Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's noon on a Thursday afternoon and the local farm market is open!  I went in at 12:10p.m. with the intention of finding something to make a salad for my chef event tonight, but I didn't just want a salad made with lettuce, so off to explore what is in season.....

21 Acres is our local Woodinville farm market and I'm excited to see what they have available.  I browse at the table filled with fresh picked produce from the farm and I find lettuce in bright light and rich green colors, reddish, pinkish radishes that smelled divine, perfectly grown leeks that let out their aroma to tantalize my chef brain, then there was the beautiful family member of the Lilly, The Asparagus; that's it, Asparagus salad it is.  I purchased three pounds of Asparagus and one Leek.  I wasn't sure what I would accompany the asparagus with when I got home, but my brain was working it's creative side, thanks to the aroma of the leek (which I happen to love).

As soon as I got home, I looked in the refrigerator and I had four choices of cheese (goat, white cheddar and Gruyere and Gouda parrano).  I chose the Gouda parrano.  Next, I opened a bottle of Hearts of Palm, sliced them into bite sizes and soaked them in orange juice with balsamic.  I went to my garden and cut some fresh Oregano.... A salad was created and it is very tasty, fresh and I have smiles that it was from our local farm 5 minutes from my house!  Life is Good!

Enjoy this quick creation from today!

Fresh Asparagus from 21 Acres Woodinville Farm

Asparagus Salad with Hearts of Palm
recipe and photo created by Chef Sadie

Serves 10-12 small salad plates

3 pounds              Asparagus, cut into bite sizes
1                           Leek, chopped
1 8 oz jar              Hearts of Palm (I prefer in bottle rather than in tin), cut into bite sizes
2 tablespoon        Walnut oil
1/2 cup                 Organic orange juice
1/4 cup                 Quality Balsamic
1 sprig                  Fresh Oregano, chopped
1/2 cup                 Grated Gouda Parrano (or a sharp Parmesan)

Place Hearts of Palm in a bowl with the orange juice, balsamic and chopped fresh oregano.  Set aside to marinade for an hour.

Prepare a pot with water and salt; bring to a boil.   Prepare a bowl with ice and cold water to shock the vegetables.

Add a handful of asparagus slices to the hot, salted water and cook just until the color turns a deep green; about 3-4 minutes (work with small batches of asparagus).  With a slotted spoon, remove asparagus from the boiling water and add to the ice cold bowl.  Leave asparagus in ice cold bowl until the asparagus has cooled completely; then transfer to a salad bowl.  Repeat until all asparagus has been blanched and shocked.

Heat a pan on medium high heat with walnut oil; add chopped leeks.  Cook until translucent.  Remove leeks from pan and add to the asparagus along with the walnut oil.  Let the leeks cool on top of the asparagus.

After an hour when the Hearts of Palm have had a chance to marinade in the juice, with a slotted spoon, scoop out all the Hearts of Palm and oregano and add to the salad bowl with the asparagus.

Add balsamic and orange juice to salad and stir gently.

Top salad with grated cheese and serve!

                             Buon Appetito!

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