Tag Archives: spring

Asparagus Vichyssoise

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So I wanted an alternative to gazpacho (and I don’t mean swapping cucumber for watermelon, etc., been there/done that. Delicious, but.) that screamed springtime, and here it is. I’ve made this vichyssoise a couple of times now, it’s a winner. I think it’s best just a bit chillier than room temperature, however I brought some to work to share with my pal/colleague Becky and we agreed it’s also lovely warm.  Adapted from this easy peasy recipe at  foodandwine.com.

Ingredients:

  • 2 leeks, white & light green parts, rinsed well (watch that sand!) and sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch green asparagus (400-500 g.) woody ends cut off and chopped into 1″ chunks
  • 2 medium yellow-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1 thyme sprig (fresh or dried)
  • a pinch of fennel seeds (use seeds, not fresh fennel or it overpowers the asparagus)
  • 500 ml broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • sea salt to taste
  • 200-250 ml milk
  • freshly ground pepper (5 peppercorn blend is nice)
  • freshly snipped chives and olive oil, to serve

Instructions:

Melt the butter/olive oil in a large saucepan.Add the leeks and cook over medium heat, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus stalks, potatoes, broth, water, fennel, thyme and a good grating of pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Take the soup off the heat source and let it cool down a bit. Discard the thyme sprig. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add the milk and blend again, adding a bit more milk depending on the consistency you prefer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Take soup out of fridge and allow to come to just below room temperature before serving.

Ladle into bowls and drizzle with just a bit of a nice cold-pressed olive oil and freshly snipped chives.

Servings: Four generous bowls. 125 calories

Baked oatmeal

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baked oatmeal finished product

Brunch brunch brunch, I love brunch. You can totally have brunch at any time of year, but to me March is the “start” of brunch season. It’s nearly spring and you can convince people to leave their house on a Sunday morning (ok, early afternoon) and join in on the celebration of longer days and fresh springtime food.

My mother made a baked oatmeal similar to this at Christmastime, and it was fabulous. Strawberries are back in season so I decided to try the recipe with a spring-y twist, and I was not disappointed. I think this baked oatmeal is so good because it’s like pancakes, porridge and cake had a delicious love child.

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

baked oatmeal ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 ml) rolled or steel-cut oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) nuts (walnuts, almonds, mixed nuts & seeds, etc.) chopped up
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml or 4 TB) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups (500 ml) milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp maple extract (if you don’t have maple just use 2 tsp vanilla)
  • 2-3 bananas cut into slices about 1 cm thick
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries (or other seasonal berries)
  • butter/oil for greasing the pan

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 190ºC/375ºF  with rack in top half of oven. Generously butter a square glass or ceramic baking pan.

In a bowl mix together oats, half the nuts, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla/maple.

Arrange bananas in a single layer in bottom of prepared dish. Arrange half of berries over top. Cover fruit with oat mixture. Slowly drizzle milk mixture over oats. Gently give baking dish a few thwacks on the counter to make sure milk moves through oats. Scatter remaining berries and walnuts on top just before putting into oven.*

Bake 30-45 minutes until top is golden and oats have set. Remove from oven and let it cool for a few minutes.  Drizzle with melted butter if you like, and serve with brown sugar or syrup.

*This recipe is perfect for making a day ahead. After pouring milk mixture over oats cover the baking dish with plastic film and refrigerate. You’ll see that the oats soak up all the milk, it’s glorious. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and berries on top just before baking.

Servings: Six generous servings. 265 calories.

Recipe adapted from Heidi Swanson via Epicurious.