Thursday, June 12, 2008

We've Got Asparagus!

Fresh Organic Asparagus Now at Dunn Creek Farm Rte. 17, Murray Harbour No. PEI. Also available at Nabuurs Garden Center in Brudenell/Montague. Phone in your order - (902)962-3427.

The trend in food publishing today is to create images that makes food a fantasy of desire.

Well, to me, the romancing of food in the perfect kitchen misses an opportunity to love it as it arrives from the earth - before it reaches trendy chefs and fussy photographers. This is especially true of asparagus.

Three years ago we gently planted 300 Jersey Giant root crowns in hand dug beds. Then we waited and weeded. And mulched and weeded. We've looked after this small crop through the seasons and now our waiting is over (but not the weeding!). We do indeed have fresh organic asparagus available in limited quantity over the next several weeks.

Asparagus is a welcome early season guest. It arrives before our other summer favorites do and seldom stays long enough to grow tiresome. We pick ours by hand and select each spear for tenderness and quality. You'll seldom find stringy fibres so no peeling is required. Just a light steam (4 or 5 minutes will probably do it) and it stays delightfully textured and flavorful. A simple pat of butter will do for dressing or, if you're a bit handy in the kitchen, try chilling your steamed asparagus and then serve it with a honey, mustard and shallot dressing.

I'm also determined to pickle some asparagus this season! Dropping a bit of pickled asparagus onto a plate of cheeses and crackers will perk up a sunset at the shore. Or plop one into a Bloody Mary for something unique and tasty!

Of course, some of our crop never reaches the market. It's eaten fresh as it's picked! I invite you to try this crisp, green and sweet treat yourself!

Mesclun Salad Mix

We are also beginning to bring in some early mesclun greens from the green house beds. This is a lovely California style mix of sweet lettuces, spicy mustard, savory arugula and a hint of tangy oriental flavors. It's super with a healthy, traditional
vinaigrette, some crusty bread and a light wine.

That's the news for now! Until next time, all the best from Dunn Creek Farm, PEI.

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