almonds. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving,
1 pound beans, trimmed, yellow or green
1 TBS minced onion
1 1/4 TBS Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
2 TBS chopped dill or parsley
Steam or cook the beans in a saucepan of boiling water until crisp tender. Drain and keep warm. Combine the onion, mustard, vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice in a microwaveable dish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together then pour over the beans. Toss to coat. If necessary, microwave a minute to reheat the beans. Sprinkle with the dill or parsley and serve immediately.
Let me remind you how easy it is to freeze beans! See Freezing Vegetables on the F - L Recipe Page.
If you blanch beans for three minutes as when preparing for freezing and then plunge them into cold water to cool for three minutes, you might decide to quickly reheat them in a hot skillet with a bit of butter and serve! It takes just minutes to put a slight "burn" mark on tender baby beans. Throw in a few almonds if you wish. Add parsley after taken off of the heat.
Serve this pasta dish with your favorite salad and bread. Put extra olive oil infused with herbal seasoning on another plate and dip your bread!
1 (9-ounce) package ravioli, prepared according to package directions
1 (10-ounce) jar Alfredo Sauce
4 chicken breasts, cooked
2 cups broccoli florets,steamed—until just fork tender
Cook chicken in fry pan over medium heat until hot; toss with pasta, broccoli and Alfredo Sauce. Heat through.
To cut the calories, just mix the steamed broccoli in with any type of pasta and some extra virgin olive oil.
We don't grow asparagus to eat it only two months of the year! We have tried many methods of saving it for later use. Along the way, we have discovered this method to be the best.
Wash and chop spears into 1 inch pieces, sauté slightly, put into a mold lined with wrap and freeze. When solid, remove the asparagus loaf from the mold, place into a vacuum sealed freezer bag. I usually mold mine in small loaf pans for servings for two, but a cupcake tin works for individual servings or for a nice amount to toss from the freezer bag into your next stir fry!
To eat, thaw a "loaf" until the pieces just begin to break apart and then roast or sauté only slightly or toss your “asparagus cupcake” into a stir fry pan from the frozen state.
Yes, this is a specific stainless steel asparagus tong!
Chop one pound fresh asparagus (1 cup +-) into 1/2” sized pieces. Do leave the “heads” whole and reserve three for a final garnish. Slightly sauté the asparagus and one or two chopped, spring onions in 2 TBSP olive oil or butter. Set aside.
1 cup + - diced cooked ham or any other protein, (optional)
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup mayonnaise (OR milk OR heavy cream OR any combination)
4 oz. Swiss Cheese, aged is nice! (1 cup + -, shredded or diced)
3 eggs, beaten
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 TBSP dry parsley or 1/4 cup of fresh parsley
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Add asparagus and spring onions to the mixture and pour into an ungreased quiche dish or 9-inch pie plate. Arrange three asparagus spear “heads” on the top in the center! Place the quiche dish into a pan filled with one inch of hot water. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes until light brown and well set in center and an inserted knife comes out clean. During the last 10 minutes of baking, sprinkle some shredded Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.
To unmold, chilled, first loosen edges, and then slide a knife down the side and under to let air in and invert. This recipe can be made a day ahead. Barely reheat in microwave or try it cold! I love this recipe because the ingredients are so versatile in type and amounts—more or less, this or that—it always comes out tasting wonderful! Baking this quiche like custard also avoids the fats from a traditional, pie-shell quiche!
OPTION: Put the total mixture into a zip lock bag and freeze flat. To eat, thaw in the refrigerator, pour into quiche dish and bake as above.
OPTION: This mixture may also be poured into a 9-inch deep dish pie shell and baked at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes until light brown and well set in the center.
OPTION: Bake quiche in pie shell, as directed. When cooled, cut into individual pieces and freeze for a quick and nutritious breakfast or lunch.
OPTION: For mini-quiches or kid-sized quiches just bake in a muffin tin! Bake for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. And, yes, you can freeze these finished products, too, for breakfast on the run.
OPTION: Many seasonal vegetables can be substituted for the asparagus in this recipe.
In the February 2013 Parenting magazine, Catherine McCord author of Weelicious cookbook and founder of Weelicious.com tells chefs how to hide the beets! Her methods work well for picky eaters of all ages . . .
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap the beets in foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until fork-tender. Remove the beets from the foil land set aside until cool to the touch. Put your hand in a zip-top bag (to avoid staining it) and rub the skins from the beets. Puree until the beets are smooth.
Sift together 1 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt into a bowl. Place 3/4 cup beet puree; 1 1.4 cups milk; 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt; 1 large egg; 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted; and 1 tsp vanilla in another bowl and whisk. Add dry ingredients into wet and stir until just combined. Drop about 2 Tbsp of the pancake mixture onto a greased pan over medium heat; cook 3 minutes on each side.
