At the Scarborough we are committed to providing food that features fresh, seasonal ingredients. I’m glad of the “whenever possible” caveat, however, because it is more of a challenge in the spring before the first crops appear. Personally, I’m very grateful that we can obtain fresh fruits and vegetables year round!
Finally, this spring we are seeing the first offerings from the “Garden State.” Last night’s dinner included New Jersey asparagus and strawberries. Delicious and easy to prepare!
Grilled New Jersey Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus
extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper
Rinse and break off the tough bottom stems of the asparagus. Place the vegetable on a dinner plate, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and mix gently. Allow to marinate while the grill heats to medium-high. (I use a Cuisinart Griddler, but an outdoor grill works well, too.)
Place the asparagus stalks on the grill and cook quickly to al dente to preserve the wonderful fresh flavor and color.
Serve the long stalks on a plate with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to add piquancy.
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New Jersey Strawberries with Chocolate Dipping Sauce
Strawberries (3 to 5 per person, depending on size)
1 square Dove dark chocolate, per serving
1 teaspoon half & half, per serving
Gently wash strawberries, pat dry, and set aside (do not remove green leaves). For each serving, put about a teaspoon of half & half plus one piece of chocolate in small, individual (microwave-safe) ramekins. Microwave the chocolate and cream for short bursts of time – checking and stirring frequently – until the mixture is completely combined and smooth.
For each serving, arrange strawberries on a small plate accompanied with an individual ramekin of melted chocolate. Hold the strawberries by the leaves, dip in the warm chocolate mixture, and enjoy!