Fresh Farmer's Market Finds: Asparagus

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Peter Klein from Seedling Fruit, www.seedlingfruit.com, shows us how to pick the best asparagus and gives us a recipe to use with our fresh farmer's market pickings.

    ASPARAGUS SCRAMBLE BISCUITS

    Prep: 30 minutes Bake: 5 minutes

    8 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces

    1 tablespoon butter

    12 eggs, lightly beaten

    1⁄2 teaspoon salt

    1⁄2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

    3⁄4 cup roasted red sweet peppers, chopped

    Bacon-Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits (recipe follows)

    3⁄4 cup shredded Swiss cheese (3 ounces)

    1.       In a large skillet, cook asparagus in hot butter over medium heat about 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus from skillet.

    2.       Add eggs, salt and black pepper to skillet. Using a spatula, lift and fold cooked egg, letting uncooked egg run underneath. Cook about 4 minutes or until almost set; stir in roasted peppers and asparagus. Remove from heat.

    3.       Split the Bacon-Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits in half horizontally. Arrange bottoms of biscuits in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Divide egg mixture and Swiss cheese among biscuit bottoms. Add biscuit tops.

    4.       Bake, uncovered, in a 350° oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

    Bacon-Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits:

    Makes 8 (2-biscuit) servings

    Stir together 13⁄4 cups all-purpose flour, 1⁄2 cup cornmeal and 1 tablespoon baking powder. Cut 1⁄4 cup cold butter into flour mixture until butter is size of small peas. Add 3⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese; 4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled; 2⁄3 cup milk; 1 egg, lightly beaten; and 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives. Stir just until moistened.

    Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by gently folding dough for four to six strokes. Pat into an 8-inch square that is 1⁄2 inch thick. Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares. Place squares 1 inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush squares with additional milk. Bake in a 425° oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet. Cool on a wire rack.

    SEEDLING’S FARMERS MARKET SCHEDULE:

    Tuesday:  Lincoln Square

    Wednesday:  Chicago’s Green City Market

    Thursday:  West Side Market

    Saturday:  Evanston

    Sunday:  Wicker Park Market