Roast and peel 1 medium red beet along with 1 large unpeeled garlic clove (see recipe below). Place the beet; the peeled garlic clove; a 15-oz can of white beans, rinsed and drained; the juice of 1/2 lemon; 1/4 cup olive oil; and 1 tsp kosher salt into a food processor and puree until smooth. Serve with cut-up vegetables or pita chips.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs; 1/3 cup vegetable oil; 1 large beet, roasted and pureed; and 2 tsp vanilla. Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet. Pour 1/3 cup batter into 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Place one 8-oz package cream cheese, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup beet puree, and 1 tsp vanilla in a mixer and beat on medium-high until fluffy. Spread on cooled cupcakes.
BTW: Pink Frosting works on Asparagus CAKE Cupcakes or Zucchini Bread Cupcakes, too.
As the beans become more mature, we prefer breaking them in half and dropping them lengthwise into the food processor to make French cut beans which we then roast in a hot (400 degree) oven with a drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground pepper and salt or lemon pepper or freshly ground garlic. Stir the dish a couple of times while roasting until fork tender (not crispy—unless this is the look you are going for). A handful of sliced almonds the last minute add an extra sweetness and texture to the dish.
This dish is good hot or cold . . . a red pepper would be a nice addition! Too bad it’s too early in the season for those to be coming in from our garden. Roasting brings out all of the natural sugars as in any vegetable. And the French cut brings a nice visual appeal to any meal. As an added bonus for this time of the year, the bug bites will disappear, too! Also, this recipe freezes well.
I tend for the simple and quick ways of cooking during the harvest season. I cut the flat or broad beans into one-inch pieces and braised the beans in vegetable broth in a skillet until they were tender. I added a dash of garlic and freshly ground pepper. Just before serving I added some fresh parsley. This recipe will work well with the Kentucky Blue (green) Beans, as well, which tend to be much longer than the Blue Lake variety. Rarely will you find strings on any of our beans because we harvest them all when they are young on the vine!
We have also simply steamed the roma beans whole and served them with a dollop of butter! This is a "slow food diet dish" because you will be forced to cut each bite off of the bean with a knife before eating!
1 bunch broccoli (these stems are even sweet!)
6 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP lemon juice
Zest of one lemon, grated or minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried dill weed
Salt to taste
Wash broccoli and trim stems if desired. Steam 3-5 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain again. Place in a large bowl and gently toss with lemon-dill dressing.
Variation: Instead of dressing, sauté ¼ cup walnuts and a dash of garlic powder in 1 TBS of Smart Balance. Pour mixture over drained broccoli and toss gently to coat.
Note: Smart Balance contains no trans fatty acids and no hydrogenated oils. It does contain monounsaturated fat (the good fat)—and it tastes great! Walnuts are also a source of monounsaturated fat.
1 – 3 heads of broccoli, cut into small florets1 cup sliced seedless red grapes
1 cup sliced seedless white grapes
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup cooked bacon, chopped
1 cup toasted almonds
3 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
Whisk all three ingredients together in a bowl. Make a day ahead if possible so the flavors can blend. The dressing will keep a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except dressing and mix well. Then toss the mixture with the dressing until everything is well coated. Let this salad chill for one hour before serving. (You can vary the amounts of the ingredients in equal proportions to match the amount of broccoli or florets you have available.)
Variation: Use raisins, Craisins, pecans and purple onion!
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup (see Cream of Anything Soup under "S")
1-1/2 cups milk and or vegetable broth
1 cup broccoli florets
1-1/2 cups quick cook brown or wild rice, uncooked
2 cans (6 oz. each) tuna or chicken, drained, flaked
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Mix soup, milk or broth, and broccoli florets in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Add rice and tuna or chicken; mix lightly. Spoon into 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Note: If you want to toss some cauliflower into the dish, I would suggest blanching or steaming them first.
This from a friend . . .
We don't have an outdoor grill at the moment so I am using a grill pan. I spray it with Pam, heat the pan to a high heat, then add the asparagus spears. I turn the spears until they are heated through and the color just barely changes. hen, I remove them to a platter. Add a bit of butter and a dash of lemon! For the first time in his fifty plus years, my husband likes asparagus!
Asparagus, snap ends as necessary
Lemon pepper seasoning (or salt and ground pepper)
1/4 cup almonds to each ½ pound asparagus
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place asparagus into a shallow glass dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on lemon pepper to taste. Roast for 5-6 minutes. Stir, add sliced almonds. Continue roasting 5-6 more minutes. Stir once more halfway through the final time. Eat hot as a side dish! Or, use as a garnish on an entrée!! If you allow the asparagus spears to cool, they make a novel salad garnish as well.
