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Tag: asparagus (Page 1 of 2)

Asparagus Potato Naan

Tender asparagus, thinly sliced baby potatoes, minced garlic, and Parmesan cheese on top of naan flatbread creates a quick, light meal or tasty appetizers.  Naan bread is endlessly versatile and can be the base for so many different types of flatbread pizzas.  This asparagus potato naan recipe features delicious, tender vegetables, and can be on your table in about 20 minutes.

asparagus potato naan on benchPotatoes and asparagus are not only in season right now, but they are also a great combination.  If you have never tried potatoes on flatbread, you should give it a try. The creaminess of cooked potatoes with melted cheese, all on top of a warm flatbread–it is delicious, especially when the tender-fresh crunch of asparagus is added.  While at first the thought of pairing of potatoes and flatbread may sound like a carb overload, it really isn’t in this case, since the naan flatbread is thin and the layer of potatoes is also thin.

DSC_0857This is a great summer meal when you are in a hurry and need to make something nourishing, or if you have guests over and want to serve them some fun, seasonal appetizers, out on the porch or deck, with a cold beverage and great conversation.  Can you tell I am wanting to invite some people over for dinner soon?  I am.  It has been a hectic spring, and we haven’t had much time to relax over our food and drinks.  Now the kids are out of school (as of today!) and their sports schedules are in somewhat of a lull for a month or so.  Our evenings and weekends are opening up.  It’s time to slow down and linger outside, letting conversations develop and quiet moments blossom.

It’s time to enjoy nature, including asparagus and potatoes, and soon the cherries and wild black raspberries growing right in our yard.  I just made the first strawberry shortcake of the season last night, and the strawberries were so fresh! Savoring the fruits and vegetables that are in season helps me feel like I am in the moment and experiencing life as it is unfolding.  Every last day of school since my kids have started school, I have felt emotional and bittersweet.  One era is ending as another is beginning.  Sometimes it can be hard to let things go, and sometimes we can’t wait to move on.  As I cannot believe how fast they are growing and sometimes want to slow time down, my kids are excited to move on to the next phase. Time passes regardless of how quickly or slowly we want it to go.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  This week’s Fiesta Friday is co-hosted by Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons.   potatoes and asparagusasparagus potato naan on baking sheetasparagus potato naan white and green 2

Asparagus Potato Naan

  • Servings: 2-4
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  • 4-6 small potatoes (red or gold), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound of fresh asparagus, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 naan flatbreads (about 250 g or 8.8 oz in a package of 2)
  • about 1 cup of Parmesan cheese (other cheese can be used, if desired)


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the naan pieces on top of the parchment paper.

Wash the potatoes and asparagus.  Slice the potatoes very thinly.  Snap the tough ends off of the asparagus stalks and then chop the stalks into small pieces.  In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the sliced potatoes and toss gently for a couple of minutes, until the potatoes are just golden.  Remove from heat.

Pour the remaining olive oil into a shallow bowl.  Mince the garlic mix it in with the olive oil.  Brush the naan pieces with olive oil/garlic (with the bubbly side of the naan facing up).  Spread the potatoes in over the flatbread pieces in an even layer, then top with the chopped asparagus.  Sprinkle the cheese on top of the vegetables.  Place the baking sheet into your oven and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and the cheese is melted.

Allow to cool slightly and slice into pieces. Enjoy!

asparagus and potato naan with dog


Asparagus Quinoa Salad

In this asparagus quinoa salad, fresh asparagus is roasted with pistachios and then mixed with quinoa and a homemade honey-garlic vinaigrette.  The result is a salad rich in superfoods, with lots of flavor and tons of nutrients.  It’s the perfect salad to take to a picnic, to enjoy with lunch, or to use as a side dish at dinner.  It’s light, while at the same time satisfying and filling.

