As a little girl Easter was always marked by a huge box delivered by the “ups man”. Inside my sisters and I would discover bunnies of all flavors; chocolate, caramel popcorn, and marshmallow. My maternal grandparents lived far away in Pennsylvania but would always provide us with our yearly dose of sugar coma.
Funny how my tastes have changed! As an adult my appetite for Spring and thoughts of Easter revolve more around sowing seeds, foraging for mushrooms and ramps, clipping my garlic scapes, and eating my fill of asparagus.
Asparagus is one of those foods that I used to have a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude about and have, over time, learned to savor. I think that part of this is that in the past I didn’t take as much care to eat only the freshest asparagus cooked just right. It’s a delicate vegetable and it’s important to treat it as such, it can go limp quickly and once overcooked for even a moment it starts to mush.
Asparagus are versatile and I like them every-which-way; roasted, pickled, steamed, sauteed, grilled, or deep-fried. I tend to cook simple meals so I usually just roast or steam with a marinade and eat as a side but if you are feeling decadent and want a treat one of the traditional French ways to serve the stalky green is with hollandaise.
I recently had the pleasure of a delicious brunch of radicchio, sunchoke chips, Cooper River salmon, poached eggs, asparagus, and hollandaise. Rich. Decadent. Delicious.
This dish has several components but is fairly simple to put together.
Sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes, are like a cross between a potato, an artichoke, and a parsnip, starchy, grassy, and a little sweet. They are the tuber of a tall, stalky sunflower variety and can be harvested year round but are best in the winter and early Spring, after the ground has lightly frozen and thawed. These ‘chokes are unique for their high content of inulin, this is good because it is a prebiotic which is good for the digestion but it’s bad because it’s indigestible and can cause stomach cramps and gas in some people. I handle sunchokes pretty well, and really like the flavor, but you may want to start slow if you give them a try.
Sliced thin, pan fried, and salted.
How beautiful is radicchio? I love it’s bitterness and it served as a perfect backdrop for this rich dish.
Each radicchio bowl got filled with fried ‘chokes, a slice of pan fried Cooper River Salmon, a poached egg, hollandaise, and ASPARAGUS!
The asparagus was steamed and lightly marinated in salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.
A word on hollandaise (that sneaky little butter sauce that starts to invade your dreams…). Think high quality ingredients equals highly nutritious food. Use the best small farm, pastured eggs you can find and some grass-fed butter and you’ve got yourself a sauce full of omega-3’s and the important but elusive vitamin K2. Butter sauce becomes medicine!
What are your favorite seasonal eat right now?
P.S. Thank you all for your comments on Wednesdays post. I really appreciate the support and I love feeling like there is a communication and interaction between you and I. xoxo