This recipe is especially good for the tiny-sized asparagus which sometimes grow. We really do not have a choice as to what diameter an asparagus spear becomes. The diameter they are when they appear from the soil is the size they remain! AND all sizes are good in our book! However, the spears you find in the stores will be of a uniform size due to wholesale grading requirements.
Roasting is a cooking method which also works well on "limp" asparagus which got too cold in your refrigerator.
Take available amount of asparagus spears and snap ends at point where they want to break off. (These ends you break off can be peeled and used in a lettuce salad. Or chopped and put into soup. Or for The Chef’s First Bite!)
Steam 4 - 6 minutes. The spear should be just barely limp—do not overcook! Serve immediately topped with Smart Balance, freshly squeezed lemon juice and quality, shredded parmesan cheese.
*Green and purple asparagus can be mixed together in any recipe.
*Purple asparagus spears will lose their deep purple color when cooked. They will be a “brighter green” than green asparagus with purple petals. They will have a sweeter flavor. If you want them to stay purple in color, use them raw in a salad or for dipping.
2 1/2 cups whole grain, whole wheat flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
3/4 cup Olive Oil
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups grated asparagus, loosely packed (about 1 pound)
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained*
2 TBSP fresh grated orange peel
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped raw almonds or walnuts
In a large bowl combine the first five ingredients. Add oil, eggs, asparagus, pineapple, orange peel and vanilla extract; mix well. Fold in nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with diced fruit and whipping cream.
NOTE: This cake freezes well when cut into individual servings!
I made this recipe up one year when I had more asparagus than we could eat! Obviously, before we started the CSA direct marketing method of our vegetables. It has been published many times and still a favorite at our house. If you have someone who thinks they do not like asparagus, try this on them! They won't know it was asparagus until it is time for Asparagus Pee! And if this is the first time you have heard about "Asparagus Pee," then you need to Google Asparagus Pee.
I am always looking for ways to use those "ugly" spears which the home gardener will get from their asparagus patch. This is my latest creation. It will work also for spears made limp because of a refrigerator which has the temperature set too cold.
Toss 1/2 pound of asparagus spears into a blender and puree with l cup of high pulp, 100% orange juice! This combination makes a tasty, healthy, raw green drink. Or the mixture can be eaten as a cold soup topped with a dollop of sour cream and an orange zest!
These colorful beets are simply boiled and peeled.
Peel and finely chop the following vegetables: 1 cup onion, 1/2 cup carrots, 2 cups beets. Put into pan & barely cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover & simmer 18 – 20 min.
Meanwhile, finely shred 1 cup cabbage. To cabbage add 1 TBSP Smart Balance, 2 cups fat free beef broth, 1 TBSP white vinegar. Put this mixture into the beet pan and simmer 15 more minutes.
This soup can be served hot or cold . . . which means it can be prepared in advance! When ready to serve, put the soup into bowls. To each bowl add 1 TBSP of your favorite type of sour cream and a garnish of finely chopped cucumber, or freshly chopped herbs such as parsley or chives.
1 1/2 pounds beets, uniform in size, whole or halved
2 TBSP olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper, dash salt
1 tsp grainy mustard
2 TBSP orange marmalade
1 tsp burgundy wine vinegar
Fresh parsley or rosemary, chopped
Wash, trim and dry beets. Leave 1/2 inch stem and root intact. Drizzle beets with 1 TBSP olive oil and ground pepper and dash of salt. Toss to coat. Place beets in a roasting pan (lined w/ foil for easy cleanup) in a single layer. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, or until beets are tender to the prick of a fork. Remove from oven.
While beets are cooling, make the dressing from the orange marmalade, mustard, and vinegar. Whisk in remaining 1 TBSP olive oil and herb of choice. Set aside. Rub skins from beets, and cut as desired. Toss warm beets with dressing. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while the beets absorb the dressing.
1 large beet, cooked
2 small cucumber
2 firm tomatoes, if desired
1 tsp sugar
5 Tbsp fresh coconut flesh—I use frozen, as I always have it available
1/8 tsp coriander seed
6 Tbsp chopped walnuts
2 small containers of plain yogurt—I like thick Icelandic style cream-skyr (say skeer)
Salt to taste
Peel and dice the beet. Peel the cucumber, if desired; however I just take strips off of the peel when using our cucumbers as I do not find them to be bitter, usually. Taste test to verify.
Peel the tomatoes, if desired, and dice. Put all of these vegetables into a large salad bowl, sprinkle with salt and the sugar. Gently stir in the coconut flesh, coriander, walnuts, and yogurt.
Chill and serve. Makes: 6 servings.
I think sour cream would work as a substitute. In this case, you might want to double the sugar!
If you want a “less pink” salad (than on the left below), leave out the yogurt or sour cream (salad on the right) because the beets will turn the white to pink; however, doing so with give you about ten ounces less finished product, of course.
I only use tomatoes when they are “in season” in our gardens so these photos are without tomato.