Seasonal Chef: Cooking Asparagus for a Mother’s Day Brunch

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Asparagus is another spring vegetable making its way to the farmers market this season. It’s a delicious ingredient that is wildly versatile and easy to cook. Incorporating it into any meal is simple: it can be the star of a dish or a supporting character. Steamed, grilled, sautéed or pureed. Asparagus, a member of the lily family, is high in Folate and Vitamin C, having zero fat and cholesterol. (Did I just hear “superfood”?) With Mother’s Day just around the corner, incorporating asparagus in your special brunch for her is simple.

But before we jump in, did you know that while you can find it year-round at the store,  it’s at its peak right now? Last week there was a short article on our LoHud website about how to choose and store the perfect stalk. I prefer the thicker stems, and like to peel them before grilling or blanching. Whichever way you go, just make sure they are all the same thickness, so they cook evenly.

Asparagus and Kale

 

Kale and Black Rice

Using just a few ingredients you can pull together this quick and nutritious brunch in no time. For my Asparagus, Black Rice and Egg recipe I created this week, I sautéed a little leftover rice and kale to use along with my asparagus.

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What better way to finish the dish than topping it off with a fried or poached egg? Poaching an egg seems like it would be a little daunting, but give it a try. This cooking technique is pretty simple, and gives you a “wow” factor when the plate is presented. Here is a great step by step from the Smitten Kitchen.

Feel free to substitute your dish with any grain or legume you might like: quinoa, farro or baby lentils  would work beautifully. The same goes for the kale, spinach or chard would work well too. Just make sure you use seasonal asparagus and fresh eggs.

Asparagus, Black Rice and Poached Egg, Maria Reina

Speaking of fresh eggs, stop by the Bronxville Farmers Market this coming Saturday from 10:00 am til Noon to see me demoing a version of my recipe using asparagus from The Orchards of Conklin and eggs from Vertias Farms.

Buon Appetito!


 

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About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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