How to Cook With Spring Produce

Arugula, Asparagus and Fennel Salad With Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch organic arugula, washed well and dried
  • 1 bulb fennel, fronds removed and sliced thinly
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • navel orange segments
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 wedge Pecorino cheese
  • zest of 1 navel orange
  • juice of 1 navel orange
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Whisk together orange zest, juice, shallot, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook asparagus for three to four minutes. Remove asparagus from hot water, and place in a bowl of cold water with ice to stop the cooking. Allow asparagus to dry on a kitchen towel. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Arrange arugula, fennel, asparagus and oranges on a large serving plate. Top with toasted walnuts. With a vegetable peeler, add curls of pecorino on top of salad. Drizzle lightly with vinaigrette.

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Fava Bean and Leek Crostini

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds fava beans in the pod
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, well rinsed and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • couple splashes of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, optional
  • 12 slices baguette, toasted in oven until crisp
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced

Shell fava beans (you'll have about 2 cups of fava beans). Boil beans in salted water for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from water and set aside to cool. When cool, remove skins from beans by tearing it open at its round end, and popping out the bean.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, saut? leeks and garlic in olive oil (not extra virgin) for 5 to 6 minutes, or until leeks are cooked and soft.

Combine fava beans, leek and garlic mixture, extra virgin olive oil, broth, lemon juice and a few sprinkles of salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until mostly smooth. Add cheese, if using, and pulse until combined. Spread bean puree on warm toasts, and top with radish slices.

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