Recipes Inspired By Your Garden Harvest
One of my favorite things about being a gardener is the creativity that I get to put to use in the kitchen. I am constantly being challenged to find a use for two or more ingredients that appear to not go together. The resulting meal is usually fantastic, but there are times, every now and then, that I create an ‘epic fail’ meal. It is the same with gardening…mostly successes, with the occasionally failure. The wonderful thing about failure is that we can learn from our mistakes. Mistakes are wonderful actually. So go out and do some experimenting. Trial and error is the best way to learn, in the garden, in the kitchen, and in life. Then there are times when magic happens…when the day’s harvest instantly speaks to me. This recipe that I’m about to share with you was from such a day of inspiration. It is currently spring, and the asparagus is going crazy in our garden, and after a week of wonderful, soaking rains, our shiitake mushroom logs are fruiting. I also had some beautiful young bunching onions that I pulled, and I was lucky enough to still have some sundried tomatoes from last year. How could this gorgeous array of colors and textures not inspire you…
So let’s start by saying that if you have property, and you like mushrooms, you need to be growing your own mushroom logs. They are spectacular! It is so rewarding to harvest your own mushrooms. This is our first year harvesting shiitake mushrooms, and let’s just say, that after the harvest of mushrooms this spring we will be inoculating MANY more logs!
Also, asparagus…you should be growing your own. You can get it as seeds or as crowns in the spring. It takes a few years to be able to harvest, but the time investment is completely worth it. I mean, that time is going to be passing anyway, right?! Why not have asparagus establishing itself in your garden while time passes.
So, let’s get in the kitchen shall we?
Shiitake, Asparagus, & Sundried Tomato Pasta Recipe
Makes 3 servings
- 1 Tbsp, Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp, Butter (optional, adds another layer of flavor though) – if you omit the butter add a little more olive oil
- 5-7 Shiitake Mushrooms (the more the better in my opinion), sliced thin
- 12-18 Asparagus Spears, sliced diagonally, ¼ inch
- 6-8 Green Bunching Onions, sliced diagonally in ¼ inch (reserve half for topping)
- 1/3 cup, Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
- 1-2 cloves, Garlic, finely chopped
- ½ cup, White Wine or Dry Vermouth
- ¼ cup, Broth (vegetable or chicken)
- ¼ cup, Half & Half – optional (I use the cream I have on hand. You can use heavy whipping cream as well…it will just be a heavier flavor)
- ½ cup, Parmesan Cheese (reserve ¼ cup for topping)
- Pasta of any sort, I used Angel Hair
It does not take long to cook this meal, so you want to start by boiling the water for the pasta. By the time the pasta is done, the rest will be ready to go. After you get your pasta going, start by sautéing the mushrooms in the olive oil and butter on medium heat. Once browned add the garlic, sundried tomatoes, asparagus, and green onions. Cook for about a minute (if you like your asparagus really soft, cook for longer). Add the wine (I used dry vermouth) and reduce by half. Add the broth, half & half, and parmesan, and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. Turn the heat off. Once the pasta is done, add the pasta to the pan, and toss with the mushroom and asparagus mixture. Put it in a bowl and top with parmesan cheese and green onions. Most importantly…enjoy eating this little bit of spring garden magic!