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Tired of the same old thing for dinner? Try these recipes for your spring veg

My friend Punk Rock Mike always has the most beautiful food on his Facebook page...  

Warm salad
Warm salad: cremini & oyster mushrooms, roasted red pepper, sun dried tomatoes, wilted arugula.

 ...See what I mean?  

No, he's not a professional chef -he just loves food and likes to cook it for his family.  I have always admired his style so I asked if he would like to share some of his recipes here.  Thankfully he agreed!

Punk Rock Mike and his family are part of a farmshare and get a big box of fresh, seasonal produce every week. He says:

"We always have to figure out how to use it all up...and we'll often get some of the same things for several weeks straight. It's challenging to find ways to use the ingredients differently each week, and maintain enough variety to keep it interesting.

Lately we've been getting alot of asparagus, lettuces, cilantro, radishes, chives, green onions, and some early tomatoes from the greenhouse. 

I always wonder what other people are doing with this stuff week after week, and whether they have ideas or if they get sick of it... and I'm sure others feel the same challenge I do. So, I thought it might be cool to offer up some of the ideas to feature these ingredients.

There are also some consistent 'standbys' that I make with the spring ingredients... green onion risotto, radish top soup -yes, using the radish greens.  I have to really load it up with other herbs like anise hyssop, mint, etc., but it works.

Last night I felt like being outside and grilling, and threw together the two recipes below to use the asparagus, cilantro, and tomato."


Grilled Asparagus with Fried Sage, Lemon, Parmesan

1 bunch asparagus
2 TBS lemon juice
4 TBS sage leaves
sliced parmesan cheese
salt + pepper
olive oil

1. Preheat grill to high heat.
2. Break each asparagus stalk at its natural breaking point, leaving pieces of consistent length and thickness. In bowl or sheet pan, toss asparagus with olive oil, and seasonings to taste.
3. Grill asparagus for appx. 5 minutes, turning often. Grill to the point of being tender, with a slight crunch still left in the asparagus.
4. Heat seasoned olive oil in saute pan to medium-high heat. Add sage leaves and fry for 1-2 minutes, until crisped and fragrant.
5. Plate asparagus, garnish with fried sage leaves and slices of parmesan. Pour lemon juice over the plate. Adjust seasonings to taste.



Smoky Caprese

1 large heirloom tomato
chipotle chile powder
3 TBS goat cheese
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, plus 1 TBS additional cilantro leaves
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 TBS champagne vinegar
salt + pepper
olive oil

1. Preheat grill to high heat.
2. To make cilantro-lime vinaigrette, add 1/2 cup cilantro, lime juice, champagne vinegar, and salt/pepper to taste (generally about 1 tbs salt) to blender. With blender running, add olive oil (roughly 3x the volume of the lime/vinegar) until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
3. Slice tomato into 4 large slices. Brush each on both sides with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and chipotle. Grill tomato slices for appx. 5 minutes on each side.
4. Chop grilled tomato slices into strips, and remove skin from bottom of the two end slices.
5. Plate grilled tomato strips (2 plates/2 services). Top with crumbled goat cheese, cilantro-lime vinaigrette, and additional cilantro.

Can't wait to try these gorgeous looking treats.  Thanks, Punk Rock Mike!