Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sliced new potato pizza with pan roasted asparagus…

This recipe is yet another farmer’s market delight.  We were produce obsessed while in California.  Asparagus is perfectly in season beginning in mid-April and their season bumps right up against the beginning of summer. They are one of the first spring vegetables that can be harvested, which makes sense to me given their heartiness, they seem to be the first to stand at attention. I grinned when I found out that asparagus grows in both male and female varieties.  The male being a longer, sturdier stalk, and the female, thinner, as they use much of their energy to produce seeds. I prefer the thinner, more tender stalks with which to cook. I also prefer mine green, verses their chlorophyll deprived cousin, the white asparagus.  Their story just seems so sad, purposely grown and kept underground and out of the sun, hidden from the world, *Sigh*.

This recipe can be put together in minutes and can be adapted in a variety of ways; adding caramelized onions, garnishing with a salad of spring greens on top, or just changing the herb or spice profile.

Sliced new potato pizza with roasted asparagus…

favorite pizza dough, either store bought or homemade

6-8 new red potatoes, thinly sliced

Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded

fresh thyme

olive oil

1/2 garlic bulb, roasted.

salt and cracked pepper

1 bunch asparagus

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare pizza dough per recipe and set aside to rise. 

To roast garlic, cut bulb in half across the equator.  Massage with olive oil and wrap securely in foil. Place in oven at above temperature and cook until cloves are caramelized and soft.

Prepare asparagus, snapping the stalks at the most tender point and discarding (or better yet compost!) the woody ends. Heat a medium pan over high with olive oil.  Add asparagus stalks and season with salt and pepper.  Toss regularly, but allowing asparagus to blacken and caramelized for a smoky flavor.  Set aside. 

On a mandoline, or carefully with a very sharp knife, thinly slice potatoes so that they are almost translucent.  Place in a bowl, coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. 

Roll out pizza dough.  Brush lightly with olive oil. Smash roasted garlic into a paste, and spread thinly over dough.  Layer generously with Parmigiano-Reggiano first, then arrange the potatoes on top. Place in oven until potatoes are tender and crust is golden brown. 

Serve family style with roasted asparagus on top.

Eat together, toast to each other, and share!  


Farmer’s spring onion and baby broccoli quiche…

We have been going produce crazy since we arrived in California.  We started by stopping at all the farm stands on our drive into The Peninsula through rich ag country. Local strawberries perfumed our car and mouths, and were the pre-party to the cornucopia that awaited us at the farmer’s markets.  We moseyed to a number of different farmer’s markets, that operate…yes…year-round…and are on the whole, cheaper than shopping at the grocery store.

Our other mission upon arrival to the Monterey Peninsula was to lay eyes on some dear friends and their +1.  So we thought, how about brunch?

My first stop was to Happy Girl Kitchen, Co. (http://happygirlkitchen.com/2010/10/happy-girl-kitchen-opens-new-cafe-in-pacific-grove/) for some organic drip coffee and daily fresh chai muffins. I also made a quiche to help nourish our fellow sleep deprived parents. It was filled with farmer’s market fresh and local produce.

Here is the local profile for the quiche:

shallots: Watsonville

spring onion: San Juan Bautista

baby broccoli: Castroville

California olive oil

eggs: Los Lomas

the cheats:

Parmesan cheese, milk, flour, butter, salt, and pepper.

It was really fun to put this together with what was beautiful at the farmer’s market, which was not difficult as all was close to beautiful and tasty.

A big toast to our friends and their sweet baby boy! He is so very clever to have chosen you two for his very own parents. Love you.

Farmer’s spring onion and baby broccoli quiche…

5 eggs

two large handfuls baby broccoli

1 shallot, thinly sliced

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 cup Parmesan cheese

¾ cup milk

generous pinch of salt and pepper

1 tbs flour

olive oil

favorite butter pie crust


Make pie crust and set aside in the refrigerator to cool, about 10-20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once crust has cooled, roll out into a 9” pie pan and crimp edges.  Prick holes into bottom of crust, and bake for 10-12 minutes, until just golden.

In a pan with olive oil, sauté shallot, spring onion, and baby broccoli.  Cook until baby broccoli is nice and tender. Careful not to burn the onions. Set aside.  Beat eggs, milk, and flour together. Add in a cooled broccoli mixture.  Add in Parmesan, salt, and pepper. 

Decrease oven temperature to 375 degrees.  Pour egg mixture into pre-baked crust. At this point I like to arrange some of the veggies near the top for a nice presentation. Wrap edges or crust with foil and bake until eggs are set, and a knife in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Let set and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Eat together, toast to each other, and share!