Roasted Asparagus with Harissa Brown Butter Breadcrumbs

I‘ve had one thing on my mind since I injured my back: get strong enough to go in search of local asparagus.

Thankfully, I’m on the mend and yesterday, during a particularly sunny patch of the morning, Clara and I strolled through our open air market. She was the first to spot them:

Asparagus!” she shrieked, and darted toward the stall. I move a little slower, but inside I was just as excited about the discovery. At last!  They were all beautiful, but we selected three of the prettiest bundles.

We had the first bunch for lunch, simply steamed with butter and salt. Clara finished hers first, and then used her fingers to help herself to a few spears on my plate. Such is the enthusiasm we reserve for local asparagus around here.

[Read more…]

Easy Maple Mustard Chicken Drumsticks with Roasted Radishes & Asparagus

If you make it past the little family table anecdote I am about to recount, then you will find a simple dinner recipe that needs to go on your week’s menu plan.

It’s inspired by maple season, of course, but combines classic French flavours – lemon, garlic, mustard and tarragon – into a sticky glaze for pan-roasted chicken drumsticks. Spring vegetables roast alongside the chicken and are tossed in the pan juices just before serving.

We’ve been loving it with roasted radishes, potatoes, asparagus and sweet potatoes; basically, whatever we can get our hands on this time of year.

On a side note, I had forgotten how much I enjoy chicken with tarragon and now I must remake an old favourite for entertaining, Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. The roasted garlic perfumes the whole house and marries with cream and tarragon for a sauce that garners your guests’ full attention.

But back to my story, and then the recipe. Read on!

[Read more…]

Spinach Salad with Grilled Strawberries, Asparagus and Walnuts

One warm evening after dinner last week, we found the first wild strawberries ripening in our small patch out by the garden. Clara, barefoot and hatless as usual, parted the thick leaves with her small hands and there they were, as bright as rubies and as sweet as candy.

Earlier that same day, I picked up two baskets of the first locally cultivated strawberries, and henceforth there will be strawberries on our table for as long as the season flourishes. We really only eat them when they can be grown ourselves or bought locally, so the arrival of the red gems is much celebrated.

I’ve promised the children an upcoming dinner devoted entirely to strawberries, as soon as the fruit is at its peak. Today’s scrumptious salad will definitely be on the menu, perhaps alongside strawberry-glazed grilled chicken, with fresh strawberry pie or roasted strawberry sundaes for dessert.

[Read more…]