DSC_0679I love how fluid recipes can be.  They are never exactly the same twice, and they bring with them stories, memories, and reminders of friends or family members who have shared or contributed to the recipes.  The same goes for sharing meals with others too.  We get ideas from one another and build on our conversations and memories.

asparagus quinoa salad 1Quinoa salad has been on my mind lately for a number of reasons.  My soccer mom/walking buddies have been making versions of it and we’ve been exchanging ideas, plus my mother is on a quinoa kick as well.  The other day when we were over at her house, she made some asparagus and quinoa separately, but they ended up getting mixed up on my plate, and they tasted great together.  I knew I wanted asparagus in my next quinoa salad.


In addition to vegetables, one of my friends likes to put nuts in her quinoa salads. The only nuts I have in the house right now are pistachios. I thought those would be good with the asparagus too.  Little did I know that when I googled asparagus and pistachios, lots of recipes came up! Apparently I was not the only one who thought this would be a good combination.  The following asparagus quinoa salad recipe is very basic, and based loosely on a few different recipes I found, my own experience with asparagus and quinoa, plus input from friends and my mother.  That’s what I mean about recipes being so fluid.  They are influenced by those we talk with or read about, plus by what is in season, and what we have on hand.  They are like living, breathing entities sometimes, changing with the weather and the circumstances.

This asparagus quinoa salad is really satisfying.  The nutty flavor of the quinoa blends deliciously with the pistachios and asparagus, and the vinaigrette gives it just the right amount of sweetness and zing.  Feel free to add other vegetables you have in your kitchen, and if you are in a hurry, just add your favorite salad dressing instead of making it from scratch.  The versatility of quinoa is one of its strongest attributes, along with its huge health benefits. I plan to make versions of this salad all summer long, depending on which vegetables are in season.

I hope you all have a great weekend! The weather here has been gorgeous.  I can’t believe it’s already June.  The kids will be out of school soon.  It’s been a full few days around here, with a soccer tournament and a state track meet, along with end-of-the-school-year events and other gatherings too.  I have not had a chance to visit other blogs like is enjoy doing.  I hope to catch up on that this weekend.  At this time of the year, with the beautiful weather and flowers blooming, I always hear my grandpa’s voice quoting part of a James Russell Lowell poem: “And what is so rare as a day in June?  Then, if ever, come perfect days….” I hope you enjoy some beautiful June days.asparagus and pistachioschopped asparagusquinoa and asparagusThis recipe will be shared over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Aruna @ Aharam.

Asparagus Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
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  • about 1 pound (or one bunch) of asparagus
  • 1/2 cup of roasted and salted pistachios, shelled
  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
  • a couple sprigs of fresh mint (optional)

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove the pistachios from their shells and measure them to 1/2 cup.  Wash the asparagus and snap off the tough ends.  Chop the asparagus into bite-sized pieces.  Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.  Spread the asparagus pieces and pistachios into a single layer on the baking sheet and gently toss with the olive oil.  Bake in your 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes, checking to see that the asparagus is tender, and removing it when the asparagus is just-tender.

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in according to the package directions.  When the quinoa is done (expanded, tender and all the water is absorbed), transfer it to a large bowl and let it cool some.  When the asparagus is done, let it cool some as well.

While things are cooling, mix up the vinaigrette in a glass container.  Combine the olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and mined garlic, and stir well.  If you have a glass bottle with a screw top, combine the dressing in there and shake.

Then mix the asparagus/pistachio mixture with the quinoa in the bowl, and pour the vinaigrette in as well.  Stir gently but thoroughly to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.  Add some chopped fresh mint leaves if you wish.  Serve at room temperature.  Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator. Enjoy!



Asparagus Galette

asparagus 1 Fresh, tender asparagus roasted with a mixture of cheeses and a hint of garlic, surrounded by a warm, nourishing crust.  If that sounds good to you, then you should give this recipe a try, because that is what I think of when I make this asparagus galette.  I love the fact that you can put almost any vegetable or fruit in a galette.  It is such a great way to take seasonal produce and turn it into a light meal.  With asparagus season in full swing here, an asparagus galette was inevitably going to happen in this kitchen.  The recipe I am sharing below is based on a conglomeration of the countless galette recipes out there in the world.  Many savory galette recipes are interchangeable, once you have a basic amount of cheese and vegetables.  The fun is in the creative part–adjusting the types of cheeses, seasonings, and choosing the freshest vegetables available.

