Last weekend marked the beginning of the season for the Our Sustenance Farmers Market at 2676 Fourth Line. I will be at the market again this year demonstrating how to use the seasonal vegetables in delicious ways.
When preparing food in a humble way I take great care to make sure the ingredient I am trying to showcase is not overpowered by other flavours. This is done by using ingredients to support the natural flavour profile of what you are focusing on. The supporting ingredients are there to help find balance of flavour in a complementary way.
Everything I will be cooking at the market will be accessible to all cooks of any skill level. I will be focusing on simplicity in the kitchen because I believe there is no reason to complicate food. Complicating food takes away from enjoying all the healthy deliciousness that grows around us.
When asparagus comes into season I just can’t get enough. It is a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in many ways. I find it is often not served raw which is why I decided to prepare it this way at the market. By letting it sit with a bit of salt and vinegar the texture of the vegetable will change slightly giving an appearance of being cooked for a short time.
Shaved Asparagus Salad
This salad is an excellent way to learn about balance. I demonstrated this at the market by letting people try the un-prepared asparagus and comparing it to how I presented it in the salad. Also, it can be prepared in different ways as the season changes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Garden/Wild Herbs (Parsley, Chive, etc)
Trim woody stems off of asparagus, save for a vegetable stock. With a vegetable peeler, or a mandoline shave asparagus as thin as you can. Place in a bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Mix equal parts sunflower oil and apple cider vinegar. Drizzle this mixture over the shaved asparagus to coat it evenly. Mix well and let sit for 10 minutes or so or until the asparagus has become tender but still has some texture to it. If you pick up a piece up in the middle it should fall to each side. Adjust seasoning with vinegar, oil and salt.
Top with garden and wild herbs.
Variation 1: Try adding a semi-firm or a soft cheese (I like using goat cheese)
Variation 2: Add sliced strawberries or tomatoes when they are in season