Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst has been taking advantage of the abundance of asparagus that’s in season and in the market. She brings Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson recipes and dishes including steamed asparagus with fried eggs, asparagus and lemon risotto and an asparagus tart with goat cheese.
Asparagus topped with chopped hard-boiled egg is a traditional dish. But in this dish, I twist tradition slightly — serving steamed asparagus topped with fried eggs in brown butter, toasted nuts and a dill-lemon sauce.
This can be served as a main course, alongside crusty bread and a nice green salad. Serves 2 to 3.
This is a light risotto that uses asparagus in three different ways: the tough end pieces (that usually get thrown out) are simmered into the stock to infuse it with an asparagus flavor. The middle section of the asparagus is cooked directly into the risotto and the tender tips are added raw to the top of the dish just before serving.
Grated lemon zest, fresh dill, leeks and spring garlic add an extra dimension. Serves 2 (as a main course) and 4 as a side.
Store-bought puff pastry is so easy to work with, and provides such good results. This rich, buttery pastry is encased with roasted asparagus, goat cheese and a chive-flavored egg mixture. Makes a great lunch or dinner. Serves 4.
From “Soup Swap” (Chronicle Books), by Kathy Gunst
Makes 8 to 10 tasting portions, or 8 full servings.
Every part of the asparagus is used in a different way to create this spring soup. The tough root ends (which are normally discarded) are simmered with the stock to infuse it with an asparagus flavor. The tender middle section is used to make the “body” of the soup, and the prized delicate tips are sautéed and added to the soup as a garnish.
The soup is excellent on its own, but if you want to add a little more pizzazz, poach some eggs, add one to the center of each bowl of hot soup and then sprinkle with the sautéed asparagus and scallions. Cutting into the egg and releasing its bright yellow yolk into the green soup produces a dramatic visual effect as well as extra-rich flavor.
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