As far as the crust goes, I enjoy making my own, and will include one of my favorite crust recipes.  Feel free to use your own favorite pie crust recipe.  If you are super-short on time, a store-bought crust works fine too.  I personally love the feeling of taking very separate ingredients and mixing them together to form a dough that holds together, even when stretched and shaped.  It gives me great satisfaction, like I am creating something out of nothing, and as I have mentioned before, I feel like I am connecting with ancestors and previous generations of bakers when I get out my flour canister and rolling pin.  When I am baking, I feel like my kitchen becomes a sacred space, outside of time and place.

bike under aspenThat is kind of how I feel when I go biking as well, and with the weather so gorgeous the last few days, I have gotten out on my bike a few times.  The jump from baking to biking is just one letter, and both activities take me outside of normal space and time.  Anyone who knows me knows I tend to be a bit of a worrier, but with biking, as with baking, I feel like I can leave my usual self behind.  I can bike fast enough so that my worries cannot catch up to me, and I am one with the breeze and the trees. Luckily, there is a lovely country road near our house that is not at all busy, and I can ride down that road and encounter more birds than I do cars.

Asparagus season, the beginning of biking season, the beginning of June.  The leaves are full, the butterflies are out, and I have even seen some dragonflies.  The cherries and black raspberries are looking promising this year.  It is warm and fresh and bright outside.  My grandfather liked to quote poetry, and on days like these, perfect June days, he would often quote parts of a James Russell Lowell poem:  “And what is so rare as a day in June?/Then, if ever, come perfect days….Now is the high-tide of the year/And whatever of life hath ebbed away/comes flooding back with a ripply cheer.” Enjoy the lovely June day, and have a great weekend! aasparagus galette 2DSC_0912cheese and asparagusasparagus galette, cut 1asparagus galette, cut 2

Asparagus Galette

  • Servings: 2 hungry people, or 4 less hungry people
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For the crust

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup milk

For the filling

  • 1/2 to 3/4 pounds fresh asparagus
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Feta
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced


Preheat your over to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix up your pie crust dough.  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour and the salt.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine the canola oil and the milk, then pour gradually into the flour mixture.  Gently stir with a fork or pastry cutter until a dough forms.  Divide the dough in two equal-sized balls.  (If you do this ahead of time, it can be stored, covered in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for a few hours.  Just let it warm to about room temperature before rolling it out).  Spread some wax paper on a work surface, and lightly flour the paper.  Flatten one of the balls of dough with your hand as much as you can.  Then use a rolling pin, rolling from the center of the dough, and roll out a circle of about 12 inches in diameter.  If your edges get ragged or torn, patch them together or trim them so they are somewhat uniform.  Spread a sheet of parchment paper on a heavy baking sheet.  Gently roll the dough onto your floured rolling pin, and gently unroll it onto the parchment papered baking sheet.  Patch any dough that tears.

Wash and pat dry the asparagus.  Set aside.  In a mixing bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, Feta, and mozzarella cheese.  Toss with one teaspoon of the olive oil.  In a different small bowl, combine the two tablespoons of olive oil and the minced garlic.  Transfer the cheese mixture to the crust on the baking sheet.  Spread it out evenly, leaving a 2 inch border around the edges.  Then lay the asparagus spears side-by-side on top of the cheese mixture.  Sprinkle with the olive oil-garlic mixture.  Fold and pleat the edges of the dough up and over the outer edge of the filling, all the way around.  Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown. Enjoy!

Note: I use the other ball of dough to make a second galette, the same as the first one, since people in my family have big appetites.  If you are making only one galette, store the other ball of dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or the freezer for up to 3 weeks (depending on how soon you will use it), and use it for another dish.

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