Miso-Braised Asparagus, Ginger Sauce

miso braised asparagus, ginger sauce

Miso-Braised Asparagus, Ginger Sauce, Sliced Scallion
served on
My “Le PONT de la TOUR” China
in Honor of
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

While ginger sauce makes a heart-healthy alternative to hollandaise, braising asparagus in miso broth adds another layer of subtle flavor. A casual ladle of ginger sauce over braised asparagus makes for a zippy vegetable side. The addition of buckwheat noodles, tomatoes and pine nuts makes a vibrant meatless meal.

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Lucy Robinson Hanson
1886 – 1970

Over a century ago, Lucy Robinson and Jack Hanson were Londoners. Early in the 1900’s, Jack left England for Chicago to follow his dreams. Shortly thereafter and still a teenager, Lucy left her family and followed her true love to America. By 1952 Lucy was a widow, a mother of 7 and grandmother of 17 when Princess Elizabeth, while visiting Kenya, received the news of her father’s death and her own accession to the throne.

Lucy decided to take one of her grandchildren back to England to visit the family she hadn’t seen in many many years and to witness The Coronation which was to take place in Westminster Abbey on the 2nd of June 1953. They boarded the RMS Queen Elizabeth and sailed to England. The granddaughter that accompanied Lucy was my mother. She was 19.

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Fiddlehead & Flower Month-of-May Salad

fiddlehead fern salad, edible flower salad
fiddlehead fern frond & edible flower
tatsoi & arugula salad
avocado, yukon gold potato, dijon dressing

April showers brought May flowers. And with the upcoming opening of our “ristorante alfresco virtuale” Ciao Fiore! I’ve got edible flowers on my mind. Marigold and Johnny Jump-Up, Nasturtium, Pansy, and Borage too. I spotted the fiddlehead fern fronds at Whole Foods Market, in season right now just shipped down from Portland, Oregon. Flowers and ferns seemed like a pretty pairing, and thus this delightful Month-of-May salad was born.

Edible Flowers in the Salad:

  • marigold – bright orange petals, some with red tips
  • johnny jump up – small purple petals
  • nasturtium – large orange flower
  • pansy – large dark violet-purple flower
  • borage – tiny blue petals

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Woodsy Shiitake & Black Kale Soup

shiitake soup
Shiitake, Black Kale, Tofu & Seaweed Soup
Sesame, Scallion, Sriracha Garnish

Woodsy. Earthy. Deep.
This is one intense vegan soup that offers full epicurean contentment.

Flavor profile:
meaty shiitake mushroom, robust kale, subtly sweet ocean-y wakame seaweed,
toasty sesame oil, tangy hot sriracha
Aroma profile:
heady, intense, wet forest, earthy
Texture profile:
steamy broth, chewy kale, silky shiitake, slippery wakame, spongy tofu, crunchy sesame seed
Color profile:
deep dark broth, midnight-green wakame and kale, spring-green scallion, electric red sriracha

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A Very Pretty Quinoa

pretty quinoa

Quinoa with Fresh Mango & Pomegranate Arils
Red Onion, Jalapeño, Basil, Cilantro, Lime

We tried a new dish for Passover this year. Quinoa. Anyone who’s cooked Passover dinner knows the challenge of serving the crowd (33 in ours) immediately after the Seder which lasts about 1 1/2 hours. How to get the food to the table, timely and hot? This year we were short one chef (we sure missed you Allison) so we simplified our menu to make prep and service easier.

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Spring Bliss: Sugar Snap Pea, Avocado, Tomato, Mint

spring bliss soup, sugar snap pea soup, chilled pea and mint soup

Chilled Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Soup
Mashed Avocado with Lime, Tomato Concassé with Shallot
Fresh Mint, Chili Oil & Creme Fraiche Garnish

A vendor at the Farmers’ Market was handing out samples of fresh-from-the-vine sugar snap peas. Telling people just to eat them as is, no cooking necessary. They were sweet & exploding with flavor, crunchy, the color of spring. Few of us could pass up buying a basket or two. Once home, I turned to my favorite vegetable cookbook Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables for inspiration: Sugar Snap Pea Soup. A simple and refreshing chilled soup. With avocado for richness, tomato for sweet acidity, mint for brightness. Spring. Bliss.

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