Lunchbreak: Asparagus soup, quiche and sandwich, prepared by Bittersweet chef Mindy Gohr

Chef Mindy Gohr

Bittersweet Pastry Shop and Cafe
1114 W. Belmont
Chicago
(773) 929-1100
www.bittersweetpastry.com

Asparagus Soup

Ingredients:

1 medium potato, cubed
1 Tbs butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
1/4 Tbs lemon peel
2 bunches asparagus
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbs grated Parmesan
salt and white pepper, to taste

Directions:
Prepare asparagus: wash stalks, cut off reedy, bottom piece and tops. Cut into 1” pieces. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter. Add garlic, onions and lemon peel. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until onions are translucent. Add potatoes and 1 cup stock. Cook until potatoes begin to soften. Add asparagus and remaining stock. Lightly season. Cook until potatoes and asparagus are very soft. Remove from heat. Remove strips of lemon zest. Puree soup with immersion blender. Add lemon juice, sour cream and Parmesan cheese. Puree. Pour soup through a fine mesh strainer to remove fibers. Season to taste.

Asparagus Quiche

Ingredients:
2 cups half and half
5 eggs
pinch of salt
pinch of white pepper
1 10-inch crust (use your favorite recipe or store bought)
8 oz asparagus, roasted and chopped
2 cups grated Jarlsberg cheese

Directions:
Mix together first four ingredients. Place asparagus into the crust and pour liquid over it. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Asparagus and Avocado Sandwich

Ingredients:
1 pound asparagus
1 1/2 Tbs plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tsp lemon herb vinaigrette
1 cup lightly packed mesclun greens
1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves
2 teaspoons red wine vinaigrette
4 ounces aged goat cheese, rind removed, cheese shaved
1 Hass avocado—halved, pitted and thinly sliced
four demi baguettes

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400. On a baking sheet, toss half of the asparagus with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes. Let the asparagus cool. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the remaining asparagus into long, thin strips. In a medium bowl, toss the shaved asparagus with the lemon herb vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. In another medium bowl, toss the mesclun and mint with the remaining 1 1/2 Tbs of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Scoop out some of the inside of each baguette and dress with red wine vinaigrette. Place roasted asparagus, goat cheese, shaved asparagus, mesclun mix and avocado on the baguettes.

Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
3 tsp shallots, minced
1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard
8 Tbs olive oil
6 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp honey
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Process shallots, mustard, honey, oregano and parsley in a food processor until blended. With the processor running, slowly add lemon juice. With the processor still running, add olive oil until smooth.  Season to taste.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbs honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Whisk together vinegar, garlic, honey and mustard. In a slow, steady stream, add oil while whisking constantly. Do not add oil too fast or emulsion will break. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.