Spring Favorites

April 19, 2022, noon

Artichokes and asparagus are in season in the spring and I love to serve them as often as I can during this time. Here is how I like to serve them.

4 artichokes (or as many as you need to make)
extra virgin olive oil
Trim artichokes by cutting off about 1/3 of the artichoke. Trim off the stem. Pull of the small outer leaves.
Rub the artichokes with lemon. The artichokes cannot be done ahead of time unless you do this. They brown like apples.
In a heavy pot big enough to fit all the artichokes, put about 2 inches of water. Add the artichokes with the stems down. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Put the cut lemons in the water under the artichokes.
Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a high simmer. Cook for about an hour refilling water when necessary.
They are done when you can pull a leaf off easily.
Serve hot with Garlic Mayonnaise.

½ cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic
Put mayonnaise in a bowl. Using a microplane or garlic press, grate the garlic into the mayonnaise. Squeeze ½ lemon into mixture and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well.

1 baguette
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic
Slice baguette into ¼ inch slices. Arrange on sheet pan. Toast in 375 degree oven until lightly browned, turning once.
In bowl, mix mayonnaise and artichoke hearts. Grate the garlic into the mixture. Add ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Stir well.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon of mixture onto each toast. Top with a pinch of Parmesan cheese.
Bake in 375 degree oven until cheese is melted.
Serve warm.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
5 ½ oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/3 pounds medium or thick asparagus
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a piece of parchment paper, roll the puff pastry into a 16 x 10 inch rectangle. Place onto sheet pan.
With a sharp knife, score the pastry 1 inch from the edges to make a border.
Dock the pastry inside the border only.
Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the asparagus to fit the pastry. Arrange in single layer over Gruyere, alternating tips and ends.
Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until asparagus is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

1 can Eagle Brand milk
½ cup lemon juice
lemon zest
2 eggs, separated
1 graham cracker crust
In a bowl, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, zest and egg yolks. Pour into the graham cracker crust.
Make meringue from the egg whites, make a meringue with ¼ cup sugar and put on the pie. Brown in a 375 degree oven. Cool and serve. Refrigerate any unused portions.