On April 18, Matt appeared on Fox 8 Cleveland, along with Farmer Lee Jones, to celebrate the annual emergence of this incredible vegetable. On the show, Matt created an asparagus tartine on toasted sour dough bread that he’d baked the day before. A tartine is an open-faced sandwich, one that usually features an elegant spread of toppings. Matt’s tartine included fava bean blooms, pea blooms, micro carrots and petite pea tendrils, along with asparagus prepared in numerous ways.
More specifically, this tartine contained peeled asparagus that had been placed in an ice water blanch, along with pickled asparagus, juice from the tips of the vegetable and fire roasted tips, with a dressing also made from asparagus.
The Chef’s Garden asparagus is so sweet that, when eaten raw, it tastes like sugar. Lee shares how it all starts with the soil the asparagus grows in, describing how crucial it is to rebuild soil sustainably and naturally, avoiding chemicals – and then harvesting the crops at just the right time.
Here, you can watch the entire interview.
If you are hungering for fresh asparagus that is so sweet it boasts hints of caramel and honey, consider attending the Vegetable Showcase Dinner that focuses on asparagus at the Culinary Vegetable Institute on Friday, May 5th from 6:30-9:30. There, the team of chefs will explore every iteration of the amazing asparagus. Find more information here.
When Matt was younger, he didn’t like asparagus. It was floppy, it was mushy, it was an odd color, almost army green. But when he realized how all of that unpleasantness was caused by overcooking, he began to look at asparagus in a whole new way, and he now loves the spring vegetable.
“You can shave it and blanch it, fire roast it, and add burnt edges. You can pickle it – just don’t be too aggressive. Use a nice, light touch. You can juice it, you can wrap it in bacon, you can use parmesan cheese on it. Prepare it in a classic way, doing so perfectly, or experiment with it, maybe by creating an asparagus sorbet.”
Recently, Matt says, Jamie Simpson – the executive chef of the Culinary Vegetable Institute – made an “awesome butter using ground asparagus.” When it was placed in an asparagus mold and dusted with asparagus powder, it looked like an actual stalk.
Lee shares another key difference between the bland green stuff you may have experienced and delicious fresh asparagus. “Asparagus is found on store shelves twelve months a year now,” he says. “It’s grown in South America and Central America, and then shipped to the United States. In transit, it loses flavor.”
The Chef’s Garden, though, harvests its asparagus daily throughout the crop’s natural season. The team carefully unearths each plant, then clips its base. The asparagus is then immediately placed in a dark box to maintain its color. We can harvest it and have it in your kitchen in as little as 24 hours.
If you’re a chef who is interested in adding our fresh asparagus to your dishes, contact us! And did you know we offer home delivery service?