Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette

A fresh blend of lemon juice, olive oil and garlic adds big flavor to grilled asparagus stalks.

Ingredients:
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon, plus 2 teaspoons lemon zest
½ cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and garlic. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as needed. Set aside.

2. Set a grill cooking grate or basket in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. While the grill is preheating, place asparagus in a large bowl and toss with the tablespoon of olive oil, coating evenly. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add asparagus to grill and cook, turning occasionally, until well charred and tender, about 6 minutes total depending on the thickness of the stalks. Transfer asparagus to a serving platter and drizzle the vinaigrette over the top. Serve immediately.

Variation: Make it a meal by adding flaked smoked salmon and a fried duck egg to each portion of asparagus!

Easy & Effortless Recipes

Memorial Day heralds the unofficial kick-off for summer sun and fun, and this weekend’s forecast looks summery indeed! Enjoy the long holiday weekend with super-fresh favorites like imported Italian pasta, rich, silky duck eggs, focaccia bread, and our own herb-kissed fresh cheese, all at the ready for easy and effortless fare whatever you might have planned. Also included this week: A crisp French Rosé, a plethora of spring greens including Lacinato kale, and spring produce like Hakurei turnips, asparagus, spring onions, pac choi and more.

Here are a few recipe ideas for the week:

Spring Pasta with Lacinato Kale & Olive Oil-Fried Duck Eggs
This light, creamy pasta is a show-stopper, topped with spring produce and fried duck eggs.

Grilled Turnips with Mint & Lime
The combination of mint and lime adds summery appeal to these tender-crisp grilled turnips.

Sunflower Shoot & Arugula Salad with Radishes & Hazelnuts
This stellar salad from Food & Wine is beautifully balanced with peppery greens and radishes and sweet pea shoots.

Green Garlic Salad Dressing
Flavor-packed ground mustard, vinegar and green garlic stalks mix beautifully in this easy vinaigrette.

Roasted Cara Cara Oranges
These gorgeous oranges would be wonderful served with this week’s focaccia and fresh cheese.

Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Kale & Olive Oil-Fried Duck Eggs

This light, creamy pasta is a show-stopper, topped with spring produce and fried duck eggs.

Ingredients:
1 pound pasta
1 large bunch Lacinato kale, greens stripped of tough ribs, washed and coarsely chopped
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed of root ends, and cut into 2-inch-long pieces
1-2 stalks of green garlic, trimmed of root ends and minced
4 duck eggs
2-3 tablespoons butter
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons freshly-chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Method:
1. Bring a large pot of heavily-salted water to a boil. Drop in pasta noodles and cook according to package directions, or until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil. Set aside.

2. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmery, then add the green garlic, asparagus and kale leaves, tossing to coat with oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the garlic is fragrant, the greens are wilted, and the asparagus are tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmery. Carefully crack 1 duck egg and drop into the pan, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Fry until whites are set and crispy around the edges, but yolk is still runny, about 3-4 minutes. Repeat with remaining eggs.

4. Add the pasta to the skillet with the kale, return to medium heat briefly, and toss with remaining tablespoon of butter and fresh parsley, until all are combined. Pile noodles into 4 individual serving bowls and top each with a fried duck egg. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Grilled Asparagus with Classic Gremolata

This healthy, easy dish is a classic way to serve asparagus in the Italian region of Lombardy—and it only takes a few minutes to put together.

Ingredients:
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Method:
1. To make the gremolata, finely chop the garlic, parsley and lemon zest together on a cutting board until well combined. Transfer to a bowl. (You can prepare the gremolata an hour or two before you cook the asparagus.)

2. Steam or boil the asparagus in salted water until tender, four to five minutes. Remove from the heat, and toss with the gremolata. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix together the lemon juice and olive oil, and drizzle over the asparagus. Serve hot or warm.

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