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Springing Up in Asparagus

Nothing hits the spot in early spring like fresh, tender asparagus. In April and May we will have organic asparagus available at the farmstore, grown right here at Hickory Nut Gap. We expect the young spears to start shooting up in the next week, so keep an eye on our facebook page to see when we begin harvesting.

If you’ve never seen asparagus growing, it truly is a fascinating sight. The young spears sprout up out of the ground, emerging like green fingers from the beds. We have to keep a close eye on the patch because if we let them grow too high, they become stringy and slightly bitter. When they reach 6-9 inches we cut them off just above the ground and bundle them together. Asparagus is packed full of nutrients and anti-oxidants and is also a good source of dietary fiber. The crisp spears are excellent as an addition to salads, stir frys, or steamed on their own with nothing more than a pat of butter and a dash of salt.

Spring Quiche Trio

There are two versions of this satisfying spring quiche from Simply in Season cookbook and both are absolutely delicious. Fresh shiitakes from HNG farm would be a great addition to either filling!

Ingredients:

Crust:
3 cups uncooked potated, coarsely grated
3 T oil
(Mix togethr. Press into bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan. Bake at 425 F until just starting to brown, about 15 minutes.

Egg-Milk Mixture:
3 farm fresh eggs
1 cup evaporated milk (whole milk can be substituted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
(mix together and set aside)

Asparagus Filling:
1-1.5 cups asparagus, cooked and chopped
1 cup cheese (swiss is suggested)
1/2 cup HNG bacon, fried and crumbled
1/4 green onion or onion, chopped
1 T fresh Rosemary, chopped
(mix together and add to egg-milk mixture)

Leek-Spinach-Broccoli Filling:
1 cup leeks, thinly sliced
1 cup broccoli, chopped
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup cheese
1/2 cup HNG bacon, fried and crumbled
(sautee leeks and broccoli in a greased pan, 5-10 minutes. Add spinach and cook till wilted. Place bacon and cheese in bottom of crus then stop with vegetable mixture and egg-milk mixture)

Add filling to already baked crust. Bake 425 F for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 F and bake until browned on top and set int the middle (25-30 minutes). Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Lind, M. & Hockman-Wert, C. (2009). Simply in Season. Scottsdale,          PA: Herald Press.