Last year for Hadley Grass.
Sweet out of the fertile Connecticut River Valley earth.
Asparagus. From Hadley, Massachusetts. Finally here!
There is nothing like it. Will they have it at UWS Farmer’s Market?
We’ll find out next year.
Steam it until tender but still crunchy. Quick cold water bath.
Add Oregano. Ground black pepper.
1 1/2 lbs. (Frigo’s in Springfield, Mass. or Citarella on the UWS in NYC) milk-fed veal cutlets pounded to 1/8″ thick. Spread light coating of anchovy paste and butter on each cutlet. Put 2-3 Hadley grass (Spring asparagus) tips on each cutlet.
Add shredded cheese of your choice. Fontina. Asiago. Romano. Comté. Whatever’s in the fridge. Add a fresh basil leaf.
Roll up cutlets and secure with toothpicks. In a large fry pan, brown cutlet rolls on all sides in a little olive oil. Remove browned rolls to a platter.
In the same fry pan, brown a diced shallot. Add 3 tbs. butter. Deglaze with 1/2 cup dry white wine. Scrape and stir. Reduce by half.
Add back the veal rolls and squeeze juice of one lemon over them. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover. Bring to boil. Add a handful of capers. Optional.
Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over herbed couscous.
Finally here! The best day of the year. Farm stand opens with Hadley grass. The Pioneer Valley’s world-renowned asparagus. Steam it. Roast it. Break it where it naturally splits. Never peel it. Steamed: I like to steam it until still firm. Blanche with cold water to stop cooking. Serve with vinegar & oil, cracked black pepper, oregano as a salad with fish or chicken. Roasted: Place stalks on a baking sheet so not touching. Drizzle olive oil. Roll around in the oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, cracked peppercorns, shaved asiago. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until crispy. Good with anything.
Photo: James Baigrie, Saveur 2007