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asparagus salad
Niçoise Asparagus Salad

veal lemon
Veal with Lemon Paprika

wild rice
Wild Rice with Almonds

Braised Artichokes with
Ham and Green Garlic

Menu Plan for the week of April 26, 2013:  Saturday's Recipes

Niçoise Asparagus Salad
Veal with Lemon Paprika Sauce
Wild Rice with Almonds
Braised Artichokes with Ham and Green Garlic

Cooking time:  50 minutes for menu     Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

       Use half of the Mozzarella balls in this salad and the other half later in the week. Save the liquid to store the saved Mozzarella in.  Use small artichokes for the vegetable, they should be smaller than a woman's fist.  If not available use  three carrots, cut into sticks.

Niçoise Asparagus Salad                             Preparation and cooking time:   25 minutes
    Capers, black olives and cherry tomatoes add lots of flavor to this salad.  I used mâche or lamb's lettuce which appears every spring.  Use spinach or other greens if not available. The green garlic is marinated in the vinaigrette to soften its bite.

6oz (175gr) asparagus
2 tbs capers
10 black olives, dry-cured Greek, Kalamata, or other
10 mozzarella ball
6 cherry tomatoes
4 green garlic  substitute 3 green onions and 1 clove garlic
3oz (90gr) mâche (lambs lettuce) or other spring green
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
3 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs snipped, fresh tarragon   substitute 1 tsp dried

The asparagus:  Snap off ends of asparagus.  Roll cut asparagus in 1.5 inch (4 cm) lengths.  Fill a large saucepan half full of water and bring to a boil over high heat.  When boiling, drop in asparagus and parboil for 2 minutes.  Drain and immediately plunge into a bowl of cold water.  Drain and fill with cold water again.  When cool, drain and spread them on paper towels and pat dry. 
The vinaigrette:  In a small bowl mix mustard and vinegar.  Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking until emulsified.  Add tarragon.
The salad: Trim and thinly slice green garlic, including green tops.  Put into a large salad bowl.  Add half the vinaigrette and stir well.  Let marinate for 15 minutes.
Wash and spin dry the mâche or other greens. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Pit olives if needed and cut in half
To finish: Add mâche to green garlic and toss well to combine.  Divide and arrange on two plates. Arrange asparagus, tomatoes and Mozzarella on salad. Sprinkle olives and capers on top.  Drizzle with a bit more vinaigrette and serve, any remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Veal with Lemon Paprika Sauce                    Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes
The tender veal scallops cook quickly and are finished with a Lemon, Paprika and Green Garlic sauce.  Green onion and a clove of garlic can substitute for the Green Garlic.  Chicken breasts, pounded thin, or turkey scallops can substitute for the veal.  Both would need a bit more cooking.

12oz (350gr) veal cutlets, thinly sliced - scallops
4 tbs white wine
2 tbs fresh lemon juice, 1/2 lemon, squeezed
4 green garlic or green onion
1 tsp paprika
1 tbs fresh marjoram or oregano
1 tbs olive oil

Trim and slice green garlic or onion. Take marjoram leaves off stems and snip in half.  In large, nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium heat.  Add veal and quickly brown on both sides, about 1 1/2 minutes each.  Remove to a platter.  Add paprika and green garlic or onion and sauté 3 minutes, until tender.  Add white wine and lemon juice and simmer until reduced a bit, 2 - 3 minutes.  Add marjoram, stir to combine.  Add veal and simmer, just to heat through, 1 - 2 minutes.  Put veal back on the platter, pour sauce over and serve.

Wild Rice with Almonds                                    Preparation and cooking time:   50 minutes
     It's called 'rice' but it is really a grass.  If, like me, you don't have access to wild rice, substitute Brown or Basmati rice.  I bring it back from the U.S.  It has a nutty taste that goes well with roasted meats and flavorful sauces.

1/3 cup wild rice
1 1/2 cup beef stock
1 tbs butter
2 tbs sherry
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Rinse rice and put into a small saucepan.  Add stock and bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 40 - 45 minutes.  Check your package for proper directions and proportions - it may vary.  Cooking time will vary according to freshness of rice, altitude, whatever.  Simmer until tender.  We prefer to have most of the kernels  "popped". 
When rice is done drain any excess liquid.  Add butter, sherry, almonds and stir well to combine.  Serve.

Braised Artichokes, Ham and Green Garlic    Preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes
     These are sometimes referred to as 'baby artichokes' but they're not.  The size of the artichoke is directly related to it's placement on the stem - the lower it grows the smaller it is. Regardless of the name, the small artichokes have little, if any 'choke' making the entire thing edible and easy to work with.

5 small artichokes
5 green garlic, sliced, including green tops  substitute green onions and 2 cloves garlic
2 slices dry-cured ham, roughly chopped, 1 - 2oz (45gr)   Prosciutto, Bayonne, Serrano
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Trim artichokes: Pull off and discard the lower, darker bracts until you get to a lighter color, usually 2 - 3 'rows'.  Cut the top third of the artichoke off and discard - this will be most if not all of the 'tips'.  Trim the stem, leaving about 2 inches and peel.  Cut the artichoke in half, lengthwise, through the stem.
To cook:  Heat 1 tbs oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add green garlic, ham and sauté briefly.  Add artichokes, cut side down, lemon juice and water.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer until done, 15 - 20 minutes.  They should be tender when pierced with a knife through the thickest part.
To serve:  Remove artichokes and arrange in a circle on a platter, stem ends in the center.  With a slotted spoon fill the center with the green garlic and ham. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 50 minutes for menu
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, small bowl, whisk, large bowl, medium
saucepan, strainer, medium bowl, 2 large skillets,
with lids, small saucepan with lid

Cook wild rice
Heat water for asparagus
Trim, cut asparagus
Trim, cut all green garlic or green onion / garlic
Snip fresh herbs
Chop Prosciutto
Wash, dry salad greens
Blanch asparagus, cool, spread to dry
Make vinaigrette
Combine 2 tbs vinaigrette, green garlic for salad
Trim artichokes, cut in half
Sauté green garlic, ham
Squeeze lemon

Add artichokes to skillet, lemon, water, cover, simmer
Cut cherry tomatoes
Pit, cut olives
Heat oil for veal
Add veal, brown, both sides
Remove to platter, cover with lid
Add green garlic, paprika to skillet, turn off heat
Add greens to green garlic for salad, toss
Finish salad, serve
Relax, enjoy salad
Check on artichokes, wild rice - both done?
Put skillet for veal back on heat
When green garlic's tender, add wine, lemon, cook
Drain wild rice
Add butter, sherry, almonds, finish
Add herbs, veal to skillet, heat through
Plate artichokes, drizzle with oil
Remove veal to plate

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