Monday, April 28, 2008


I received a glorious email this morning from The Kara. Emails/Comments like this make me very happy. Read on...
Good Morning, My Friend,

I cooked - yes it's true - yesterday!

Inspired by ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE I have been trying very hard to keep it local (at least East Coast within a distance I would drive from my house). To that end, I am SUPER excited about asparagus which is just about everywhere now. I went to Whole Foods yesterday and cannot believe how much money I spent on just 2 bags of groceries - oy! The cost of food is no joke and the cost of good food is hilarious.

Anyway, they had a recipe at the Whole Foods Market that looked pretty easy with lovely seasonal asparagus and I tried it and even fed it to my friends who concurred it was delish! It's in the same vein as the 'pudding' or whatever that Barbara Kingsolver has in her book with asparagus and morels, but thought I'd send it to you b/c the recipe is lovely AND seasonal :)

Asparagus and Brioche Strata - serves 6-8

1/2 loaf brioche (about 8 slices) or other soft bakery bread sliced
7 large eggs
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
2 1/2 cups milk (I actually used a little bit less)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 bunch (about 1 lb.) thin asparagus, tips and tender stems cut into 2- inch pieces I was having dinner with vegetarians so I did not add the 1 cup (about 1/3lb). diced deli ham which is optional.

Halve the bread slices on the diagnol and lay them across the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or 2.5 quart casserole dish, overlapping the pieces slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, ricotta, milk, salt, pepper, and
1/4 cup of Parmesan. Pour mixture over bread and press the bread down into the liquid. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 1 day.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle top of casserole with asparagus
(and ham if you did it) and press some pieces down into the bread.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup Parm and bake until browned and the center is almost completely set, about 1 hour. Serve warm or room temperature.

Sending my lovees,

Thank you Kara. This recipe sounds great and I love that ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE has influenced you and you're trying to make it a part of your life! Bravo.

For those of you who haven't read the book, I highly recommend it. Truly an influential book, well thought out, well written and for me, life changing! I really understand Kara's comment about the price of food, especially local food right now. Even if you can eat locally, just one meal a week, you can make a difference. Find a local farmers market and pick up some ingredients on a Saturday and make them for dinner that night. Take baby steps. Eggs are a big thing right now. If you can find a local supplier, you're have fresher eggs and you can get them more affordably. The eggs I buy at the store are $3.25 a dozen. The eggs I can get from a local farmer are $3. That's a quarter savings in my pocketbook. That's $3 back into my local economy, $3 directly to a local farmer, no middle man!! That's less fuel transporting the eggs from the farm to my door.

Think Globally, Act Locally!


Aimee Olivo said...

Perhaps a recipe for the Community Market? The brioche from Uptown Bakers is to die for and it sounds like you're already getting your eggs from our local farmer as well....

ScottE. said...

certianly is my thoughts for the first market...eggs!

Greg said...

Well done Scott, going local. I am not a fan of asparagus normally, but I have even turned the corner to be more willing to eat it in these Spring months when the odds are good it is fresh and as good as it can be.

Greg said...

We want to support our local market, but it still isn't open yet. How nice do these Saturday's have to get before the Rockville farmer's market comes back?!?